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Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic

by Jenkins, Emily


Book Review     

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Publishers Weekly :

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Starred Review. As delightfully quirky as its subtitle, "Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic"), this buoyant chapter book relays the adventures (one per chapter) of a trio of toys. As the tale opens, Lumphy (a plush buffalo), StingRay (a stuffed fish) and Plastic (who, in a quasi-mystery plot thread, discovers that she is a rubber ball) thump along in a dark backpack. The three worry about where they might be headed ("The Girl doesn't love us and she's trying to get rid of us!")—perhaps to the vet (who will poke them "over and over with needles the size of carrots") or to the zoo (where they will have to live "each one in a separate cage")—only to find themselves at school as the Little Girl's show-and-tell. Their humorous dialogue may feel to readers much like eavesdropping on the playground (when Plastic says of dental floss, "Maybe it feels nice.... You never know until you try," Lumphy replies, "I know without trying"). The omniscient narrator also chimes in with wry comments (e.g., a description of StingRay, "who sometimes says she knows things when she doesn't"). Supporting characters include a "bumpity washing machine" named Frank, who serenades a fearful peanut-buttery Lumphy through the wash cycle, and kind TukTuk the towel who helps Plastic in his self-discovery. Zelinsky's half-tone illustrations depict the most dramatic moment in each episode from the toy's eye–view. Together, author and artist take an entertaining look at identity, friendship and belonging. Ages 7-11. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal :

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Starred Review. K-Gr 3–In this utterly delightful peek into the secret lives of toys, three beloved playthings participate in a series of small adventures. StingRay is a plush stuffed animal who enjoys acting the know-it-all. Lumphy is a tough little buffalo who doesnât mind the occasional cuddle. And Plastic (whose physical appearance is kept mysterious for quite some time) is a sensible bouncy ball. They are the best friends of a little girl and they deal with the world around them in their own particular manner. From meditating on the scary unknown (washing machines) to understanding what makes an individual special, Jenkins gives readers an early chapter book with plenty of delightful insights, well-thought-out details, and loving affection for her characters. Here is a book bound to be a favorite with any child who has ever adored an inanimate object. Zelinskyâs beautifully detailed black-and-white illustrations are a lovely addition to this very special book.–Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library

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BookList :

From BookList, October 1, 2006, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Fichier HTML For beginning chapter-book readers, this secret-lives-of-toys story will entertain, inspire, and comfort as it relates the experiences of three engaging toy best friends: Lumphy the buffalo, plush StingRay, and Plastic. In six interconnected chapters, the distinctly drawn characters face concerns and situations kids will respond to: shy Lumphy's fear of the washing machine and having a bath; gentle Plastic's identity crisis; and know-it-all StingRay's embarrassing bathtub comeuppance, which ends happily with reassurances of her friends' love. There's even occasional “sibling rivalry,” as the toys compete for beloved Little Girl's affections. The simple prose is clever and often hilarious, incorporating dialogue and musings that ring kid-perspective true, and Zelinsky's charming black-and-white illustrations, wonderfully detailed and textured, expressively portray character situations and feelings. Deftly blending humor and insight, the story will charm readers as the toys come to recognize and appreciate themselves, one another, and their deep connection.
ShelleRosenfeld.

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