Friday, December 3, 2010

Too Little Boys from Toolittle Toys

I couldn't put my finger on why this book looked so darn familiar. In fact, I would have sworn we had read this a couple years ago because I distinctly remembered the illustration style and that the boys were from a family that owned a large store. Then I realized Vincent X. Kirsch previously wrote Natalie and Naughtily, which is about a pair of sisters whose family lives atop Nopps, the world's greatest department store. Their store must be nearby, as I spotted the sisters window shopping on the second page.

Rudy and Ridley Toolittle are the secret behind the Toolittle Toy Company. This fantastic family company is responsible for making the most amazing toys in the world. It produces what no other group in the toy business has managed: make toys that love to play with children! They are responsible for such gems as the Attachable Floating Fishtail, the Bubble Gum Gun and the Popcorn Popper Rocket. No matter the function, each and every toy clamors to be played with by children. 

Rudy and Ridley Toolittle are employed at the family toy laboratories every Saturday, working hard to make sure each toy is playing exactly as it should. One Saturday, Rudy decides he is too big to be playing with toys. Instead, he busies himself with organizing, measuring and sorting.  He reads instruction manuals and takes the toys apart to become familiar with their inner workings.  Meanwhile, the toys and young Ridley wait patiently, silently thinking "Play with ME!" 

When it comes time to put the toys back together, Rudy is stumped.  He sits amid a large pile of toy parts,  refusing the help of his eager younger brother. He is saved by the Toolittle Zigzagging Giggle-Wiggler, a strange yellow fellow who seems to know exactly how the parts work. Once the toys have been reconstructed, Rudy finds Ridley and the boys return to their regular duties - making sure the toys are playing perfectly!  

We particularly loved the back cover, where eighteen toys are pictured with a short description.  Each toy is pictured somewhere in the book, the readers only have to find them. I laughed at some of the clever toy inventions, like the "thinking cap" that changes color as your thoughts change.   

Click here for a very interesting (and funny) Q & A with the author. Kirsch has a new book coming out in January, 2011, titled Forsythia and Me.

Review copy provided by Bloomsbury.

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