A group of toys are left outside one night. In order to pass the time (and to help them not be so scared of the dark) The WonderDoll starts telling them a story. She tells how they were beamed onto an alien spaceship where a space creature is collecting toys that have been left outside in hopes of finding his “Cuddles” (the alien’s toy) that is missing. But the toys are concerned that all the toys the alien has collected will never find their homes. Instead of keeping all the snatched toys, this group talks the creature into returning all the missing toys to their homes. After which the toys and the space creature end of having loads of fun playing together. Once the fun is over, back down to Earth all the toys go…where miraculously they find Cuddles. And thus ends the story…or was it a story? There are hints to The WonderDoll’s story being real.
This is another clever story by Mini Grey. I like how there are so many little illustrations that will make readers understand that even though WonderDoll is telling a “story” everything really did happen. And that in and of itself could create a good discussion as to what is real and what isn’t. (Though of course in the imaginative world of toys anything is possible.) And then there is the wonderful mix of personalities of the various toys (and the alien). They are just funny and play off of each other so well. This is one of those soon to be classic stories where kids will have to read it over and over again just to sort through all the neat details in the illustrations and the balance of it it really was a “story” or not. Needless to say, I liked it.
What to do after reading this book:
Play with your toys.
Talk about what toys possibly do when nobody is looking.
Make up a story about what you would like your toys to do when you aren’t looking.
Go star gazing or to a planetarium.
Make up your own story and act it out. Make up your own game and play it.