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Children's LiteraturePaisley the toy elephant watches in frustration as her fellow stuffed animals in the "Big 'N Little Toys" Shop find their "Perfect Match." Paisley gets even more concerned when the new stock boy puts her in a darker corner of the toy store. Paisley, though, is one determined toy, and when the opportunity presents itself, she sets out on a quest. Shifting from box to laundry basket, ferocious dog to a friendly man who puts her in the Lost and Found at the Laundromat, Paisley keeps her spirits up as she continues her search for her special friend. Paisley's delightful journey to Pearl—her own Special Someone—is enhanced by Smith's charming, colorful illustrations. I also enjoyed the all-knowing way in which Paisley talked of her search; after she has been saved from the Lost and Found by Pearl and is being carried home, past the puzzled faces of the toy shop owner and his helper, she notes: "As we passed my old digs, I waved to the Two Misters. I knew they could see I was finally where I belonged." Later that evening, crushed under Pearl's sleeping body, Paisley says, "That night I got to sleep in a warm, cozy bed for the very first time." The examples of situational irony are simply an added humorous bonus for parents reading this book to their children. A delightful read. 2004, Alfred A. Knopf, Ages 3 to 8.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.