Do you remember when you believed in magic?
It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is a place of hope and enchantment.
The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles of their own. Into this family...more
I never thought that there would ever be another book that would make me experience all the emotions The Night Circus brought to surface. The awe, the magic, the sadness and the hope. Naturally, I was immediately drawn to the story of The Toymakers, but I thought that it would be an elegant fairytale, a book to prepare me for the festive reads of this years Christmas thats fastly approaching. But this novel by Robert Dinsdale proved to be ...more
Small-town teen, Cathy Wray,
finds herself in the family way.
(I'm a poet, yet didn't know it).
She is also desperate to escape her parents, who want her pregnancy kept secret and the baby given up for adoption.
But then a serendipitous moment occurs; a highlighted ad in a newspapers situations vacant column: a position at a toymakers store, Papa John's Emporium, in London.
As if guided by a deity, Cathy hightails ...more
I must admit to moments during the book when things were a bit too sweet, a bit too perfect, but then along came World War 1 and everything changed. The last chapters of the book are actually quite dark and the ending is amazing. I was stunned at the eventual outcome.
The author writes well and has an excellent imagination. I felt sorry for the toy soldiers and how I wished I could have seen ...more
I adored the first chapter and was absolutely convinced I would love the book to pieces. It brilliantly introduces Cathy, knocked-up and desperate, who flees her parents home to find work in Papa Jacks Emporium. Her sense of desperation is ...more
I was sad to leave Papa Jacks Emporium. It was a safe place so full of wonder, love, friendship, hope and the magic of toys. The whole place came to life in front of my eyes. I was surrounded by toys the whole time I was reading this book. It was such a delight.
However, this book is not all fun and games. While one brother obsesses over his toy soldiers in the Emporium, another is made to face a much darker world outside those ...more
Set inside a magical toy shop, in the heart of 1940's London, where paper trees grow in front of your eyes, patchwork dogs act like breathing ones, and doll houses are bigger than most city compartments live Kaspar and Emil. Two brothers who travelled, with their estranged father Papa Jack, to this foreign city to make their home and perfect their craft. The toy shop has grown and every year, at first frost, the lost, the afraid, and the ...more
I enjoyed the imagination and the description of the toys that were created. I really liked the character of Cathy. I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Cathy is the novels protagonist, and when we first meet her she is pregnant and stumbles across a help needed add from Papa Jacks Emporium, the magical toy shop. Cathy has nowhere else to go and decides to go for the job which means the beginning of a whole ...more
There's so much to like in this book- the Emporium is truly a magical place, somewhere a patchwork dog can run, and play, and love. It brings to mind every Christmas film you've ever seen, Santa's factory brought once more to life within the pages of the book. Such a place might seem inimical to disaster but conflict arrives in the form of a young girl, pregnant and in search of a place to survive. Cathy is the instant and everlasting focus of two brothers, Emil and Kaspar, whose ...more
A magical, wintery tale about a lost young woman and the toy shop that rescues her. Cathy is a pregnant runaway taken in by the family of Papa Jons Emporium - a toy shop that sells the unimaginable. With a story that spans 50 years, we see Cathy and Papa Jons children, Kasper and Emil, go through sibling rivalries, jealousy and two world wars all set against the backdrop of this wonderful shop.
The writing style is hauntingly ...more
It was a rather slow read for me though and especially around the middle the story dragged quite a bit. Moreover, while I think there were some very interesting ...more
Welcome to The Emporium where you walk into a toy shop, but are transported to a world of wonder where toys seem to have lives of their own and magic is around every corner.
Papa Jack runs The Emporium with his two sons and in 1917 we follow Cathy Wray as she discovers and starts to work at The Emporium. It opens every year at the first frost and closes when the first snowdrop blooms. During the warmer months, Papa Jack ...more
Richly written, full of magic - a lovely book.
Others have compared this book to The Night Circus, and for good reason; as it has similarly rich, lyrical language, and deeply evocative descriptions.
The novel follows Cathy, a pregnant young runaway, who finds herself at Papa Jack's Emporium in London. This is no ordinary toy shop, as hints of magic rule every aisle; from soldiers able to do battle of their own ...more
POV: Third Person
Cathy Wray was so young but already in desperate need of a start over. She stumbled upon an advertisement that took her to Papa Jacks Toy Emporium - a magical place for kids and adults alike. There, she met brothers Emil and Kaspar Goodman who showed her that life would never again be anything but ordinary.
Why, theyll come here and play with your toys one winter, then come to vandalise the next. Well, we ought to be showing...more
The characters are immensely interesting. Even if there not always likable, there flaws and mistakes were presented in a way that the reader could understand where they were coming from. It also made them more believable as ...more
The Toymakers is a magical, compelling and mesmerising read that totally absorbed me and has changed the way I'll look at toys forever.
The writing is flawlessly beautiful and engaging and the characters are so well drawn that I feel I've left friends behind. The author vividly portrays the most magnificent awe inspiring scenes, totally capturing the wonders of childhood and the excitement of Christmas. This is ...more
I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A magical toyshop, a family who can make the ordinary become extraordinary and a runaway girl looking for a new place to call home.
This book - there is no other word for it but magical. Think The Night Circus meets the childish wonder and imagination of Toy Story, and youve got it - all set in pre-First World War London.
The descriptions in this book and how the emporium ...more
The idea was good but the execution so poorly!
When I started reading I expected a world full of magic but instead I came across tragedy and ridiculous situations!
The only characters I liked were Kaspar, Martha, Papa Jack and a patchwork dog but they weren't enough for me to care about reading further ...more
Cathy Wray comes to the Emporium in answer to an ad. She's young, pregnant, and looking for a way to keep her baby. Cathy becomes entwined in the brothers' (Kaspar and Emil) lives, working first as a shopgirl, before marrying older brother Kaspar, who's brilliant designs regularly outshine Emil's. Emil never feels that he measures up, and suffers envy and jealousy ...more
This book is such a good choice for curling up with on a weekend before Christmas! I loved the atmosphere Dinsdale created around Papa Jacks Emporium, walking the line between imagination and magic, perfectly capturing the childhood sense of wonder of walking into a toyshop (or bookstore). However, I think it could have been at least 150 pages shorter, the ending seemed to drag on forever. But I thought the topics of PTSD and war were quite well-handled, and the characters were ...more
Then it changes - I'll not give anything away. While Cathy and Papa Jack are excellent Kasper and particularly his brother, never seemed to quite fulfil the early promise. Equally the second half felt overly drawn out to me. I still think it's a very good read but... I read Little Exiles by this ...more
I also kept thinking of the film Toy Story and upon now reviewing this book to call it a likeness miss mash of these and War would be a fair summary.
The tale starts with Cathy who at 16 and pregnant answers a newspaper add to work in Papa Jack's Emporium, she sees it as her chance to escape from entering the home ...more
Given that I have already read so many books as well as a great variety of them, nowadays it is hard that a book is able to make me drop everything Ive got to do so I can immerse myself in it but there are, gladly, exceptions. From its first lines, I felt the magic The Toymaker carries ...more
|YA Buddy Readers'...: The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale - Starting 8th February 2018.||17||35||Feb 28, 2018 09:38AM|
In 2010 I spent four months in Australia researching the novel that would become LITTLE EXILES, which was published by Harper Collins in February 2013.