The Books

Toys in Space

by Mini Grey

One Potato Review

Another sly ride by this British writer and illustrator who always seems to be surprising herself. As elsewhere (Egg Drop, The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, Traction Man and the Beachside Odyssey) Grey appears to start with a title, Toys in Space, and then figures out how to make it work. Her improvisatory avatar here is Wonder Doll who, with a thoughtful green dinosaur, a helpful windup robot, a cowboy, a rabbit, a horse and a sheep, get left out on the lawn after dark, and need to find their way clear to the morning. Along the way, they meet a mitten-shaped alien (“We will call it Hoctopize for now,” says Wonder Doll), throw a party, play games of musical statues, and send thousands of abducted fellow toys parachuting back to their home addresses. Not sure what this all adds up to? What sweet dreams ever do?