Too Little Boys from Toolittle Toys

Vincent X. Kirsch, Bloomsbury, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59990-428-3
Kirsch's initial premise—how can a toy company not only make toys that children love to play with, but also toys that love to play with children?—is quickly abandoned in favor of a cumbersome story about an older brother learning that his younger sibling is not too little to help. When Rudy Toolittle decides that he's "too big to play with toys" and spends his time reading instruction manuals and taking toys apart instead, his younger brother Ridley is left to test all the toys at the Toolittle Toy Company by himself. Kirsch (Natalie and Naughtily) includes inventive toys in the illustrations and a company catalogue at the end of the book, but due to the active nature of the company's toys, the plot doesn't always make logical sense; as the narrator says, "Ridley didn't want to play all by himself," the illustrations feature a plethora of toys inviting him to play ("Let's go, Ridley!" "Play with me!"). Younger siblings will identify with Ridley, who's repeatedly pushed aside by Rudy, yet the emotional impact of his moment of triumph is weak. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-1-59990-429-0
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