Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Book 224: Toys Galore

Toys Galore, written by Peter Stein, illustrated by Bob Staake, Candlewick Press, 2013.

One of my pet peeves in children's literature is books written in clunky, forced rhyme.  Usually about halfway through reading those books out loud, I will stop and just tell the story in prose.  I read Toys Galore out loud, all the way through, and using the original text.

Off the top of my head, I can think of three authors worth studying for learning how to write in rhyme for children's books:  Karma Wilson, Jane Yolen and Peter Stein.  Karma Wilson and Jane Yolen excel at regular metered rhyme; Peter Stein is also very good at it, too, but he is also very good at breaking up the meter, which is useful for longer stories in rhyme.  Toys Galore is way fun to read out loud.

Toys Galore is also way fun to look at.  My four-year-old son studied the artwork with all the intensity I used to put into the toy section of the Sears catalogue at Christmas time.  He's going to be really disappointed when we go into Toys R Us or Target and he can't find any toys just like the ones in Bob Staake's illustrations.  Heck, I'm probably going to be really disappointed, too.

Here is my son studying the kind of creepy author and illustrator pictures on the jacket flap.

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