A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Children misbehave and are spoiled, a fairy is greedy, the stepsisters are mean.
Violence & Scariness
Fairy-tale violence, such as wicked stepsisters turned to ash, etc. A visit to a witch's house, which stands on claws and is surrounded by glowing skulls.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is some fairy tale violence in these stories. The art is lovely but too small.
Is It Any Good?
The best story in the collection is the title story, a humorous and poignant tale about real love between child and toy, and the repercussions of that love through the generations. For such a short story it has surprising complexity: The prince, though amusingly spoiled, is also selflessly loving and kind. It will make any child long for a rocking horse, and any adult long to give it, though the pictures of it are so magnificent that not just any rocking horse will do. The weakest story, surprisingly, is the one from E. Nesbit, a novelist of justified renown whose "The Town in the Library" is confusing and disjointed.
The rest are very good. "Memoirs of a London Doll," the first chapter of a 19th-century novel, may well send readers scrambling to find a used copy of this out-of-print book, and "Rag Bag" gives old, worn-out dolls their due. Angela Barrett's delicate illustrations are lovely, but many are reproduced as miniatures, which makes the details hard to make out.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate