Toys Go Out

Being the Adventures of a Knowledgable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic

a book of stories; illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky; Random House/Schwartz & Wade, Fall 2006

Lumphy, StingRay and Plastic are stuffed animals. (Well, Plastic is... what is Plastic, anyway?)

They live with the girl who sleeps on the high bed with the big pillows. It's very nice there.

But what is the meaning of life?

And why is clean better than dirty?

And what will happen if StingRay tries to go in the water? 

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about StingRay, Plastic and Lumphy. And go here for classroom activities on Toys Go Out,  Toy Dance Party, and Toys Come Home.

Picture book companion to the series:  Toys Meet Snow. 

What People Say about Toys Go Out:

Junior Library Guild selection. Book of the Month Club alternate. Book Sense pick. Parents' Choice silver honor. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award. NY Public Library's list of 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. NY Times review. Nick Jr. magazine's "Best Toy Story of the Year." SLJ's list of Best Books, 2006. San Francisco Chronicle's list of Best Books of the Season. Washington Post Book of the Week. CCBC Choice. Kentucky Bluegrass Award master list. Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, 2007-08. North Dakota Flicker Award nominee. 2008 Kids Wings Award. Kansas William Allen White Award Master List, 2008-09. Delaware Blue Hen Chapter Book nominee. Oklahoma Sequoyah Master List, 2009. ALA Notable. Delaware Diamonds Children's Choice Award, grades 3-5. 

"Find a cozy spot and read this book; it's a cozy book. You'll love Lumphy, and Sting Ray, and Plastic who was my personal favorite. You'll laugh over their choice of birthday presents, and hold your breath over Plastic's encounter with the Possible Shark. Most of all, you'll never forget these three. I know I won't."

Patricia Reilly Giff, Newbery-Honor recipient for Pictures of Hollis Woods and Lily's Crossing

"Utterly delightful...Here is a book bound to be a favorite with any child who has ever adored an inaminate object. Zelinsky's beautifully detailed black-and-white illustrations are a lovely addition to this very special book."

         —Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library, in School Library Journal, starred review

"Some beloved toys detail their trials and tribulations under Little Girl's watchful eye in this warmhearted story that's a perfect antidote to all that's wrong in the cold world. A sure hit for reading aloud and a classic in the making. "

          —San Francisco Chronicle

"Delivered with so much humor that it never seems preachy...Jenkins deftly penetrates the natural anxieties of childhood -- the phobias, the insecurities, the self-doubts --without playing them down. And Paul O. Zelinsky's lushly detailed black-and-white drawings convey the humor as well as the dread of each new ordeal."

          —The New York Times

"This is a great family book. It has wonderful illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky and makes a great read-aloud for kids of all ages before they snuggle into bed with those favorite, very special toys."

          —Washington Post, book of the week

"By now we know toys come to life as soon we leave the room, but who knew they were as witty and insightful as the plush stingray, stuffed bison, and plastic ball in Jenkins's cliche-dodging tale? "

          —Cookie magazine


"The simple prose is clever and often hilarious, incorporating dialogue and musings that ring kid-perspective true, and Zelinsky's charming black-and-white illustrations, wonderfully detailed and textured, expressively portray character situations and feelings. Deftly blending humor and insight, the story will charm readers as the toys come to recognize and appreciate themselves, one another, and their deep connection."

          —Kirkus, starred review


"As delightfully quirky as its subtitle...buoyant."

          —Publishers Weekly, starred review