Thing-Thing

Overview

Thing-Thing was neither a Teddy bear nor a rabbit; not a stuffed dog or cat. It was something like each of those, and nothing at all you could name. But it had something special. It had the hope that one day it would find a child to love it and talk to it and make it tea parties and take it to bed. A child it could love back.

Certainly Archibald Crimp was not that child. He had just thrown Thing-Thing out the ...

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Overview

Thing-Thing was neither a Teddy bear nor a rabbit; not a stuffed dog or cat. It was something like each of those, and nothing at all you could name. But it had something special. It had the hope that one day it would find a child to love it and talk to it and make it tea parties and take it to bed. A child it could love back.

Certainly Archibald Crimp was not that child. He had just thrown Thing-Thing out the open sixth-floor window of the Excelsior Hotel.

Oh, dear, thought Thing-Thing to itself. This is bad, this is very bad.

Cary Fagan and Nicolas Debon have created a story so rich in words and images that, despite taking place in a matter of seconds, Thing-Thing will be remembered as vividly as a child’s favorite toy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Fagan’s story, and its serendipitous end, will please those on laps or large groups: Debon’s vertiginous cityscapes, with wildly varying perspectives and orientations supported by a leaping, swirling typeface, are just as good a match to the text as Thing-Thing and its new owner.” 
— Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

“…a beautifully rendered and wickedly imaginative tale of an unwanted toy, is the best of a strong bunch. Never has falling out of a building been made to seem so heartbreaking – and yet so fun to read about.” 
— Books of the Year, Quill & Quire

“The toy named Thing-Thing – is the hilarious heart of this delectable picture book.”
— Top 10 for 2008, The Globe and Mail

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Thing-Thing is a stuffed animal of uncertain species, bought in desperation by Archibald Crimp's father for that very spoiled boy's birthday. Thing-Thing feels a bit sorry for himself when Archibald tosses him out of the sixth-floor window of the Excelsior Hotel. Down he falls, with some trepidation, past floor after floor of surprised spectators, finally reaching the ground floor. Fortunately for him, he lands in a carriage where a baby is crying. When the parents of the baby wheel it into the hotel, Archibald is coming out of the elevator. He spots Thing-Thing and demands him back. As his parents pull him away, the baby's parents notice he has stopped crying, and Thing-Thing has found a loving home at last. Debon uses Thing-Thing's free fall to display different points of view as we peek at the gouache-painted dramas on each floor. For one we must turn the book on its side; on another the words are set in gentle curves as we are offered a panorama of the city skyscrapers. A small drama takes place in each. The stylization of the characters and the clean-cut rendering of the buildings make a suitable setting for this happy fantasy. The poster on the inside of the jacket is an added attraction. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

Thing-Thing is a unique stuffed animal, "not quite a bunny rabbit, but not quite a dog either, nor a bear or cat for that matter." The critter is purchased as a birthday gift for spoiled little Archibald Crimp, but the huffy boy rejects the new toy and throws it out of the window of the hotel where he and his parents are staying. As Thing-Thing flies into the air, it confides that it had hoped to be given "to a child who would love it, and talk to it, and make it tea parties...and take it to bed." Much of the story involves Thing-Thing's six-storey descent: for each floor, there's a vignette in which someone notices the stuffed animal flying past. In the end, Thing-Thing's dreams finally come true (it lands in a baby carriage and instantly soothes a fussy infant). This lighthearted tale is entertaining and humorous. With a lengthy text and action-packed full-bleed illustrations, the pages seem to be filled to their edges with story. Debon successfully depicts Thing-Thing as a subtle blend of several typical stuffed animals. It is a cuddly friend that children will appreciate meeting.-Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO

Kirkus Reviews
Staying on the sixth floor of the Excelsior Hotel, Archibald Crump is unhappy with all the hundreds of presents he's gotten for his birthday. His father runs down to the toy store to find something his spoiled son doesn't have already, settling on the toy labeled "Thing-Thing," which is not quite any specific animal. But awful Archibald is so dissatisfied that he throws the creature out the window. Thing-Thing isn't distressed by the rejection-it wanted to find a loving child-but the fall is a bit worrying. As it descends floor by floor, Thing-Thing glimpses and is glimpsed by a person within, each with their own story, and works a sweetly transformative magic on those inside the hotel . . . until it lands with a thump in the carriage of a fussy infant, who then stops crying. Fagan's story, and its serendipitous end, will please those on laps or large groups; Debon's vertiginous cityscapes, with wildly varying perspectives and orientations supported by a leaping, swirling typeface, are just as good a match to the text as Thing-Thing and its new owner. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887768392
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 8/12/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Cary Fagan is an author for adults and children. Among his awards are the Toronto Book Award, the Jewish Book Committee Prize for Fiction, and the Mr. Christie Silver Medal. His picture books are Gogol’s Coat, The Market Wedding, Ten Old Men and a Mouse, and My New Shirt. His novels for children include Daughter of the Great Zandini, The Fortress of Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Honor Book), and Directed by Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch nominee). Cary Fagan lives in Toronto.

Nicolas Debon was born and educated in France. He came to work for the French consulate in Toronto, stayed for ten years before returning to his homeland, and was granted Canadian citizenship. An illustration course opened new doors for him and his first picture book, A Brave Soldier was published in 1999. Since then, he has illustrated several books for European and North American publishers and has twice been nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award. His graphic novel, The Strongest Man in the World, won the 2007 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for children’s nonfiction.

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