Thursday, February 26, 2009

Books as Playthings

Yes, it's a book, of sorts.

I was given a pop-up book one Christmas, and at first it seemed fantastic, but it was more about the pop up than story-- interesting from a design standpoint but disappointing for a reader. Later when I took weekend jobs in bookstores I saw more and more toy books. Books as playthings, Books with wheels in the shape of a truck. Books that had to be more than a book to be interesting to a kid, especially a kid who disliked books and loved toys. Growing up I met plenty of kids who disliked the library, didn't like to read, that's nothing new--some had reading difficulties, some just preferred sports or toys. My own kids gave any toy books that came into their lives a quick once over and never bothered with them again. No matter how I tried to engage them with the toy books, they wanted the no frills real thing.


Candie Bracci said...

Yes my son has toys books too.I think it's great.

Candie Bracci said...

Yes my son has toys books too.I think it's great.

Candie Bracci said...


runmotman said...

yea, the kids love to be read to, and then, when they are able, to actually read, the toy books won't hold their interest too long ...unless they are teething; then they love the cloth or soft plastic to gnaw memory.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

i'll take the real deal too.... stuffed characters based on books are of course completely desirable....especially mice!! eek!

maisy is a's only been in the last five years that I've made her acquaintance. I don't think she was around when emma was a little girl...

Dakota Bear said...

Very interesting. I wish you had a picture showing the book opened.

The Clever Pup said...

I still have a cloth book from when I was a toddler. I guess it's dangerously close to being an antique.

Noah had a toy book, that was a caricature of a book and a grotty plastic Alladin that you could take int the tub. Threw that one out pretty fast.

Marianna said...

I just realised that I never got one of these when I was little. Hmmm...

great picture!
take care
peace and love

JGH said...

Kids always love those "open the flap" books and books that you can poke your fingers through holes punched in them. I've never seen one as the guts of a stuffed animal!

tut-tut said...

hmm; there is an interesting take on that you might like to investigate:
the stab-stitched cloth book. Take a look at How to Make Books, by Esther K. Smith, which has other great techniques for the beginner (like me).

Brian Miller said...

nice...books in animals. my boys must have missed that stage, but they love to read!

Kris said...

The pop up has a fragile beauty.

Anonymous said...

We do have a book in our surgery which makes sounds when you press on the pictures- eg press the frog and you get a froggy noise. I think it is 'Spot the Dog'. It serves as a good distraction for the children who are about to get their vaccines- though I often wonder if they are then put off books after that?

Megan said...

I've got a few of those kind that have a little keyboard attached - and when you get to that picture in the book, the child presses the matching key to get a word or a sound.

The Pooh ones were quite fun, at first. But I'm glad Liam grew out of them quickly.

Anonymous said...

Pop-up books and scene books. We still use them! We just make up our own stories!

Cuppa Jo said...

I like your kids. No frill books. mmm, books.

R.L. Bourges said...

no frills, real thing: makes sense to me. There's already enough distraction out there, why add confusion to it all? (but the thingie you show is a cute toy, nonetheless - just not a book, that's all.) :-)

Ronda Laveen said...

When I was young, a hundred years ago, the only time we got to be around pop-up books was when the teacher or librarian read to us. The were paper and very fragile. Wouldn't stand up to kid play.

Coffee Messiah said...

Pop-ups are fun.....I'm working on some pop up type cards myself. Hope to send some out in the months ahead.

Did you draw the pic in the upper left?

bitchlet said...

How is this a book?

Leah said...

When I was little I was obsessed with scratch-n-sniff books. Some part of me knew it was gimmicky, but somehow I didn't mind...I love that stuffed horse thingy! book or no book.

Avid Reader said...

Coffee- yes, that's my work-- " Jeff trying to read" those chickadees are such a distraction.

Most "toy" books I've seen are more toy than book, which is fine if the kid is too young to be read aloud to. My kids liked to grab any "real" book and pretend to read me a story, making up a story as they went along.

e said...

Your kids were mirroring what they saw at home, a tribute to you as a parent and as an avid reader...

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)