Thursday, October 23, 2008

Toy Dance Party

Jenkins, Emily. 2008. Toy Dance Party: Being The Further Adventures of a Bossyboots Stingray, a Courageous Buffalo, & A Hopeful Round Someone Called Plastic.

Toy Dance Party is the sequel to Toys Go Out. (Full name is Toys Go Out: The Adventures of A Knowledgeable Stingray, A Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic.) Both books are illustrated by the much-beloved Paul O. Zelinsky. (I'll admit both of these covers I just absolutely adore. Both say "read me, read me.") As in the first book, this is a collection of loosely-collected stories featuring a young girl's favorite toys. The books are the adventures these toys have when the Girl (and the other family members) are out of sight.

I loved the first book. I mean I L-O-V-E loved it. It was one of my favorite books of the year. This second book while nice doesn't quite match up to my expectations. I think this is a personal reaction though. It's not that I didn't find the characters as charming or as playful or as fun the second time's just that the adventures themselves didn't quite live up to the glory of the first one. Most of the stories deal in one way or other with insecurities and jealousies and fears. For example, none of her favorite toys can imagine why the little girl would become so interested in Barbies all of a sudden.

Here is a scene where the Girl has a sleepover with some of her friends and Barbies are brought along...

Honey and Shay dress the Barbies,
and undress the Barbies,
and brush their hair,
and put their hair in ponytails,
and dress the Barbies,
and undress the Barbies,
and wonder why one of them have teeth marks
on its leg,
and why the other one has teeth marks on its hand,
and then forget about that
and dress the Barbies,
and undress the Barbies,
and brush their hair,
and dress the Barbies again.
For a very long time.

The toys just don't get the fascination. Some new characters are introduced...and Frank and Yuk-Yuk are there as well. So it's enjoyable. And I think it would make a nice read aloud.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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