The original story about these toy characters--Old Bear (1986)--was a satisfying picture book distinguished by a dramatic rescue, effected through gentle persistence combined with cooperation. By comparison, the nine new stories collected here are tame and a bit trite. Sunshine Sam, wanting to recapture a supreme moment, is wrapped by the others for a second presentation to his child and has a joyful reunion with her on Christmas morning; the toys go for a winter picnic (they eat real food); they help one of their number get dry after he's left out in the rain; they make a desert backdrop for homesick Katie Camel. It's all cozy but rather cloying. However, Hissey's full-color depiction of the toys is sure to win readers: endearing, unhackneyed, and individual, they are rendered with delicate precision; their greeting-card perfection is completely appropriate to these simple stories.