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Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins

Toys Go OutToday contributing writer, Katy Killilea shares one of her favorite children’s books with us.

My kids and I had so much fun reading this out loud, snuggled up together. This book is so dear — but never saccharine — and funny. I think it’s really a good choice for all ages. It held my kids’ rapt attention, and they are 4 and 6. For early independent readers, it has a few illustrations and short chapters.

In this story, we get to observe the lives of a little girl’s toys when she’s not at home. Each toy has a recognizable personality — the insecure, ignorant, arrogant Stingray, the boorish, down-to-earth Lumphy (a buffalo), the naive, idealistic Plastic (a ball). Their worries are the same things we humans worry about, no matter what our age: “Am I missing out on what’s really important?” “Am I loved?”

One favorite scene is the buffalo’s adventure in the washing machine. (The washing machine is also given a distinctive personality.) At our house, we always feel anxious when stuffed animals have to get washed — and worse, we have one of those washing machines with a window on the front so we can watch the poor thing get tossed about. But this story shows us that for Lumphy, who may be scared, a trip to the washing machine is an adventure — albeit one that makes him a bit queasy.

Buy the book: Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins

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