Parents' Guide to

Rocking Horse Land: And Other Classic Tales of Dolls and Toys

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Six stories about toys that come to life.

Rocking Horse Land: And Other Classic Tales of Dolls and Toys Poster Image

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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.

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