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Author: Cynthia Rylant

Illustrator: Tim Bowers

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Publisher: Harcourt,

Material: hard cover

Summary: At night, when the store is closed and all the people are gone, Little Whistle shares adventures with the toys in Toytown. We all believed our toys came alive and our pets could talk, and this is an engaging story focused on that fantasy.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 7

Age of Child: Started reading with child 22 months old.

Young Reader Reaction: Just as we closed the book the first time, we heard "read it again." It was an instant hit.

Adult Reader Reaction: It's a cross between Toy Story, with a subtle reference to the Island of Misfit Toys (Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer), without any of the sad moments.

Pros: This story is great, even without the nice illustrations. It plays on our flights of fancy about toys coming to life, and is a fun read.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it. The story is well-written and it's quite unique among books for this age group.


Educational Themes: Although very subtly, the story points out friendship is bigger than doing things together.There's also the point that it's okay they left, because they were adopted by a child who loved them.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, animal characters, fantasy, adventure, adoption

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2003

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