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The Toy Brother Paperback – Picture Book, May 3, 2016
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Yorick Bede has always considered his younger brother Charles a first-rate pain in the pants, and Charles thinks the same of Yorick. One day Yorick plays with his alchemist father's potions, and he accidentally shrinks himself to the size of a cockroach. Now suddenly Charles is the big brother. Though it's tempting to leave Yorick as a shrunken version of himself to teach him a lesson, Charles and the rest of the Bede family protect Yorick and tinker with more and more potions until they find the right one to bring back him back to his normal size.
The Toy Brother is another delightful picture book tale from William Steig.
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“The prolific Steig keeps the Dark Ages light with his penchant for non sequiturs and colorful if challenging words (such as "alackaday" and "transmogrification"). Watercolors of chunky wooden furniture, heavy eating utensils and knee-length tunics set the tone for this costume comedy.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Steig's amusing drawings and bright watercolor washes are rich in detail and his cartoon style is further enlivened by bright purple borders on each page. Readers will delight in Steig's droll expressions, both visual and verbal, but the subtle lesson about brotherly love will not be lost amid the comic goings-on.” ―School Library Journal
“Steig embellishes his always rich vocabulary with medieval words to delightful effect and decorates his artwork with rich hues and purple borders.” ―Booklist
“... another satisfying tale that is also a gentle vehicle for helping children to understand a range of sometimes subtle psychological and ethical issues.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Sure to be adored by all younger siblings.” ―Parent's Choice
“Not at all didactic, this is a clever, amusing story.” ―Children's Literature
About the Author
- Publisher : Square Fish; Reissue edition (May 3, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250057604
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250057600
- Reading age : 4 - 8 years
- Lexile measure : AD590L
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 3.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.55 x 0.1 x 10.36 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Except I didn't find it very interesting myself. The storyline is fairly realistic (well, once you get over the magic), but it just didn't draw me in. And so it goes, we can't all be fans of every book.
I can appreciate that adults would like this book (and give it positive reviews) but I'm curious what a teacher of a class of 6year olds would say. Also, the name-calling between the brothers was just totatlly unnecessary, and yet again, quite odd: one was "Goosewit."
For me, all that plus the overly simplistic illustrations, means this won't make it into our home library anytime soon. Description says for 3+ but my 4yo was L.O.S.T! At one point he said, "Um, mom. Excuse me for interupting. But, can you tell me what's going on? I just don't get it." Poor kiddo! I responded, "That's okay, sweety. Mommy doesn't either" and put it back in the library bag :-D
Yorick, the older of these two medieval boys, had notions of surpassing his father at alchemy, and hoped someday to turn donkey's dung into gold. Charles on the other hand preferred chasing chickens, poking in anthills and arguing with the family goat.
Naturally, when their parents traveled to a distant wedding, Yorick got into some solution. "Yes goosewit," he told his brother, after transmogrificating himself, "I invented a new potion. But I tasted it and za-zing! I was no bigger than a cockroach."
Charles found his older brother's new size satisfyingly real as peas and beans and built him a new pint-sized house, but when it started to hail, he realized that Yorick would always be in danger. He could easily drown in a bucket of milk, be eaten by a cat, seriously injured by a field mouse or stepped on by a donkey.
Steig mixed unusual words with more unusual ingredients--putting gadzooks and flabbergasted with borage, betony, camphor, sauerkraut and dainty pies. The hysterical result no doubt humored the Bede minikins. It is bound to enchant your own tikes as well, especially if they're prone to fight now and then. Alyssa A. Lappen
The brothers come to an understanding on their own--a nice touch--not with the help of their parents or any other characters. But of course, it's all even better once their parents arrive home.
One of my very favorite things about William Steig's books--aside from, well, everything--is that he treats kids like smart people. That's different from treating them like grown-ups, which he doesn't do--but he uses uncommon words and phrases with great abandon, figuring that what kids don't pick up from context they can jolly well look up in a dictionary. Bully for him! The result is a book that has zing, and the usual terrific Steig illustrations. So much fun, whether or not the child you're reading to has an annoying brother!