The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys

The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys

5.0 1
by Julian Fellowes
     
 

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When Doc the bear arrives at the dump from his former home in a children's hospital, he's not sure what kind of life awaits him. But the friends he finds there are determined to make his new home a welcoming one. In the gentle, classic style of The Velveteen Rabbit, the toys discover what it's like to live on their own.

Julian Fellowes's witty text

Overview


When Doc the bear arrives at the dump from his former home in a children's hospital, he's not sure what kind of life awaits him. But the friends he finds there are determined to make his new home a welcoming one. In the gentle, classic style of The Velveteen Rabbit, the toys discover what it's like to live on their own.

Julian Fellowes's witty text and S. D. Schindler's lovely, intricate art combine to make a beautiful gift book, sure to strike a chord with any child--or adult--who has ever loved a stuffed toy.

Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Ward
Fellowes wrote the script for that wonderful, autumnal, English-country-house whodunit "Gosford Park," so it's no surprise that one of the two things distinguishing this gentle tale is its mellifluous language; the other is Schindler's illustrations.
—The Washington Post
Krystyna Poray Goddu
Fellowes's formal style is delightfully complemented by S. D. Schindler's precise artwork; both the full-page color illustrations and the small line drawings are splendidly realistic. Schindler's stuffed animals are wonderfully tactile, with different textures and visible seams…The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys exudes a classic English ambience; it might easily be found in the Banks's nursery in Mary Poppins…Fellowes offers a story into which young readers can settle comfortably, filled with sympathetic characters and adventures.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Fellowes, a British actor, director, producer and Oscar-winning screenplay writer (for Gosford Park), presents a leisurely paced story, noteworthy for its polished delivery of a familiar theme-the afterlife of the discarded or lost toy. For years Doc, a teddy bear accessorized with a stethoscope, has comforted children in a hospital dayroom. His generosity of spirit makes him chief among "what the nurses referred to as the 'cuddly toys,' although there was an element of impertinence in this which most of the occupants of the [toy] basket found rather irritating." But after the hospital hastily spruces up the dayroom in preparation for a much-publicized royal visit, Doc winds up at a dump, grateful to have escaped a worse fate. The rest of the plot revolves around Doc's adventures with his new friends, also toys separated from children and coping with their diminished status in various recognizably human ways. All rally when a threadbare stuffed rabbit arrives, inadvertently tossed into the trash instead of put into the van when his owner's family moves to a new house, and together the toys come up with a risky scheme to reunite rabbit and boy. Schindler's (Don't Fidget a Feather) full-page ink-and-watercolor illustrations and his line art match the old-fashioned storytelling mood: he renders the toys and the settings with fine detail, using a realistic style to bridge the fantastic elements in the narrative. The abundance and richness of the pictures enhance this title's attractiveness as a read-aloud, as does the elevated vocabulary-the book offers a rare combination of the soothing and stimulating. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4
Part one introduces Doc, a teddy bear who has spent a satisfying career comforting children at a hospital. When the dayroom is renovated, the much-worn bear is thrown away. Fortunately, workers save him from the jaws of the garbage truck, hanging him on the front grille as an ornament. When the truck arrives at the rubbish dump, Doc meets several other emotionally wounded toys making a new life together. In part two, Doc and his companions encounter a stuffed rabbit that has been mistakenly thrown out during a move and conspire to deliver him back to his boy. Endearing pen-and-ink spot illustrations and occasional full-color, full-page paintings accompany the somewhat lengthy text. The story has a gentle humor that evokes a timeless feel, but lacks the depth of another recent Velveteen Rabbit read-alike, Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Candlewick, 2006). While Fellowes's book is appropriate in subject matter for younger children, some of the vocabulary is a bit challenging (e.g., " . . . he received the first intimations of mortality"), and American readers may be confused by British references. In addition, the adventures end too abruptly. Despite these criticisms, Doc's story will appeal to those with a fondness for old-fashioned storybooks.
—Jayne DamronCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
In a pair of cozy read-aloud tales, Doc, a worn plush bear discarded when his hospital's Children's Ward is spruced up, meets a quartet of like survivors in a dump, lends expert aid to reset a blackbird's dislocated wing and later pitches in to get a lost toy bunny back to its distraught boy. Fellowes, an award-winning screenwriter, tells the tales in an adult voice, combining sophisticated language-overhearing talk of the renovation gives Doc "intimations of mortality"-with a matter-of-fact tone, adding touches of humor (the toys take rides around town by tying themselves to the radiator grills of garbage trucks) and giving each of the toys a simple but distinct personality. Schindler's color and black-and-white scenes catch every detail with such exact delicacy that even piles of trash look fetching. Fellow author Shirley-Anne Lewis gets title-page credit for providing the "idea," but this joins a long chain of similar adventures, from The Velveteen Rabbit to Emily Jenkins's Toys Go Out (2006), illustrated by Paul Zelinsky. It should find a ready audience-of children, as well as parents-to cherish it. (Illustrated fiction. 8-10)
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly, starred review:

Fellowes, a British actor, director, producer and Oscar-winning screenplay writer (for Gosford Park), presents a leisurely paced story, noteworthy for its polished delivery of a familiar theme—the afterlife of the discarded or lost toy. For years Doc, a teddy bear accessorized with a stethoscope, has comforted children in a hospital dayroom. His generosity of spirit makes him chief among “what the nurses referred to as the 'cuddly toys,’ although there was an element of impertinence in this which most of the occupants of the [toy] basket found rather irritating.” But after the hospital hastily spruces up the dayroom in preparation for a much-publicized royal visit, Doc winds up at a dump, grateful to have escaped a worse fate. The rest of the plot revolves around Doc’s adventures with his new friends, also toys separated from children and coping with their diminished status in various recognizably human ways. All rally when a threadbare stuffed rabbit arrives, inadvertently tossed into the trash instead of put into the van when his owner’s family moves to a new house, and together the toys come up with a risky scheme to reunite rabbit and boy. Schindler’s (Don’t Fidget a Feather) full-page ink-and-watercolor illustrations and his line art match the old-fashioned storytelling mood: he renders the toys and the settings with fine detail, using a realistic style to bridge the fantastic elements in the narrative. The abundance and richness of the pictures enhance this title’s attractiveness as a read-aloud, as does the elevated vocabulary—the book offers a rare combination of the soothing and stimulating. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) Publishers Weekly

Booklist, starred review:

When the dayroom of the children’s ward at Deerhurst Hospital is renovated in preparation for a royal visitor, Doc the bear and the other longtime toy residents find out that newer, shinier toys will be replacing them. Discarded and disheartened, Doc ends up in the junkyard, where he meets toy bears Humphrey and Nell; the General, a stuffed owl; and “Lady” Cora, a porcelain doll whose bitterness masks heartbreak. Junkyard life is tough, but Doc and the others find purpose by aiding an injured blackbird and by helping an old toy rabbit, mistakenly thrown away, return to its owner. The adventures require teamwork and courage, but, ultimately, the toys discover they can assist and comfort those in need—including one another. Some vocabulary may be too sophisticated for younger readers, but Fellowes exhibits a wonderful flair for both dialogue and characterization, and his descriptive narrative, touched with wit, echoes with the drama and poignancy of classic animal tales. Schindler’s enchanting, intricate artwork, ranging from black-and-white spot art to full-page color pictures, sympathetically captures the characters’ feelings of loss and rejection as well as their dignity, determination, and grace. A fine choice to open dialogue about facing adversity and the importance of compassion and community, this story is one that kids will read over and over again. —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466830950
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
10/30/2007
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
751,892
File size:
53 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


JULIAN FELLOWES is an actor,writer, director, and producer.His script for Gosford Park was awarded an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and his novel, Snobs, was a bestseller on both continents.Most recently, he wrote the book of the stage musical Mary Poppins.
S. D. SCHINDLER has illustrated many books for children, including  Whittington (aNewbery Honor book) and Don’t Fidget a Feather (an ALA Notable Book). He lives in Philadelphia.

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The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you liked Kate DiCamillo's "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane", you are going to love this beautifully written and illustrated tale about the survival of abandoned toys who, even in despair, find room for friendship and compassion. This boook is a perfect read aloud at home or in school.