TOYS GO OUT

BEING THE ADVENTURES OF A KNOWLEDGEABLE STINGRAY, A TOUGHY LITTLE BUFFALO, AND SOMEONE CALLED PLASTIC

From the Toys Go Out series

A little girl has three toys who are best friends: Stingray, a stuffed stingray who claims to know it all, Lumphy; a daring and curious stuffed buffalo; and Plastic, a bouncing, red toy who has yet to find out her true identity. The three toys love the little girl, and life in her bedroom is fine and—usually— predictable, but when the toys go out into the wide world outside, almost anything can happen. Six stories, accompanied by Zelinsky’s lively black-and-white illustrations, tell of their escapades and discoveries, including an eventful trip to the beach, the development of an intimate knowledge of the washing machine, the pitfalls of sleeping atop the bed and an understanding of the importance of birthdays. A blend of Toy Story and the stories of Johnny Gruelle and A.A. Milne, this is a solid collection that will serve as a good read-aloud, as well as a nice choice for young readers, who will enjoy exploring the warm, secret world of toys. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83604-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

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The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE

A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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HOW NOT TO START THIRD GRADE

Will and his little brother Steve face third grade and kindergarten in this over-the-top chapter book in the venerable Step-Into-Reading series for new readers. Will knows that going to the same school as his brother is going to be a challenge, but he does not know how much of a challenge it will be. From the moment Will has to hold Steve’s hand and take him to kindergarten, everything that can go wrong does. Whether Steve is slamming all the lockers, making faces through the third-grade window or starting a food fight in the cafeteria, he’s embarrassing his older brother. Expressive and stylized color illustrations add to the exaggerated plot lines. A comfortable, predictable ending on the bench outside of the principal’s office will make new readers everywhere smile with recognition. No one will mistake this for a lesson book about back to school, but new readers will find many reasons to laugh out loud with Will and Steve. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 10, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-375-83904-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2007

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