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Monday, May 11, 2009

Whatever You Want: Mr. Stuffins

Mr. Stuffins #1

By: Andrew Cosby and Johanna Stokes

I remember growing up, jealous of some of my friends' toys. One in particular was Teddy Ruxpin, the teddy bear that told you stories. What better to do with your day than have a teddy bear read you all of your favorite books on tape? Sadly, I never got one. But I was intrigued when I saw the cover of Mr. Stuffins #1. Part James Bond, part Teddy Ruxpin, all badass teddy.

Unlike some people, when Mike uses the word cute to describe a book, I don't hesitate to dive right in. A scientist, desperate to conceal his research, pops the disc into a Mr. Stuffins in a toy store and marks the box so he can retrieve it later. Before he can come back, Zach and his father go into the store to buy a toy. Zach's father tries to get him to get a more macho toy like a football or a tank (or both), but all Zach sees is the Mr. Stuffins display.

Later that night, Zach turns on his toy, but nothing happens. Or so he thinks. While he sleeps, Mr. Stuffins new program starts running and he calls the Tattertot Toys line on his box to get mission parameters. "Thank you for calling . . . your child's safety is our number one priority." Not realizing that this is an automated reply, he takes it literally. When Zach wakes up in the morning, Mr. Stuffins has one of Zach's stuffed bunnies duct taped to a chair and is interrigating it. In one of the coolest moments in the book, Mr. Stuffins goes on a rant about the weapons in the house and how the gun only shoots foam, and it's not even riot foam. To prove his point about how ineffective foam is, he shoots Zach.

This was one of the funnest, cutest books I have read in awhile. It reminds me of my childhood and Sandman Presents: Merv Pumpkinhead Agent of Dream. It's equal parts James Bond and everything you hoped your toys would be (including beating up the bullies at school). Go out and read this book, it's gearing up to be a great story.

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