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Toy Dance Party (Toys Go Out) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 9, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1–3—Jenkins continues the adventures of Lumphy, Stingray, and Plastic, which began in Toys Go Out (Random, 2006). This charming fantasy about friendship explores their feelings and fears. The Girl who owns them is growing up and they are worried that she is leaving them behind. Telling the story from the point of view of the toys helps children to view these concerns in a nonthreatening light. In six new escapades, the toys learn to stick together and help solve their predicaments. Each new adventure builds anticipation and apprehension as the toys struggle for a satisfactory conclusion. Humor-laced language creates visual images as well as unusual sounds (e.g., "rumpa, lumpa"). Zelinsky's cleverly detailed black-and-white illustrations are amusing and add to the overall pleasure in the book. Beginning chapter-book readers will enjoy the pace of each episode. Toy Dance Party also makes a great read-aloud.—Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic, the toys whose secret lives were introduced in Toys Go Out (2006), are troubled. Their girl, Honey, has developed more grown-up interests; she is no longer very observant and spends less special time with them. In six interconnected adventures, the toys survive being left alone; make friends with Spark, a garbage-eating shark; rescue Bonkers the mouse from the vacuum cleaner; go on a sleepover; and join Washer and Dryer in the basement for lively parties. Finally, with purposeful naughtiness, they solve the problem of Honey’s new interest in the silent Barbies. These toys have distinct, well-developed characters and behave as children do, sometimes squabbling with each other but also taking pride in their accomplishments and ability to cooperate. StingRay even develops empathy. Dialogue and song help to move the narrative along. Each chapter will include a black-and-white illustration (unavailable in galley). Whether or not they are familiar with the toys’ first round of adventures, chapter-book readers will welcome these gently humorous tales, just right for hearing aloud or reading alone. Grades 1-3. --Kathleen Isaacs
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Top Customer Reviews
In this book continues to follow the misadventures, and emotions of the toys of "the little girl", mainly Plastic, Buffalo, and Stingray. In addition there is also a new friend, a shark that joins in. The story is told from the toys perspective, with occasional omniscience into what others are feeling.
The adventures are similar to the first book, but there are two things that have changed. One is that since the girl is growing older and now into barbies (who are non-people in this book), the toys are feeling sad neglected, and apparently more than a little hostile about things. The second thing is that the girl (now named "Honey") apparently knows that the toys play without her, and they don't hesitate to leave signs of their adventures behind.
I think both of these changes make it a sadder, less fun book for kids. They know they don't have toys like these since they don't see the signs. Further Honey isn't very nice to the toys, which is fine since she is growing up. However children are not very aware of their own cruelty to toys (which is fine), as they move on, so they don't understand. It also makes Honey someone you don't want to identify with. So again limits the degree to which the kids get enmeshed in the book. Either of these would be fine if the first book hadn't been so completely wonderful, and gotten our standards so high.
I didn't know TOY DANCE PARTY, which features the same cast of characters, existed until recently. Oh, I am SO glad that I found it. This story just gives us more to love. More of those characters who so clearly reflect all of our own shortcomings -- bossiness, fear, loneliness and so much more -- while showing us what it means to love each other. We also get to meet a new character, the shark, who fits in perfectly with the gang and with the spirit of the book.
Perhaps because we already knew and love the characters, or perhaps because the story has matured, I love TOY DANCE PARTY even more than TOYS GO OUT. You should read that one first, but definitely don't miss TOY DANCE PARTY.
Ms. Jenkins says in this book that she wrote it because many wrote and asked for her. When I read that part to my 5-year-old son, he said, "Can we write her now, and ask her to write a 3rd, 4th, and 5th book?" I agree wholeheartedly -- please, more from the toys!!