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March 2019 Juvenile Fiction

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Fantastic Toys
A Catalog
By (author): Monika Beisner
9781681373119 Hardcover English Juvenile: Age (years) from 2 - 5, Grade (US) to K JUVENILE FICTION / Toys, Dolls & Puppets Mar 12, 2019
$23.95 CAD
Active 10.73 x 10.77 x 0.34 in 24 pages New York Review Books NYR Children's Collection
This delightfully imaginative book catalogs eleven fantastical inventions of magical toys, with detailed descriptions and vivid illustrations that will make kids want to create their own fantastic toys


Fantastic Toys is a dream catalog of eleven marvelous inventions, magical toys that would make the world far more interesting, if only they existed. Here are inventions based on fantasy, like winged jumping boots that let you leap so high you startle the birds; inventions to assuage fears, like a glowing teddy bear; inventions to improve upon boring tasks or gloomy weather, like child-size bath-foam animals and animal umbrellas; and even educational inventions, like the treasure-hunt letter maze. Best of all are the inventions just for fun: the skipping machine that should be in every playground and the sheep toboggan (real sheep not included) that takes sledding to a whole new level. In a perfect mimicry of marketing, each toy is advertised with an earnest, compelling description and a detailed hand-drawn illustration of happy children demonstrating the fun that can be had. Fantastic Toysis a book not only for reading but for marveling, inventing, and building. Who knows what other fantastic toys are just waiting to be invented?

Publication History: 1st pub 1975; OP since 1st pub

This book will appeal to children who liked Marjorie Winslow’s Mud Pies and Other Recipes for its whimsical imagining of new creations.

Monika Beisner is a well known illustrator, and her past works have included illustrated editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy and Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Will appeal to fans of other playful children’s books, like the works of Shel Silverstein, B.J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures, and Ryan T. Higgins’s Be Quiet!

The catalog style and faux-marketing give the book a humorous tone.

For ages 2-5.

Print run: 5,000

Monika Beisner is a German illustrator and artist. She studied painting in Braunschweig and Berlin, and continued her studies in New York and London. She is best known for her children’s books The Heavenly Zoo and Fabulous Beasts, and has also illustrated Dante’s Divine Comedy and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. She lives in London;Ratzeburg, Germany; and on Gozo, Malta.

Author Residence: London, UK

Author Hometown: Hamburg, Germany

Marketing: Advertising in The New York Review of Books and on The New York Review of Books website: www.nyrb.com

Social media promotion: Facebook, 225k+ followers; Instagram @nyrbooks, 19k+ followers; Twitter, @nyrbclassics, 151k+ followers and @NYRB_imprints, 3.5k+ followers.

“A book I read over and over again as a child. It features such wonders as a heat- ed sheep toboggan and winged jumping boots. Four years ago, I discovered the reason we had that magical book—my mother had gone to elementary school with Monika. For me, it was as if she’d gone to school with Marilyn Monroe and never mentioned it.” —Matthea Harvey, The Paris Review Daily

“Marvelously mad and intricate ideas for toys are described in a text that has the aura of a low-keyed sales catalog, and the tone is a good foil for the extravagance of the concepts and illustrations…Fun!” —The Best in Children’s Books: The University of Chicago Guide to Children’s Literature, 1973-1978

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