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Toys Come Home

by Emily  Jenkins
Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Published by Schwartz & Wade, 2011
132 pages
ISBN: 978-0-375-86200-7

Ages 4-8

Podcast featuring this book

A prequel to Toys Go Out (Schwartz & Wade, 2006) and Toy Dance Party (Schwartz & Wade, 2008), Toys Come Home will engage readers new to the story, as well as those for whom StingRay, Lumphy, and Plastic are familiar friends. Plush toy StingRay arrives at the Girl’s house as a birthday gift. Her earliest days are like those of any newcomer: she must figure out where she fits in and gain understanding of the rules that govern behavior. Rebuffed by attempts to befriend authoritative walrus Bobby Dot, ancient and narcoleptic Sheep, and the tight-knit community of toy mice, unhappy StingRay resolves to run away. She only makes it as far as the basement and when she’s greeted upon her return by an affectionate Girl, StingRay realizes she’s found what was missing: “Somebody to love. Somebody who will love her back.” As in the previous books, each chapter covers an episode in the toy life at the Girl’s house. StingRay settles into her new home, jockeying with Bobby Dot for favorite toy status, and enduring the indignity of a particularly rambunctious play date. A case of the stomach flu triggers upheaval among the toy population when a vomit-covered Bobby Dot doesn’t survive a trip through the dryer. Lumphy the Buffalo makes his entrance, followed soon after by Plastic, and the stage is set for a memorable friendship among three little toys with big personalities. Short chapter lengths and occasional full-page illustrations contribute to the appeal of a book that begs to be read aloud. (MVL) ©2011 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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