Thursday 17 January 2013

Lost in the Toy Museum by David Lucas (Walker Books)

It's one of the most enticing ideas to a child. What happens to your toys when you're all tucked up for the night, safely snuggled under the duvet? We've all seen what happens in Disney's mammoth franchise 'Toy Story' but what happens at the utterly delightful Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green when all those toys, stretching back through history, all wake up as darkness falls and start looking for fun and adventure?

David Lucas' 'Toy Museum' books are utterly wonderful, not only making stars of the museum's exhibits (all the characters you find in this book can also be seen in the museum itself!) but stimulating a child's imagination and introducing them to the magical possibilities of what happens when toys come to life.

In 'Lost in the Toy Museum' the slightly stuffy and straight Laced Bunting, the toy cat, takes roll call and does his usual important duty of making sure the museum's toys are all tickety-book. Exercises, a quick health check and of course the all important history lesson about how the museum was started in 1879 - and...

But wait! The toys aren't sitting and listening attentively, in fact all the toys have run off and disappeared!

Bunting is perturbed and decides to go and look for them. It's a heavy responsibility, looking after all those toys and Bunting takes his job very seriously.

I'll leave it to you to discover what happens next in the book. It's charming and beautifully told, with that air of nostalgia about it (particularly for me, I grew up in London and remember school visits to Bethnal Green and how magical the place was - and still is!) There are more books in the series and they all look fantastic, so we'll definitely be hunting down the rest.

Charlotte's best bit: The beautiful doll with the white dress (who also seems to be one of the naughiest characters in the book!)

Daddy's favourite bit: The book brought back a lot of happy memories of hours spent in the museum. Really must go back there again with Charlotte soon!