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Toys Go Out Library Binding – Deckle Edge, September 12, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Toys Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3–In this utterly delightful peek into the secret lives of toys, three beloved playthings participate in a series of small adventures. StingRay is a plush stuffed animal who enjoys acting the know-it-all. Lumphy is a tough little buffalo who doesnt mind the occasional cuddle. And Plastic (whose physical appearance is kept mysterious for quite some time) is a sensible bouncy ball. They are the best friends of a little girl and they deal with the world around them in their own particular manner. From meditating on the scary unknown (washing machines) to understanding what makes an individual special, Jenkins gives readers an early chapter book with plenty of delightful insights, well-thought-out details, and loving affection for her characters. Here is a book bound to be a favorite with any child who has ever adored an inanimate object. Zelinskys beautifully detailed black-and-white illustrations are a lovely addition to this very special book.–Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

For beginning chapter-book readers, this secret-lives-of-toys story will entertain, inspire, and comfort as it relates the experiences of three engaging toy best friends: Lumphy the buffalo, plush StingRay, and Plastic. In six interconnected chapters, the distinctly drawn characters face concerns and situations kids will respond to: shy Lumphy's fear of the washing machine and having a bath; gentle Plastic's identity crisis; and know-it-all StingRay's embarrassing bathtub comeuppance, which ends happily with reassurances of her friends' love. There's even occasional "sibling rivalry," as the toys compete for beloved Little Girl's affections. The simple prose is clever and often hilarious, incorporating dialogue and musings that ring kid-perspective true, and Zelinsky's charming black-and-white illustrations, wonderfully detailed and textured, expressively portray character situations and feelings. Deftly blending humor and insight, the story will charm readers as the toys come to recognize and appreciate themselves, one another, and their deep connection. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Series: Toys Go Out
  • Library Binding: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375936041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375936043
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,691,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The basic premise of this book, the lives of a girl's toys, is sweet and the stories are generally age-appropriate. But this book, which is listed as being geared for age FOUR to eight, talks about the toys being afraid of "AXE MURDERERS in the basement", not once, but THREE TIMES in Chapter 3.

I had to edit as I read aloud to my four year old - he does NOT need that explained to him at his age. I am very disappointed because the stories are *nearly* gentle. The "axe murderer" component is just not needed - wouldn't it have been sufficient to have the toys be afraid of the basement's spiders and unwashed socks? Now I'm going to need to pre-read the rest of the book to see if it's appropriate. Not what I expected from this type of book at all.
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Format: Hardcover
"Toys Go Out," by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky, is one of those increasingly rare books--Middle Grade fiction aimed at the younger reader. Perfect for the six-to ten-year-old audience (and even younger, if read aloud), "Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic" tells what happens amongst the toys when no one is watching.

As the subtitle indicates, the movers and shakers in Little Girl's world are a stingray, a buffalo, and "someone called plastic." The first episode, "In the Backpack, Where it is Very Dark," finds the three friends (and rivals for Little Girl's affections) bouncing along in a backpack. They're afraid: Will they be thrown away? Are they going on a scary trip? Why does it smell so badly in the backpack? Fortunately they're the starring attraction at Show-and-Tell, their status as Little Girl's favorites confirmed.

Over the course of "Toys Go Out," Stingray, Buffalo, and Plastic discover who they are and why each of them has a specific role in Little Girl's life. Stingray sleeps with Little Girl, Buffalo is a loved toy, and Plastic....Well, I'll let you discover who plastic is yourself.

Plastic, Buffalo, and Stingray are marvelous characters, but there's a fabulous supporting cast in "Toys Go Out" as well. Sheep is perhaps my favorite. When Buffalo hides because he's covered in peanut butter and does not want to go into the washing machine, he hides in a soccer shoe in the closet. Sheep wanders in and the following episode transpires:

"Sheep doesn't understand. She is distracted by the tasty-looking lace of the soccer shoe. It's not grass, and it's not clover, but it looks pretty chewable to the sheep.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Read that this was a great book to start reading aloud to a pre-reader. The first story was so over the top with worrying and anxiety! As another reviewer said, there is a lot of dialogue and not a lot of action. The first story's dialogue consisted mostly of the three toys imagining increasingly over the top scenarios about how they were going to meet their demise. Not good bed time reading. There wasn't comforting place to take a break in the middle of the chapter. Not good bed time reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Author Emily Jenkins has a uniquely absurd sense of humor, one that is not always appreciated by all parents (witness the mixed, puzzled response to her delightful earlier picturebooks, "Daffodil" and "Five Creatures"...) Her humor blossoms and finds a comfortable home in the longer, more irony-friendly medium of the short novel, where complexity is more readily appreciated...

Anyway, this is a cute book that sort of picks up where the "Toy Story" films left off, exploring the emotional life of toys, or rather, of all the stuff that happens after the lights turn out. Stingray, Lumphy and Plastic are the three main toys in a certain little girl's life, and they each are anxious about their roles and status. Yet each toy also has its own moral center -- they worry and try to fit in, but ultimately are true to themselves and find contentment as a result. Lumphy, for example, tries to hide from the Little Girl after a peanutbutter-related mishap means a trip to the washing machine. He's never been in the washing machine before, and is terrified by the prospect. But when it turns out that the washer is a great conversationalist (even if the drier is not), Lumphy later connives to spill jam and jelly on himself whenever he feels in the mood for company. The book is filled with odd adventures like that -- it has an off-center, subtle, oddball sense of humor that the right type of clever, thoughtful child will really enjoy. Chances are their parents will like it too! Definitely worth checking out.
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Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book for readers of all ages! It brought back good memories from my childhood, and also some insecurities.

Jenkins brings the three main toy characters to life -- a sting ray, a bounding buffalo and plastic, which is kind of a mystery guest, but a toy nevertheless.

Illustrator Paul Zelinsky adds further life and depth to each of the characters. There is lots of wonder and learning as the toys discover their identities.

The book moves along at a quick pace, but every now and then I'd close my eyes and remember something similar from my youth.

For example, one of the supporting cast is a washing machine, living a lonely life in the basement, with only the dryer to talk to. I remember when I was a little boy and afraid to go down in the basement and check out the wringer washer. I worred about getting caught by those wringers.

There are also a lot of happy moments with the toys and the little girl who loves them. So pick up the book and read it with your little ones. And please, be careful in the basement, especially around the washing machine.
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