Review Blog

Sep 09 2015

Lola's Toy Box : The Patchwork Picnic by Danny Parker

cover image

Ill. by Guy Shield. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2015 . ISBN 9781760124366
(Ages: 5-7) Recommended. Fantasy. The new series Lola's Toybox will complement the popular Billie B Brown books for young girls keen to become independent readers. The larger font size and well-spaced print, with the occasional addition of bold print for emphasis and italics for unspoken thoughts, coupled with Guy Shields full page illustrations make this series a welcome addition to the bookshelf.
Lola is given an old toy box, much to her brother's annoyance. He always seemed to want what Lola had. In an attempt to escape his pestering Lola and her favourite toy Buddy, the learn-to-dress-clown, hide in the toy box. After some strange sounds and shaking, Lola opens the lid and steps out of a picnic hamper, no longer in her bedroom but on the side of a hill accompanied by a walking talking toy clown, Buddy. They are in the Kingdom, where toys go when they are not being played with, and just in time for the Teddy Bears Picnic.
All is not well in The Kingdom. Lola recognises Felix the son of The Great High Bear as her own teddy bear. Felix has been to Nevercalm, ruled by the Plastic Prince who, according to Felix, is building an army of toy wind up soldiers in preparation for an attack on the Kingdom. Lola feels she needs to intervene and save the soldier but must undertake a test to prove her worthiness.
The problem Lola encounters in the Kingdom is mirrored with her problem with her brother, and as she finds a solution for the toys so she builds her confidence to face the real world problem facing her at home.
This is Lola's first adventure to the Kingdom but with many places to visit and toys to see I am sure there will be more to come.
Sue Keane

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