Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky

Readers who are familiar with the Toys series by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky, will be pleased to know that the three wacky toy characters — “a curious stuffed buffalo, a sensitive plush stingray and a book-loving rubber ball” — now star in their first standalone picture book. But you needn’t have read the other books in order to enjoy this sweet, quirky story about the curious toys venturing out of the house and learning about — as well as having fun with — snow for the very first time.

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A Doll for Marie by Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin

There’s something tragically ironic about toys that are abandoned, à la in the Toy Story trilogy; or, worse, left unplayed on the shelf like Corduroy, who is (initially) deemed damaged goods. Like Corduroy, the eponymous doll in this story suffers the same fate, but for the opposite reason: she’s a collectible vintage doll who is considered too valuable to be played with by children, and thus sits in the window of an antique shop all day.

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knuffle bunny free

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny and us go way back — I read the first book to my son when he was just two years old. Somehow, I didn’t get around to reading Knuffle Bunny Free — the last in the trilogy (I skipped the second book because I didn’t really like the story, though I’ll probably read it to them eventually) — to him until recently, a whopping three years later. I also took the chance to introduce the first Knuffle Bunny book to my daughter, and unsurprisingly, both books were a big hit with them.

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The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb

Blessed are the toys — or paper dolls, as the case may be — who have little girls (or boys) who play with them and bring them on adventures, and this is the story of one such little girl’s paperdoll chain, whose names are Ticky, Tacky, Jackie the Backie (so named because her back is, quirkily, permanently turned), Jim with two noses, and Jo with the bow. Then again, you could say that the good fortune is mutual since these imaginary adventures are fun for all.

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The Flying Bath by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts

Somewhere in the world, there’s a thirsty kangaroo stranded in the desert, a frantic bee in a wilting garden, a muddy pig who yearns for a bath, a distressed baboon trapped in a forest fire and a fish in a rapidly shrinking pond. Thankfully, they all know just who to call for help with their water-related emergencies: three unlikely heroes in their shiny white steed, The Flying Bath!

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