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The Marvelous Toy Hardcover – August 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—In this picture-book version of a popular song, Paxton's lyrics are accompanied by vibrant, modern illustrations to tell the story of a boy who receives a gift from his father. No one knows quite what it is, but that does not diminish its importance. As the song goes, "It went zip! when it moved/And bop! when it stopped/And whirr! when it stood still./I never knew just what it was,/And I guess I never will." The boy grows up and hands the toy down to his son, and it is admired by the pets and other toys as well. The mysterious toy never comes into full view, although a few of its bright lights can always be seen. Illustrations depict a magical haze of greens and blues, while capturing the excitement of the action with splashes of red and yellow. It is clear that the boy owns plenty of toys, but not one can compare to this amazing gadget. The accompanying CD is an enjoyable bonus, providing Paxton's version of the song and an instrumental take. Two additional songs from Paxton are also included. While the story is nostalgic, the energized artwork filled with stardust increases the kid appeal.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO END

About the Author

Tom Paxton is one of the world’s best-known and loved singer/songwriters. In 2009, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy (The Grammy® Awards). His newest CD, Comedians & Angels, was also nominated for a Grammy®. Paxton’s influence on folk music has been inestimable: his songs have been recorded by Pete Seeger; Peter, Paul, and Mary; Joan Baez; Arlo Guthrie; and Johnny Cash. His best-known tunes include "The Last Thing on My Mind," "Ramblin' Boy," "Bottle of Wine," and "Goin' to the Zoo." He has been richly honored: he received the ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award as well as four Grammy nominations, and the Martin Guitar Company even named a guitar after him. He is a true musical treasure.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Imagine/Peter Yarrow (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982293925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982293928
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 0.6 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"The Marvelous Toy" is poetry, art and music, all three, aimed at the hearts of the young and the once young. Most adults over the age of 21 will be familiar with the popular folk song about a boy whose father brought him the marvelous toy that went "zip when it moved, bop! when it stopped, and whirr! when it stood still." Tom Paxton's beloved song has now been cunningly illustrated and brought to life again as a wonderful children's book and CD, containing three other songs as well ("Let the Wild Wind Blow, All the Children," and an instrumental arrangement of "The Marvelous Toy" in addition to the vocal rendition of the same song, all performed by Tom Paxton). "The Marvelous Toy," book, art, and CD, should appeal to children preschool age and older, and will always have a special place in the hearts of the young at heart, no matter what their age.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Delillo on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a grandfather and I remember this great song from Tom Paxton. It was so much fun to sing, and now it is great to read, and to listen to the CD and sing along with my granddaughters. The art is bright, colorful and fits really well with the book so that the kids, who are 2 & 3, really get into looking at it when we read it to them. I would give this to any kid who likes to read, or have a book read to them. That magical toy you never quite see is so much fun for the kids.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Baxter on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a youth librarian, I am constntly on the lookout for great storytime books. This one, a remake of an older version that I have used for years, is a marvelous upgrade. The vibrant pictures, along with the excellent song lyrics, make this the idea storytime offering. I have used it twice since purchasing and it has been a great hit each time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Devon Black on July 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
this book was simply magical for me and my children. the illustrations along with the wonderful lyrics had them asking me to read it over a countless number of times. the pure joy it brought them, and myself, is priceless. a big thanks to tom paxon!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this book and song with my second graders to illustrate the importance of adding details to their writing. I first presented my own version of the text (devoid of sound and color words, interesting phrases, etc.), which left the students unimpressed. When I shared the text from the book/song, they were so amazed--and relieved! They were so eager to see the illustrator's depiction of the marvelous toy, but were surprised when the illustrator actually did not fully reveal the Marvelous Toy. It was great!

I was pleasantly surprised by the extra songs that were included on the CD. All in all, a marvelous book!
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By Grandpa B on February 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my 2 1/2 year old grandson. I had played the song for his dad when he was young. Now six months later, the video of his singing along with the CD and pointing to the words as he sings and clapping his hands with great joy is absolutely priceless. My son says that my grandson and his 18 month old sister insist on singing/reading it several times before they go to bed. Sounds to me like I hit a home run with this book.
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By Nightingale on May 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was so great to find this song again and to be able to find it goes along with a beautiful book I hope to be able to share with a future grandchild. I loved this song when I first heard Tom Paxton sing it in the 70s and I am thrilled to have stumbled onto it again!
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By Mark Murphy on March 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Touching story and beautiful illustrations. I use this in my music classroom and the kids love hearing the song along with the book.
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