The Marvelous Toy book cover image

The Marvelous Toy

  • 2195

By: Tom Paxton / Illustrated by: Steve Cox

“A wonder to behold, it was,
With many colors bright,
And the moment I laid eyes on it
It became my heart’s delight.”

Discover a simple tale about a mysterious, magical, and mystical toy that a father gives to his son before it eventually gets passed down to the next generation.

Based on Tom Paxton’s enchanting song, this memorable book features wildly imaginative art by Steve Cox.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Tom Paxton, author

Tom Paxton is one of the world's best-known and loved singer/songwriters. He has been richly honored with the ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award, four Grammy nominations, and the Martin Guitar Company has even named a guitar after him. He is a true musical treasure.

Read more about Tom Paxton.

Steve Cox, illustrator

Steve Cox began his career working in design and character merchandising. Cox's first picture book was Pigs Might Fly for which he won a Red House Children's Book Award. He’s also illustrated The Diary of a Killer Cat and Ants in My Pants, as well as many others.

Read more about Steve Cox.

Editorial Reviews:

Oneota Reading Journal

Steve Cox's illustrations complement and bring a sparkling perspective to the timeless lyrics of Tom Paxton's, The Marvelous Toy. As with the marvelous new toy, the colors are bright and establish a mood of delight and wonderment in a toy that "went zip when it moved and bop when it stopped and whirr when it stood still." Paxton sings the lyrics on the CD accompanying the book along with two other tunes: Let the Wild Wind Blow, All the Children (DLN).

The Post & Courier

If you don't recognize the title, it won't take long for the words to begin tickling your memories.

Tom Paxton's "The Marvelous Toy" folk song is a childhood favorite for millions. With lyrics like "It went zip! when it moved/And bop! when it stopped/And whirr! when it stood still," this song celebrates a child's sense of wonderment.

Recording artists including John Denver and Peter, Paul and Mary entertained fans for decades with its energetic lyrics.

In this picture book adaptation, a father comes home with a new toy for his son. His son doesn't know what it is but knows it's amazing. The boy owns quite a few toys, as evidenced in the pictures, but none capture his imagination like this marvelous toy. As the last page turns, the boy is an adult handing the toy down to his son, and the excitement continues.

Steve Cox brings the marvelous toy to life with vibrant colors and energy. He illustrates the father and son well, but keeps them subdued and basic so that the focus is always on the toy and the action.

The nicest touch is that he never shows us the entire toy, only allowing us glimpses and streaks of color.


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Hardcover with CD
ISBN: 978-0-9822939-2-8

ISBN: 000-0-00000-000-0 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

All ages
Page count: 26
11 3/8 x 10 1/2

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