cover image Too Many Toys

Too Many Toys

David Shannon, . . Scholastic/Blue Sky, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-439-49029-0

Even the most unreasonable child will concede that Spencer, Shannon's young hero, has too much of a good thing. But what's a kid to do? The toys just keep coming: from well-wishers, from birthday party hosts, from fast food joints, even from school, where they're rewards “for having lots of Peace Person Points.” When his exasperated mother decides to cull the herd, Spencer's not-so-delicate negotiations give Shannon (No, David! ) plenty of opportunity to display his flair for kid-friendly expressionism and domestic satire (one of the most annoying toys turns out to belong to dad). But what will ultimately keep kids glued to the page is the sheer breadth and depth of the overflowing inventory. Toys 'R' Spencer is a sight to behold, encompassing the tried-and-true (teddy bears, dump trucks), the spoof (a miniature Titanic ) and the flat-out weird (a poultry monstrosity with Alfred E. Newman ears and a propeller head). Warning: do not administer to kids close to Christmas. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)