Toys in the Basement

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( 63 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781606994023: Toys in the Basement

A creepy kids’ book from a French comics master.

With appearances in such anthologies as Zero Zero, BLAB! and Kramers Ergot, Stéphane Blanquet has been delighting and terrifying American readers with his superslick, ultradetailed creepiness.

So it makes perfect sense that his first graphic novel to be published in the U.S. would be... a children’s book? Yes indeed.

Our hero, attending a Halloween party in an embarrassing pink bunny costume (he wanted to he a pirate) stumbles across a secret society of damaged, forgotten, and pissed-off toys in the basement of his friend’s house―including the terrifying Amélie, not an adorable gamine played by Audrey Tautou but a towering sentient assemblage of broken toy parts out for revenge!

Imagine Toy Story as reimagined by David Lynch and Charles Burns and you’ll have a good idea of what this story is like. And yes, it is for kids! 32 pages of full-color

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About the Author:

Stephane Blanquet lives in France, where he works as a cartoonist, animator, sculptor, and painter.

From Booklist:

Has anyone ever seen a Toy Story movie and felt that toys having a life of their own and scurrying about when you can’t see them actually might not be a good thing? French writer-artist Blanquet apparently had a similar thought, as evidenced by this eerie import in which a basement full of ravaged and discarded toys kidnap children who stray into their path and feed them to a mountainous monster formed of a thousand broken toys. While the two children in this story manage to escape such a fate, and the Twilight Zone-lite ending could have been eschewed in favor of something less clichéd, Blanquet’s stylized and exaggerated figures have a Charles Burns-for-middle-schoolers creepiness and weight. Younger readers may view their toy chests in an unhappy new light, but for a slightly older group this is a great journey into the weird and an inheritor of a proud legacy handed down from the likes of Roald Dahl’s The BFG (1982) and Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth (1961). Grades 4-7. --Jesse Karp

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