Toys in Space

Publisher: Jonathan Cape

Review

Left outside in the garden one summer night, a group of toys - Blue Rabbit, Pink Horse, Small Sheep, Cowboy, Dinosaur, Robot and Wonderdoll - begin to feel worried in the dark. To pass the time until morning, Wonderdoll decides to tell them a story.

In Wonderdoll's story, a mysterious spaceship appears out of the night sky. Inside is a strange space creature, known as the Hoctopize, who looks rather like a glove and is wearing pyjamas. The Hoctopize is very sad because he has lost his own beloved toy, Cuddles. Travelling the galaxies to find him, he has filled his spaceship with a thousand lost toys, collected from night-time gardens all over earth. Worried about the lost toys, Wonderdoll and the others decide to help the Hoctopize to return them to their own unhappy owners - and then throw a party to help take his mind off the missing Cuddles.

Children will love this hugely imaginative and appealing story from award-winning picture book creator Mini Grey. The beautifully-laid out pages are packed with details to explore, and Grey's illustrations are full of humour and warmth. Wonderdoll and all the other toys are brilliantly characterised, and any young reader who has ever misplaced a much-loved toy will emphathise with the plight of the unhappy but endearing Hoctopize - and will especially enjoy the story's pleasingly reassuring happy ending.

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