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The Marvelous Toy (with CD)
The Marvelous Toy (with CD)
by Tom Paxton
Illustration by Steve Cox

This CD-Storybook combination brings Tom Paxton's song about The Marvelous Toy to life in two forms of media; the book is based on the folksy song about a toy that zips, bops, and whirls to the wonderment of a father, his son, and one day the grandson. The recording features traditional folk instruments including a guitar, banjo, bass, and shaker. The storybook and CD is an activity that children can engage in alone or with family members.

Age: 4 Year-olds | Title: The Marvelous Toy (with CD)  |  Author: Tom Paxton  |  Publisher: Imagine Publishing

This CD-Storybook combination brings Tom Paxton's song about The Marvelous Toy to life in two forms of media; the book is based on the folksy song about a toy that zips, bops, and whirls to the wonderment of a father, his son, and one day the grandson. The recording features traditional folk instruments including a guitar, banjo, bass, and shaker. The storybook and CD is an activity that children can engage in alone or with family members.

Now you can enjoy the song The Marvelous Toy as a vibrantly colored storybook. You and your little one can join the young boy in experiencing the new mysterious toy his father brings home one night in a box, emitting sparkles and light, hinting at the magic within. The computer animated illustrations are breathtaking in their wild creativity and vibrant colors. The backgrounds are swirling seas of blues, greens, and violets, while the foreground pops with a rainbow of vibrant toys and neon rays of light. Another distinctive contrast is formed with the juxtaposition of larger objective or the human characters with little detail, against the highly detailed toys, swirling wallpaper, and modern abstract art in the background of the later pages. There is so much color on each page that the font clearly stands out in pale yellow. Because the story is song lyrics in print, there is a clear and audible cadence to the rhyming couplets.

Increase the story's fun for your little one with a theatrical reading, adding character voices to the dialogue and emphasizing the actions words in the repeating description of the toy; "It went zip! when it moved. And bop! when it stopped. And whirr! when it stood still." It is inevitable that your child will ask you what the toy actually is, and perhaps where they can get one. The story never gives this marvelous toy a name, so what it truly is will have to be up to your little one's imagination. Encourage them to guess what it is, or make up their own toy that they think would be wonderful; what would it do? What would it look like? What would it sound like?

My four-year-old niece, Emily, saw this book lying on a table at my house and was immediately drawn to the colors on the cover. She soon asked me to read the 'pretty book' with her. All throughout the story, she wanted me to tell her what the toy was and why she hadn't seen it on any commercials or at a friends' birthday party yet. I told her it is imaginary and, therefore, could be anything she'd like it to be. Emily sat back and thought for a moment before saying, "If it were my toy, it would bake brownies, play Simon Says with me, push me on my bike, and read to me." It sounds like if Emily ever gets her own 'marvelous toy', this auntie will be out of a job!

--Audra

Tom Paxton is one of the world's best loved singer/songwriters. His influence on folk music has been tremendous. He's received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy, four Grammy nominations, the ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award, and numerous others. The Martin Guitar Company has even named a guitar after him.

The recording features four tracks, two of which relate directly to the book and two that have messages that Paxton wanted to share with his young listeners. The title track tells the whole story of The Marvelous Toy, through the steady cadence of rhyming couplet, a repeating chorus, and fun sound effects. Paxton sings the 'zip' and 'bop' staccato, and rolls his 'r' in 'whirl'. Children can following along with the song in the book, or they can put the book down and just move and sing to the music on their own. There is an instrumental version of the title track as well, featuring a guitar and plucking banjo, so it may be fun to encourage your child to sing along and really experience the song, and then follow along in the book while listening to the instrumental refrain. Ask your child what they think the marvelous toy really is - what all does it do? Their answers are sure to be heartfelt and entertaining.

The song Let The Wind Blow has a great message; "All the children, all the children of the world could learn to love each other, could be like sister and brother." Paxton sings about a little girl in China and a young boy of Africa, who are not really all that different from me and you. This song is a great way to help teach your child acceptance of those who are different than themselves. Let the Wild Wind Blow is the second bonus song on the CD, and includes a beautiful repeating chorus of, "Let the wild wind blow, let it rain and then, the clouds will turn gold, and the sun will shine again." The song also features the unique sound of a stringed instrument, and a shaker is added at the end. The enjoyable chorus is repeated enough times throughout the song that your child will be singing along by the end.

 
1. The Marvelous Toy - 3:11

2. Let The Wild Wind Blow - 3:22

3. All The Children - 3:26

4. The Marvelous Toy (instrumental) - 3:11

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