Monday, September 29, 2008

Toy Dance Party, by Emily Jenkins

In this sequel to Toys Go Out, Stingray, Lumphey and Plastic are still having their adventures, and hanging out with old friends (the washer and dryer) as well as new ones (the mice and a rubber shark). The girl is growing older though and she spends more of her time with the Barbies (who don't talk) and away at sleepovers and soccer practice. The toys are worried that perhaps she is forgetting about them, but they have a wide variety of distractions including a fabulous dance party in the basement!

I was really looking forward to this sequel but really let down by it. Harsh perhaps, but as Toys Go Out was one of my favorite books, the sequel had a lot to live up to. It fails for me for a number of reasons: the stories have gotten much more complex and lack the fun of the first set, a number of the characters have changed (the relationship between the toys and the people, the fact that the dryer talks, and the "naughtiness" of the toys, etc.). I laughed frequently while reading the first book. This time I didn't laugh at all (OK, I cracked a smile here and there but it's not the same thing). It's not that Toy Dance Party is a bad book (I'll probably still give it two stars), but it is such a pale follow-up to its classic predecessor. I think I'll just go curl up with that one instead!

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