Monday, December 2, 2013

30 Days of Picture Books - Too Many Toys by David Shannon

It's Day 24 of our 30 Days of Picture Books. As I'm writing this, it's already starting to feel a lot like Christmas around Casa de Kinser. Hubs and Sprout put up our outdoor lights this weekend and we've got our tree up as well, though not fully decorated. (Our new kitty Jasper isn't sure what to think about it - he's intrigued, but wary.) We've started shopping for Sprout and Santa's been informed of the wish list, which this year includes Legos and the new Otis Christmas book. :)

And that leads me right in to today's pick, David Shannon's Too Many Toys. This book hits close to my heart as we find ourselves actively working to keep the volume of toys in Sprout's closet to an absolute minimum. It's a hard fight sometimes, let me tell you! But in our way of thinking, it's more important to have significant, well-chosen toys than just a lot of -- well, junk.

And junk is indeed the problem in Spencer's house, as he and his parents are being gradually buried under a flood of toys. Spencer pretty much has every toy under the sun, so many he can't possibly play with - or even find - all of them. He's not bothered by the mess, but his parents are. And one day Spencer's mom finally snaps and insists that Spencer re-home some of his playthings. As you might expect, this doesn't go down too well with Spencer, who fights Mom at every step of the way. But at last the pair assembles a box full of stuff that's headed to another destination. All is looking good until Spencer decides there's one thing he can't let go of. . . and you won't believe what it is!

Shannon brings his trademark energy to Spencer's chaotic world of toys. The masses of plastic playthings this kiddo has assembled are impressive, and they definitely imprint with kids. As we read, Sprout kept remarking, "He's got too many stuffs!" - even without my intervention (Shannon's point is hard to miss). I really appreciate not only that this topic was addressed, but that Shannon demonstrates Spencer's resistance in a realistic way. And the resolution is proof positive that some of the best playthings are those you discover all on your own.

Look, let's be honest -- kids rarely want to part with their toys, even when it's obvious that the piles need to be cleared out. But in the holiday season, with lots of goodies coming in stockings and packages, Too Many Toys might just be the bibliotherapy your little ones need to clear out the old and make way for new!

Too Many Toys by David Shannon, published by Scholastic

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