Back to Curriculum Guides

Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledge Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic

Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little

Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic. Emily Jenkins; Schwartz & Wade Books, 2006.

Grade Level: 3-5

ISBN & Cost: HB: 0375836047; $16.95

LIB: 0375936041; $19.99

PB: 0385736614; $5.99

toys go out

Blanket Permission to Reproduce Book Jackets:

Preferred wording: Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins. Schwartz & Wade Books, © 2006.

Synopsis: The adventures of StingRay, Lumphy, and Plastic. Three best friend toys relate their visits to school, ocean, the washing machine and other places.

General Review:

 Have you ever wondered what your pets do when you are away? What about your toys? In Toys Go Out, you get a look at three toys lives as they go on six adventures. Through these six adventures, children will be able to relate what the toys are going through to their own lives. Lumphy (a buffalo) is afraid of bathing, StingRay (a stingray) is a know-it-all and Plastic (a rubber ball) goes through an identity crisis. For beginning chapter book readers and for those who, like the Little Girl, have had an inaminate object for a best friend. Jenkins blends humor with insight while Zelinsky’s illustrations add to the details of the book.


Themes: Toys; Best Friends; Friendship; Adventure and adventures

Author information:

Discussion Questions: (Standard 3; Benchmark 3)


  1. What makes a best friend? Can we have best friends that are not human? Why or why not? Do you or have you every had a best friend that was a toy?
  2. What are subliminal messages? In the book, StingRay gave Little Girl subliminal messages while she slept. What are the different ways we receive and send these kind of messages?
  3. In the book, the toys worry about the Little Girl growing up. Why was the Little Girl growing up a concern for them?
  4. Being afraid is something that everyone has experienced. Sometimes you can be afraid of the unknown or be afraid because something has happened to make you afraid. What things make you afraid? Why?



  1. Have your students write a short story, in the first person, about an adventure of one of their toys. (Standard 5: Benchmark 3)
  2. Have your students research the facts about the real life of one of their toys (i.e. buffalo) and shares it with the class. (Standard 3: Benchmark 4)
  3. Have your students play some of the games that the toys play in the book. (Standard 3: Benchmark 3)

Similar Books for Further Reading

Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The Dolls’ House by Rumer Godden

The Doll People by Ann M. Martin (and sequel The Meanest Doll in the World