Toy Stories

The Toy as Hero in Literature, Comics and Film


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About the Book

Toys—those celebrated childhood cohorts and lead actors in children’s imaginative play—have a fantastic history of heroism in fiction. From teddy bears that guard sleeping babies to plastic soldiers and cowboys who lay siege to wooden block castles, toys are often the heroes of the stories children inspire authors to tell. In this collection of new essays, scholars from a great range of disciplines examine fictional toys as protectors of the children they love, as heroes of their own stories, and as champions for the greater good in the writings of A.A. Milne, Hans Christian Andersen, William Joyce, John Lasseter and many others.

About the Author(s)

Tanya Jones is a former high school teacher and department chairperson. She has authored numerous essays for various collections and presented her theoretical framework at conferences across the country. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Tanya Jones

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: 7 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6517-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2911-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Bears, Bogeymen and Bedtime Heroes: Something Like an Introduction (Tanya Jones) 1

The Stuff of Legend: The Graphic Novel’s ­Re-Imagination of Children’s Literature (Rebecca Gorman ­O’Neill) 13
“The Steadfast Tin Soldier” as Romantic Hero and Tragic Lover (Kirsten Møllegaard) 27
The Problem of Possession: Objects and Maturation in The Indian in the Cupboard (Rachel L. Carazo) 45
They Don’t Make ’Em Like That Anymore: Dolls vs. Modernity (Craig Ian Mann) 62
“You are not a live thing. You’re a dummy”: The Rights and Hierarchy of the ­Hero-Creations of Oz (Dina Schiff Massachi) 78
Falterity: The Toy as Otherwise Than Hero (Nathan TeBokkel) 94
“You made the journey, the Long Journey!” Performances of Race, Nation and Toyhood in Paddle-to-the-Sea (Thaddeus Andracki) 114
“Even if you can’t see something, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there”: Toys as Heroic Agents of Creativity and Cultural Criticism in Small Soldiers (Michael Brodski) 130
The Lonely Doll Series: Fantasy and Fear (Mary Bronstein) 143
“Real isn’t how you are made”: Heroism and the Power of a Child’s Love (Kristine Larsen) 157
Goodbye, Get Lost, Come Back! Parting Ways with Special Toys (Valerie H. Pennanen) 169

About the Contributors 183
Index 185