THE TOY BROTHER by William Steig
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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Steig (Grown-ups Get to Do All the Driving, p. 640, etc.) is in fine form in this tale of the alchemist's children. Fired by an ambition to turn donkey dung into gold and other wonders, elder son Yorick sneaks into his father's lab, incautiously drinks a potion, and shrinks to the size of a peanut. Enjoying every minute, Yorick's once-scorned little brother, Charles, solicitously builds him a doll house, feeds him crumbs, and promises to take care of him forever. Their parents don't seem particularly dismayed either; as Yorick's father, Magnus, looks for an antidote, his mother, Eutilda, cheerfully begins building miniature furniture. When Magnus finally does find a cure, the whole family goes "altogether out of their medieval minds," and the two brothers learn to appreciate one another thereafter--"except when they were having a fight." Steig tells the tale with flair--"It was just too marvelous. Yorick had made himself small as a sausage--and with only a drop of training"--and draws the family as humans rather than animals, a rarity for him. Another crowd pleaser. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 30th, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-205078-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1995


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