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Too Many Toys Hardcover – October 1, 2008


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Too Many Toys + David Goes To School + David Gets In Trouble
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: The Blue Sky Press (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439490294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439490290
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—In many ways Spencer's situation epitomizes every child's fantasy-he has a toy collection that rivals a major toy store in depth and breadth. Simply cataloging the different types takes many engaging pages overflowing with brightly colored playthings. The problem is that the sheer number of toys has created multiple hazards. Tired of dodging disasters and sidestepping landslides, Spencer's mom decides that enough is enough and begins negotiating the downsizing of inventory. Savvy Spencer turns on the big sad eyes in order to protect his favorites. Mom's troubles do not stop there; the toy debate is weighted in the boy's favor by the constant deluge of gifts from friends and family. After sorting through the entire collection, he and his mother come up with a box of items to give away—only to find that the toy he refuses to part with is the box. A master at capturing the workings of a young mind, Shannon combines realistic dialogue with his boisterous illustrations to create another surefire hit. This book provides a pertinent and appealing read.—Piper Nyman, Brookmeade Elementary School, Nashville, TN
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Spencer has too many toys. They spill from closets, cascade down staircases, and generally occupy him and frustrate his parents in equal measure. Finally Spencer’s mom has had enough, and after a litigious negotiation, she helps Spencer pack a box of toys to give away. At the last minute, though, Spencer reconsiders the plan in unexpected ways. Shannon’s illustrations are cacophonous explotions; even the title page is so chaotic that the text is crowded into the corner. Shannon’s fans will recognize elements of his previous characters—Alice the Fairy’s expressive aspect; David’s corn teeth—in this current cast, portrayed with ebullient vigor. Also effective are the almost surreal backdrops to some of the disagreements. When Spencer is asked to let go of some of his treasures, for example, he resembles a sad-eyed puppy, standing in a gray wasteland, a barren tree in the background. Shannon’s story carries an attitude large enough to entertain a big group, while the illustrations are detailed enough to engage even the most inattentive individual when viewed up close. Preschool-Grade 3. --Thom Barthelmess

More About the Author

DAVID SHANNON is the illustrator of many successful picture books, including How I Became a Pirate. His numerous awards include a Caldecott Honor for No, David! He lives in Burbank, California.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is my 3 year old son's favorite.
Big Book Fan
Bottom line: Beautiful, detailed illustrations; funny, well written story.
P. R. Van Ness
This is a fun story that many parents (and children) can relate to.
D. Fowler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Juliana M. Mccalpin on December 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found this book on a store shelf while I was doing my Christmas shopping for my kids. I stood there in the aisle, totally overwhelmed and exhausted. I didn't even want to buy them one more single item and take it home. I was actually wishing I could just skip the Christmas shopping all together. We had passed a "Toys For Tots" barrel a few days earlier and my oldest looked into it covetously and said, "What lucky kids." I whipped around and got down on his level fast enough to make his head spin, "Those kids are NOT lucky!" I realized right then that we needed to learn a thing or two at our house. Imagine my emotions when I happened upon this literary treasure. As I turned page after page, my eyes welled up and I knew I had to have a copy. It seriously made me cry. I have stepped on jacks and Legos. I have tripped on race tracks while trying to carry a load of laundry down the hall. So, given that I feel like David Shannon came to my house and peeked in my windows, not to mention, has been reading my mind, here's what happened: This morning (Sunday the 21st) There was a note from Santa and this book. What a surprise! Santa came by several days early to our place! He left this book and three empty boxes (one for each child) and in his note, Santa gave clear instructions that the boxes were to be filled with "fun stuff." He added that that Mama and Daddy would help the kids find a worthy donation location. (oh boy, would we!) I woke up this morning to giggles and grins as the oldest read this hilarious book aloud to the other two. They LOVED it! I had no trouble getting them to fill up those boxes Santa brought by, and Dad hauled it all to the homeless shelter this afternoon. A glorious Christmas book, and a perfect lesson in charity and generosity.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brett Bullough on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Shannon is amazing! I am a Librarian for an elementary school and his books are always among the favorites, and "Too Many Toys" is no different. He has a great way of relating to children. All children relate to this story because we all tend to hang on to things that don't even work just for the sentimentality of it. The art work is delightful (as always), and the combination of the story and the pictures just works so wonderfully. I really cannot think of any of his books that I would not fully recommend!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Eckert on February 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't know about you, but David Shannon described our son and his toys almost to a tee. We have a room just for his toys and still, they manage to appear in all different places -- in the house, car, my purse. Children think the book is funny, but adults (myself, my son's pre-school teachers, librarians) love this funny and sympathetic book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mom2two on December 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a 4.5 year old and a 2.5 year old and every year for St. Nicholas morning they each receive a new book. I usually pick titles about the nativity story or a Christmas book with a religious message, but went a different route this year. I had chosen Yes Virginia for my oldest (very sweet and cute!). I was looking for something for my younger child when I came across this title. Reading some of the reviews I anticipated that it would have some sort of message that it's important to pass along toys for those who don't have as many blessings--not that the book would center on that but I expected maybe a line or page about it--but alas, it's more a funny book about "too many toys." SPOILER ALERT--the very last page is him turning the box with the old toys he finally parted with into a new toy airplane. It's cute, but it didn't serve the purpose that I had hoped for St. Nicholas morning! It could provide a conversation starter for parents who want children to understand that they don't need so many toys, and in my case to talk to them about the importance of donating them to other children. But if you're looking for a heartfelt book with a strong message about not being selfish and sharing with others--this is not it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Donovan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As you might imagine, this book is about a young boy who had too many toys. His family tripped over them, he hoarded even the ones that were broken, and his mom finally decided that some of them had to go!

This book is illustrated in David Shannon's typical bright and whimsical style. I think that kids are attracted to the larger-than-life characterizations of the children, parents, and even inanimate objects.

My four-year-old son Kyle enjoyed it, chuckling in all the right places, and has even asked to hear it again. As for me -- well, it's inspired me to clear out some of those toys, and to even think twice about what I buy -- for my kids and others -- this holiday season.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carole P. Roman on February 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love David Shannon's books. They are heartfelt and hilarious. The illustrations are both fun and a relief from all the pastel "babyish" books. This book was cute, but "No David" remains my favorite. It always leaves me with a smile. I have a David of my own and the universality of Shannon's characters strike a cord. Too Many Toys is how every parent feels when they look at the thousands of broken pieces, toys bubbling out of couch cushions, invading every bit of space so it feels like they are secretly mating and multiplying. It does get overwhelming. Shannon is not preachy, he's a slice of life and realistic. The ending was appropriate- it's a reminder that material things don't make us happy or fill a void- only we can do that for ourselves.
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