Sunday, December 17, 2017

Toys go out by Emily Jenkins illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Explore the secret world of toys. How do they feel about their lives? How do they view our world? 
What do they get up to when you are not home?

Toys go Out
appears on so many read-a-loud lists.  When I was visiting the library of a friend she mentioned that this is just the first book in a series of three AND there is also a picture book. Now I have read the whole 'package' and I am just smiling and smiling.

Let's take a look at the sub titles for each of these treasures.

Toys go out - being the adventures of a knowledgeable stingray, a toughy little buffalo, and someone called Plastic.

Toy Dance Party - being the further adventures of a bossyboots stingray, a courageous buffalo, and a hopeful round someone called Plastic.

Toys come Home - being the early experiences of an intelligent stingray, a brave buffalo, and a brand-new someone called Plastic.

Toys meet Snow - being the wintertime adventures of a curious stuffed buffalo, a sensitive plush stingray, and a book-loving rubber ball.

I can see a lesson in adjectives right here ... curious, sensitive, book-loving.

In toys Meet Snow the family have gone on holidays and so now is the perfect time for our toy friends to explore the outside world and in particular, enjoy the snow.  Lumphy (the buffalo) has questions, StingRay has poetic (but not always entirely factual) answers and Plastic - the book reader - counters with the factual answer.  I love the imaginative and creative answers of StingRay :

Why does it decide to snow?  "Because the clouds are sad and happy at the same time."
What do you think snow is, exactly?  "It's a blanket of peace over the world."
What is a sunset?  "It's strawberry syrup pouring over the world to make it sweet before nightfall."

I also love the power of a perfectly placed word.  As the trio venture out into the snow Lumphy finds a hat to keep his cold head warm. StingRay needs a plastic baggie because she is dry-clean only but please "poke me some air holes."  But what about Plastic.  

"I don't need anything!' shouts Plastic.  She just goes natural."

Toys go Out is the first book in this series but my favourite is the second Toy Dance Party.  The third book Toys come Home is actually the prequel but I would recommend reading them in order of publication.

Here area few story quotes which made me smile :

Toys go out :
"When you are eight you can drive a limousine ... you have lots of money to buy all the chocolate you want."

Toy Dance Party :
"Honey knows her toys play when she's not around. After all, they are never exactly where she left them when she returns from school ... "

The extra characters are also bound to become your friends too - TukTuk the towel, Frank the washing machine, Sheep - the sheep and the Dryer who is broken but does find his voice.

Read this review for details of the characters and themes.  Here are a set of teaching notes.  Listen here to an audio chapter sample from Toys go Out.  This series would be an absolutely perfect class read-aloud for Kindergarten or Year One.  Each chapter book contains six short stories.  I highly recommend you look for these poignant, insightful and sensitive stories today - your young audience with thank you for sharing.


kinderbooks said...


Momo said...

Happy you liked my thoughts. I am a huge fan of this series now!