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TOON LEVEL: 2
INTEREST LEVEL: Age 4+
READING LEVEL: Grades 1-2
LEXILE LEVEL: 220
GUIDED READING LEVEL: H
AUTHOR: Geoffrey Hayes
DIMENSIONS: 6" x 9"
SERIES: Benny and Penny
About the Book
Benny and Penny hide every toy and tell Cousin Bo he can’t play with them. Will the three mice find a way to play without something getting torn, ripped, or snatched away? Geoffrey Hayes, the uncontested master of children's comics, thrills us with this hilarious tale of tiny cousins who discover a game that can’t ever be ruined.
Our Benny and Penny in The Toy Breaker Common Core Guide contains the ELA Common Core Standards, a Lesson Plan, and Student Activity Sheet to support standards-based instruction in the classroom. Our free guides are designed by a team of passionate literacy experts who specialize in classroom instruction for grades K-3.
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About the Author
Bestselling author Geoffrey Hayes has written and illustrated over forty children's books, including the extremely popular series of early readers Otto and Uncle Tooth, the classic Bear by Himself, the Patrick Bear books, and When the Wind Blew by Caldecott Medal-winning author Margaret Wise Brown.
His TOON Book series of Benny and Penny books has garnered multiple awards. In 2009, Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! received the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award given by the American Library Association for "the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English."
"Learning to read is fun with TOON Books like Benny and Penny in The Toy Breaker. Written and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes, this book--like all the TOON Books graphic novel readers--allows kids to understand the story just by 'reading' the picture, with the text adding key details...With his newest book, Hayes demonstrates his keen appreciation of the politics of childhood as he shows how Benny and his younger sister Penny deal with a visit from their 'toy breaker' cousin Bo. In humorous contrast to the emotion-packed story, Hayes's watercolor illustrations depict a cozy world reminiscent of Beatrix Potter."
--The Washington Post
"Appropriately takes the action away from bedtime and into the high noon of unsupervised backyard play, with mouse-siblings Benny and Penny confronting the trouble-making antics of visiting Cousin Bo. A comic-book format adds to the mischief."
--The Horn Book Magazine
"The popular and Geisel Award-winning mouse sibs meet their greatest challenge yet when hard-playing, toy-breaking cousin Bo saunters over for a visit...A thought-provoking episode just right for the I Can Read set."
"Hayes shows once again his skill at not just showing kids reacting authentically in realistic situations, but doing it in away that kids will enjoy. This is a must for an elementary library collection."
--School Library Journal
"The story has just the right amount of conflict and tension for young readers, and Hayes' simple panel and page designs and dialogue balloons continue to provide an easy and appealing introdution to reading--and to reading comics."
"A simple, beautifully illustrated tale, ideal for younger readers with its recognisable characters and situations."
--Forbidden Planet International
"Each story I read with these mice siblings is better than the one before. I think it’s because the characters grow on me with exposure — I get more sense of them and their adorable little personalities... Youngsters will love seeing a conflict they can identify with — a kid they don’t want to play with, for very good reason — while adults will love the accurate portrayal of the way children think and act. A surprising amount happens in this 32-page color comic under hard covers, with a lovely resolution."
--Great Graphic Novels for Kids
"It’s a sweet story told in language kids can relate to... Hayes pushes for understanding rather than exclusion. His art remains forever adorable — the little animals that populate this book are cute without being cloying. His art reminds me of classic comic strips and the retro feel of the book is appealingly innocent. The seeming simplicity of this book belies a great message for kids without ever being preachy."
"Simple, funny and appealing to new readers, the latest Benny and Penny lives up to its predecessors but does not need to be read in any particular order. Hayes’s illustrations are expressive and walk the fine line between cute and cutesy perfectly. The comic format will appeal to wide range of readers. A welcome addition to easy reader collections."
"This book... is engaging, funny, and entices my struggling reader to want to read more than I ask of him in a sitting. A good read and a fun story."
--Back To Books
"One of the things I love about the Benny and Penny series is that Hayes doesn't trivialize or simplify children's developing social relationships."
--Jean Little Library
"Fans of Benny and Penny's earlier adventures will enjoy this new story, perfect for kids who are just learning to read... I think it's a book that will speak to a lot of people - and the positive ending a good message for everyone of any age."
--Crowding the Book Truck
"In my house, all of the TOON Books are superb picture books that will some day become primers for my son when he is ready to read.... all of these aforementioned are in heavy rotation at home and at the bookstore."
--Books 4 Your Kids
“THE TOY BREAKER is ideal for beginner/early readers. It... has a great mix of pictures and easy-to-read words. This book is also filled with lots of humor to keep the readers entertained as well as a cute message. As a mom, I just love that the graphics reinforce the story and that kids can use all of the adorable pictures to help them figure out the unfamiliar words.”
"Geoffrey Hayes has come up with another humorous graphic novel for beginning readers, many of whom may have had experiences with someone like Bo."
--Center for Children’s & Young Adult Books
"This is a story that any child can relate to — playing with children who you don’t get along with. I found this book to be another excellent offering for the Toon Books catalog."
"This, like Hayes’ previous BENNY AND PENNY adventures, is cute, charming stuff — the perfect mix of big pictures and short words to hook a young child into the pleasures of reading (and not just comics)."
"Benny and Penny make their third appearance in this little story about a common childhood concern – a toy breaker. The pair dread their cousin Bo’s visits because he always manages to break their toys. Hayes’s story rings true to childhood interactions, and the illustrations are adorable. This book would be perfect for any early reader."
--The Blue Stocking Society
"Hayes tells a simple story about a situation that will be instantly familiar to young children. He doesn’t preach and he doesn’t talk down to readers. His characters are realistic children, even if they are drawn as mice. They solve problems the way that kids would solve them, sometimes crying for their mom and sometimes working things out on their own... The combination of picture book and comic book make this an excellent transition book both for early readers and for parents who aren’t graphic novel readers... After The Toy Breaker, readers will be eager to see more of Benny and Penny."
--Graphic Novel Reporter