Friday, 2 November 2012

Christmas at the Toy Museum: a Fairytale

Christmas at the Toy MuseumChristmas at the Toy Museum by David Lucas (Walker Books)
PB RRP $ 16.95
ISBN 978-1-4063-38520-2
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

After the visitors have left the Museum, the toys go to the Christmas tree and find that there are no gifts there for any of them. Bunting isn’t going to allow them to become discouraged and he suggests that they wrap each other up and give themselves to one another.

A double page spread shows the toys wrapping up each other in turn, using coloured paper or boxes, and tying each gift with ribbons. Bunting remains with no one to wrap. Always ready with a solution, he jumps into a box.  All the toys try not to fidget. But this doesn’t last long as they all soon believe it is morning.

Another delightful double page spread shows the toys as they unwrap the present of each other in turn, until again, Bunting had no one to unwrap.

But the angel on the Christmas tree is real. She has a solution to Bunting’s dilemma. She presents him with a golden box tied with a golden ribbon, containing a wish in the form of a glowing star. What did Bunting wish for?

This magical book with a novel way of presenting the theme of true Christmas giving features characters from the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in the UK. The objects in the collection span from the 18th to the 21st centuries. The Museum explores all aspects of childhood, not only toys, but books, photographs and clothing.

The front end pages feature all the characters in the book along with their name labels.  The back end pages have all the toys with a curved Merry Christmas sign across the top. The front and back covers, and every page in the book are all fully illustrated. A joyous mixture of images of the toys and the golden star stand against the green background on the front cover. The shiny red tinsel decorating the title adds to the festive look. Ideal for age 5+.

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