by Quentin Blake

London: Jonathan Cape, 1995

29 pp.

Age: 3 +

Interests: toys, clowns, city

Also by this author: All Join In, Mister Magnolia

A stern matron throws out an armload of toys. A toy clown extricates himself from the garbage can and sets off across the big city in search of a new owner for the toys. He finds a sympathetic girl who brings him to her posh home but her mother disapproves of the dirty toy and tosses the clown out the window into an alley. Chased by a dog, the clown subdues him by doing tricks, but the dog’s owner picks him up and flings him into another open window. Inside he finds a young girl in tears, looking after a crying baby in a bare and rundown tenement apartment. The clown performs for them, then helps her clean up the place and even cooks dinner. She says her mom will return soon but they have enough time to trundle out, find the clown’s friends in the garbage and bring them home. The mother arrives after a hard day and is delighted to find all in order and her children happy. The girl exchanges a grin with the clown, now sitting with all the other toys on the bed.

A story told all in pictures, with no words at all. Even the talk bubbles have pictures in them. The clown is an irrepressible, ever-hopeful character, eager to please and help others. Even though he has been tossed out with the trash, he manages to find someone whose life he can make a big, big difference to. Touching without being sentimental.


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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