Perfect Picture Books-Too May Toys

It's time for Perfect Picture Books! 
I took last week off from this activity on purpose. I love doing it, but really needed to focus a bit on how my 2012 is going to play out. While the plan is not fully formed yet (is a plan ever really fully formed?) it's in better shape than it was. It's mostly in my head and the next step will be to get it on paper, or some electronic format thereof.
That said, here is this week's Perfect Picture Book. Thanks to Susanna Hill, I keep finding myself looking at children's books in new ways and thinking beyond the words and pictures on the pages. And here, I'll also thank Miss Patty, one of my son's nursery school teachers, for sharing this book with me.

Title: Too Many Toys
Author: David Shannon
Publisher: Blue Sky Press, 2008
Suitable for: Age 4 and up
Theme/Topics: Abundance, Cleaning up
Overview/Synopsis: Spencer has too many toys! His father trips over them, his mother falls over them, and the house is overflowing with junk. Now its time to give some of the mountain of goodies away, but Spencer finds it hard. In the end, he fills a box, but decides the one toy he can't part with is the box!
Activities: Especially with 4 year olds,I think it would be fun to ask them how many toys is "too many toys." Their perception of numbers and amounts is not yet formed, but it could be fun exercise to try to count some of the numbers that come up. With older kids, a toy purge/giveaway to less fortunate kids would help teach the value of giving to others.
Why I chose this book: This book is my life. My kids have too many toys- we are partly to blame for that. However, the funny part is that just like Spencer, my four year old still finds just as much pleasure in the box and using his imagination to make the box into other things; like a boat, a tent, or a rocket ship.


  1. Really enjoyed your review. This is an important topic, and I think many parents are re-evaluating how much is too much. Your idea of starting young is great. And, I think that kids really like helping others kids. We always donated toys my daughter outgrew. Great addition of PPB Friday.

  2. Thanks Patricia! I actually just donated some toys and puzzles this week to my son's pre-school. They were well used and loved in our house, but now it's time for a new home for them. I'm hoping the whole class can enjoy them!

  3. I LOVE David Shannon! My boys have always loved his books--some of the first that they memorized, "No David No!" :) I am the type of person who goes nuts when things get too cluttered, so I try to keep our toys under control. Too much is too much! :)

  4. Love your review and the concept of this book! And I have to laugh, as many of us read the Geek Dad article about the 5 best toys ever and #1 was BOX. So true :) This looks like a great read - glad to be adding it to our list - I don't think we have another quite like it yet so great choice!!! Thanks, Tracy :)

  5. Gotta love the need for a good box! We don't buy a lot of toys, but they still seem to multiple in the dark! I like the purge activity. Good luck with your 2012 plans too.

  6. Oh! Another great book to add to my need-to-read list.

  7. There's NEVER to many TOYS!!!!!!!
    (of course I am a kid hee hee)
    Erik ;)

  8. Erik, I love your perspective and I know my kids would agree! Thanks everyone for he comments- I need to read through more of David Shannon's books. And, as was proved once again this past Christmas-- the beauty of a new, empty, large box is never lost on a four year old!

  9. Thanks for introducing David Shannon to me. I haven't read anything by him and this sounds like a terrific read for kids and parents alike.

    When my kids were young we couldn't afford many toys so I would rotate them, keeping some hidden for a couple of weeks and then they'd be fresh. Of course when they out grew them we did give them to the salvation army or thrift shops. :)

  10. I love rotating toys. I used to do it a lot when my kids were younger. They all have winter birthdays, so I'd hide some away and take them out in summer. Voila! "New" toys.


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