Fantastic Toys: A Catalog

Monika Beisner (Author)
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This delightfully imaginative book catalogs eleven fantastical inventions of magical toys, with detailed descriptions and vivid illustrations that will make kids want to create their own fantastic toys

Fantastic Toys is a dream catalog of eleven marvelous inventions, magical toys that would make the world far more interesting, if only they existed. Here are inventions based on fantasy, like winged jumping boots that let you leap so high you startle the birds; inventions to assuage fears, like a glowing teddy bear; inventions to improve upon boring tasks or gloomy weather, like child-size bath-foam animals and animal umbrellas; and even educational inventions, like the treasure-hunt letter maze. Best of all are the inventions just for fun: the skipping machine that should be in every playground and the sheep toboggan (real sheep not included) that takes sledding to a whole new level. In a perfect mimicry of marketing, each toy is advertised with an earnest, compelling description and a detailed hand-drawn illustration of happy children demonstrating the fun that can be had. Fantastic Toysis a book not only for reading but for marveling, inventing, and building. Who knows what other fantastic toys are just waiting to be invented?

Product Details

New York Review of Books
Publish Date
March 12, 2019
10.7 X 0.4 X 10.6 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author

Monika Beisner is a German illustrator and artist. She studied painting in Braunschweig and Berlin, and continued her studies in New York and London. She is best known for her children's books The Heavenly Zoo and Fabulous Beasts, and has also illustrated Dante's Divine Comedy and Ovid's Metamorphoses. She lives in London;Ratzeburg, Germany; and on Gozo, Malta.


"A book I read over and over again as a child. It features such wonders as a heat- ed sheep toboggan and winged jumping boots. Four years ago, I discovered the reason we had that magical book--my mother had gone to elementary school with Monika. For me, it was as if she'd gone to school with Marilyn Monroe and never mentioned it." --Matthea Harvey, The Paris Review Daily

"Marvelously mad and intricate ideas for toys are described in a text that has the aura of a low-keyed sales catalog, and the tone is a good foil for the extravagance of the concepts and illustrations...Fun!" --The Best in Children's Books: The University of Chicago Guide to Children's Literature, 1973-1978