Strong themes of determination and faithful friendship make this a perfect book for young readers.
Young children who fantasize about their toys coming to life when they leave the room are sure to appreciate Tracy Avril MacMillan’s The Toy Sailor: A Traditional Fairy Tale. Overcoming obstacles and the power of friendship are overarching themes in this book that is perfect for young readers.
Two of Katie’s playthings, the Toy Sailor and the Queen Doll, are getting old and raggedy on the playroom shelf. In order to make room for a few new toys, Katie decides to take the Queen to the rubbish pile. The Toy Sailor will do whatever is necessary to rescue her, and asks the Wooden Horse for help. One obstacle after another gets in their way, but they are determined to make the arduous journey to save the Queen and all the other toys who were sent there before her.
The simple story line will be easy for children to follow, and its turns are meaningful. Audiences will root for the Toy Sailor the whole way. The book does have a few minor issues with grammar and punctuation, but that doesn’t detract from its important themes. There is much to discuss with kids here, from not letting anything stand in one’s way to being a faithful friend.
MacMillan also illustrated the book, and the nontraditional images have a crisp, contemporary feel. However, the toy characters are stiffly rendered, and the pictures lack the warmth that a children’s book warrants.
The Toy Sailor features memorable characters and a story line that children can relate to. It’s sure to become dog-eared from many, many readings.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.