The buffalo, stingray, and rubber ball from the chapter book trilogy that began with Toys Go Out make their first appearance in a picture book, and they couldn’t be more at home. As the toys watch snow fall from the house, ever-curious toy buffalo Lumphy asks why it snows. “Because the clouds are sad and happy at the same time,” says StingRay (“She is more poetic than factual,” Jenkins writes), while pragmatic Plastic, the red ball, explains that it is simply frozen rain: “I read about it in a book.” The toys’ personalities—inquisitive, romantic, matter-of-fact—seed the story with quiet humor as the toys venture outdoors (StingRay, who is “dry-clean only,” slides into a plastic baggie first). Zelinsky’s digitally created illustrations have a gauzy, painterly richness, and he divides several spreads into panels to show how the toys work together to open the front door (it takes “no small amount of effort...”) or build a snowman. Just as the snowfall casts a spell over all three friends, this wonderfully understated story enchants from the first page. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/2015 Release date: 09/22/2015 Genre: Children's
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