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of the Center for Children's Books

The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.

Toy Stories, Too: A Dozen Books about Special Toys
--selected by Jeannette Hulick, Reviewer and Editorial Assistant

Turn on the T.V. or open the newspaper in December and you will be besieged with toy advertisements. Despite all the hyperactive hype for whatever is the latest craze (think Cabbage Patch Kids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Tickle-Me-Elmo), you can't go wrong with a good old-fashioned stuffed bear, or a rag doll, or a brand new Spaldeen rubber ball. Kids develop lifelong attachments to toys like these, and books that touch on the kid-toy relationship touch a chord with children and adults alike. Indeed, special toys are a time-honored tradition in children's literature--who among us hasn't enjoyed an "expotition" with Pooh and Christopher Robin, for example, or cried for the Velveteen Rabbit when he is separated from his boy? While growing up, my stuffed toys and dolls were my most cherished possessions and I was passionately attached to books that reflected my love for my toys. David and Dog (published in England as Dogger), Arthur's Honey Bear, and Corduroy were all bedtime staples in my family, while The Christmas Dolls was a story I contentedly read and reread many times on my own. Missing stuffed animals who are found and "misfit" toys finding proper homes are deeply satisfying themes for many children, and several of the titles below offer just that kind of satisfaction. Readers who want a toy story that's less "cuddly" may find Lord of the Nutcracker Men, From Head to Toe, Last Licks, or The Mennyms more to their liking. Whatever your reading taste, grab your teddy bear and one of these titles and you'll have the perfect combination for a cold December night!
--Jeannette Hulick, Reviewer and Editorial Assistant

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This page was last updated on December 1, 2001.