This touching story combines Di Camillo's sense of the odd that made Because of Winn Dixie such a strong favorite (and one of my all-time faves) with the magic of an anthropomorphic toy. But this is no silly Toy Story (or even a whimsical tale like Toys Go Out). Instead, this story has a darker edge and some strong messages about the importance of opening your heart. It's all a bit too intense for younger children but those of us who are biologically older (but still young at heart) can appreciate it.
The book also has some wonderful illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline that really make the book.