Holiday 2013  ShoppeTALK
San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe 


Dear Friends of San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe,

We’re Moving...

to 2476 Huntington Drive, San Marino just 4 doors east. After nearly 20 years at the current location our property has been sold. The Shoppe will remain open with business as usual until we move next year. The new location is under construction so we’ll see you just a few doors away early in 2014. What a glorious way to begin our 39th year in San Marino! To help celebrate…
We’re Going Green...

and hope you will join in our mission. Next year all announcements, sale notices and newsletters will be sent via email. Visit our website at NOW to let us know your email address and preference for email OR USPS mail. We do not share our mailing list with anyone. Thank you for signing up today… we look forward to this new step towards a greener future.

We hope you enjoy our 2013-2014 Holiday Toy Collection and Book Catalog. Please shop early as many items are in short supply. Remember there are 6 fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year so the best time to shop is NOW! Best wishes to you and your family for a joyous holiday season from your friends at San Marino Toy and Book. We appreciate your continued support and hope to see you soon.


Gifts of the Heart, favorite author-illustrator Patricia Polacco’s first Christmas-themed story in over 10 years, is a wonderful ode to the magic of family, Christmas and giving the right kind of gifts – gifts filled with love. Richie and Trisha want to buy wonderful Christmas gifts for their family but they don’t have enough money. Enter Kay Lamity, a new housekeeper…or is she? She comes into their lives like a whirlwind, brimming with positive energy and a can-do attitude. Kay not only straightens them out when it comes to whether Santa is real she teaches them something about gifts; the just-good-enough kind that come from the pocketbook and the unforgettable kind that come from the heart.
Ages 5 up, $17.99
Author and illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, Jon Agee brings us an endearing and slyly funny tale of Santa’s beginnings which is sure to become a Christmas classic. Little Santa loves the North Pole. The rest of his family? Not so much. When they decide to move to Florida, Santa is miserable. But lucky for him a blizzard foils their plans. The only way out of the house is up the chimney. Up goes Santa to look for help. On his way he meets a reindeer and a large group of elves who are more than eager to join in the rescue…And you know the rest of the story!
Ages 3 up, $17.99

All babies are beautiful and all babies cry – and Jesus was no exception. On the night he was born, nothing Mary, Joseph, or the animals could do would comfort his crying. But then a little kitten wanted his turn and with a purr and a snuggle the kitten put Jesus right to sleep. A loving friendship began. This perfect Christmas read-aloud, The Christmas Cat, was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of La Madonna del Gatto which show Mary lovingly holding both baby Jesus and a kitten. The Christmas Cat, by Maryann MacDonald with illustrations by Amy June Bates.
Ages 3 up, $16.99
Fun, festive, and full of holiday spirit, The Family Christmas Treasury is just what Santa ordered to ring in the Christmas season! Eight full-length stories are interspersed with joyful Christmas carol lyrics featuring the musical art of H.A. Rey. Create lasting yuletide memories with beloved characters such as Curious George, Tacky the Penguin, Lyle the Crocodile, and Strega Nona. Perfect for reading together around the fire or snuggled in bed, the collection is an ideal gift for your loved ones this holiday season! This comprehensive edition with shiny foil cover accents includes 288 pages, bonus CD and audio download with classic Christmas carols.
Ages 3 up, $18.99.

Pair with companion The Family Bedtime Treasury also $18.99.


Eric Carle, the beloved creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other classic books for children, debuts his latest title with Friends. When a best friend moves away, it can be painful for the child left behind. But the spunky boy in this upbeat story makes up his mind to find his missing playmate. Young readers will cheer on the boy as he braves currents, climbs mountains, and dashes through rain before, finally, reuniting with his friend. For anyone who has ever scaled mountains to be with the one he loves, or for anyone who has simply known the love and joy of a great friendship, this book will strike a resonant chord.
Ages 3 up, $17.99
Crayons have feelings too as we discover in The Day the Crayons Quit. Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons he finds only letters all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking – each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best? Kids will be imagining their own conversations with crayons and coloring a blue streak after sharing laughs with Drew Daywalt and New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers.
Ages 3 up, $17.99

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines… plus one very unhappy ghost! Madeline’s next-door neighbor, Pepito, returns in this lively romp as the two friends set out to find the source of mysterious ghostly groans in the night. Feisty and fearless as ever, Madeline just says “pooh-pooh” and her many fans will cheer with delight in sharing author John Bemelmans Marciano’s newest adventure Madeline and the Old House in Paris.
Ages 3 up, $17.99
Holy guacamole! Skippyjon Jones is 10 years old! Enjoy a special edition of the book that launched a thousand Chimichangoes with a note from author Judy Schachner about how the character came into being. There’s a photo of the real Skippyjon Jones and even a reversible book jacket with Skippito in his mask-ito on the other side. So hold on to your mice and beans – this book is the fiesta you’ve been waiting for. Skippyjon Jones Tenth Anniversary Gift Edition.
Ages 3 up, $17.99

Jan Brett sets her Cinderella story in a snowy Russian winter where one magical night, Cinders – A Chicken Cinderella, the most picked upon hen in the flock, becomes the most loved by Prince Cockerel when she arrives at his ball looking so beautiful that even her bossy sisters don’t recognize her. Brett’s fanciful illustrations capture the grandeur of eighteenth-century Russia and her chicken characters provide the fun and romance that she brings to the Cinderella story. Don’t miss the glorious gatefold that opens up on pullets and cockerels whirling around the ballroom. Ages 3 up, $17.99
Jerry Pinkney is one of the most heralded children’s book illustrators of all time. Among his many awards he has the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honors and the winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal for The Lion & the Mouse his adaptation of one of Aesop’s most beloved fables. The collection continues with the companion The Tortoise & the Hare in his most stunning masterpiece yet! Readers will see that even the slowest tortoise can defeat the quickest hare and even the proudest hare can learn from the humblest tortoise. Pinkney’s superbly rendered journey from starting line to finish embodies the bravery, perseverance, and humility we can all find inside ourselves. Ages 3 up.  The Tortoise & the Hare, $18.00
The Lion & the Mouse, $16.99


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, part A Night in the Museum, and a whole lot of fun. When the eccentric inventor of video and board games returns to his hometown to build a library the likes of which has never been seen, he brings with him the most spectacular puzzler of them all. Seventh grader Kyle Keeley wants more than anything to be the winner of Mr. Lemoncello’s latest challenge but it will take skill, wit, and ultimately teamwork to come out on top. With a delightful cast of characters and the homey feel of family game night, Chris Grabenstein’s novel mimics elements of two beloved classics but stands on its own merit as a sure fire winner with young readers.
Ages 8-12, $16.99  
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures begins as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.
Ages 8-12, $17.99

Newbery Award-winning author Richard Peck is at his very best in this fast-paced mystery adventure The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail. The smallest mouse in London’s Royal Mews is such a little mystery that he hasn’t even a name. And who were his parents? His Aunt Marigold, Head Needlemouse, sews him a uniform and sends him off to be educated at the Royal Mews Mouse Academy. There he’s called “Mouse Minor” (though it’s not quite a name), but he doesn’t make a success of school. Soon he’s running for his life, looking high and low through the grand precincts of Buckingham Palace to find out who he is and who he might become. Queen Victoria ought to be able to help him if she can communicate with mice. She is all-seeing, after all, and her powers are unexplainable. But from her, Mouse Minor learns only that you do not get all your answers from the first asking. And so his voyage of self-discovery takes him onward to strange and wonderful places.
Ages 8-12, $16.99  
When a father runs out to buy milk for his children’s breakfast cereal, the last thing he expects is to be abducted by aliens. He soon finds himself transported through time and space on an extraordinary adventure where the fate of the universe depends on him and the milk. But will his children believe his wild story? Find out just how odd things get in Fortunately, the Milk - a hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.
 Ages 8-12, $14.99

Ghost Hawk begins on the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man. John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren’t as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger. The intertwining stories of Little Hawk and John Wakely are a fascinating tale of friendship and an eyeopening look at the history of our nation. Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper also includes a timeline and an author’s note that discusses the historical context of this important and moving novel. Ages 8-14, $16.99
In James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters illustrated by Chris Grabenstein, the Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear on the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents--and find out if they’re still alive.
Ages 8-12, $14.99

Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers begins with everyone thinking that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck that left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive—but “almost impossible” means “still possible.” And you should never ignore a possible. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian, threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has— the address of the cello maker. Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers—urchins who live in the hidden spaces above the city. Together they scour the city in a search for Sophie’s mother—but can they find her before Sophie is caught and sent back to London? Or, more importantly, before she loses hope? Ages 8-12, $16.99

Newbery medalist Cynthia Voigt presents a rollicking mystery in three acts with Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things. Max’s parents are missing. They are actors, and thus unpredictable, but sailing away, leaving Max with only a cryptic note, is unusual even for them. Until he can figure it out, Max feels it’s safer to keep a low profile. Hiding out is no problem for a child of the theater. Max has played many roles, he can be whoever he needs to be to blend in. But finding a job is tricky, no matter what costume he dons. Ironically, it turns out Max has a talent for finding things. He finds a runaway child, a stray dog, a missing heirloom, a lost love. . . . So is he a finder? A detective? No, it’s more. Max finds a way to solve people’s problems—he engineers better outcomes for them. He becomes Mister Max, Solutioneer. Now if only he could find a solution to his own problems.
Ages 8-12, $16.99

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read. In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss and discovering the true meaning of family. Ages 10 up, $16.99


A beloved under-the-sea tale is now a pop-up masterpiece, from expert craftsman Robert Sabuda. Come along on a magical journey under the sea in this stunning pop-up adaptation of the beloved fairy tale The Little Mermaid, expertly crafted by renowned paper engineer Robert Sabuda. Amazing three-dimensional paper structures pop off each page, bringing this classic underwater adventure to life. This visually stunning tale of adventure, true love, and sacrifice is sure to become a favorite in any story-lover’s library. Ages 6+ with careful hands, $29.99

Transformers:The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe shift, change, and rise to battle in this spectacular interactive pop-up adventure by bestselling paper engineer Matthew Reinhart. Open each page to explore a different part of the vast Transformers universe-then pull the tabs to watch the pop-ups change into entirely new paper creations! In this epic pop-up experience unlike any seen before, only you hold the power to make the Autobots and Decepticons turn from vehicles to robots, and back again. Starring more than 35 iconic Transformers characters, including Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Starscream, and more, Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe offers fans new and old a pop-up experience they won’t ever forget. Ages 6+ with careful hands, $37.00
Animals smooth and spiky, fast and slow, hop and waddle through the two hundred plus pages of the Caldecott Honor artist Steve Jenkins’s most impressive nonfiction offering yet. In The Animal Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of Life on Earth sections such as “Animal Senses,” “Animal Extremes,” and “The Story of Life” burst with fascinating facts and infographics that will have trivia buffs breathlessly asking, “Do you know a termite queen can produce up to 30,000 eggs a day?” Jenkins’s color-rich cut- and torn-paper artwork is as strikingly vivid as ever. Rounding out this bountiful browsers’ almanac of more than three hundred animals is a discussion of the artist’s bookmaking process, an animal index, a glossary, and a bibliography. Ages 6-9, 208 pages, $21.99

Flex your mental muscles with Mind Benders — an interactive book of brainteasers, optical illusions, word and number games, logic puzzles, physical tricks, mazes, and more. Featuring 60 mind bending questions and challenges with bright, appealing graphics, each mind bender is introduced with a straightforward question and gives simple instructions of what to do. Answers not only give the solution, but also explain how the challenge works and how to find the solution. With cerebral challenges that include learning to think laterally and logically, and finding the shortcut to speedy sums, Mind Benders will get children away from electronic devices and give their brains a workout. Ages 6-12, $19.99
Building on the success of wildly popular The LEGO® Ideas Book, LEGO Play Book has all-new ways to encourage kids to think, build, and play creatively. Featuring more than 200 different builds, this fun guide inspires readers with LEGO ideas to bring their bricks to life while encouraging them to use their imagination and play in new ways, creating amazing LEGO models of their very own. Featuring a mixture of simple, medium, and complex models, LEGO Play Book will teach builders tips and tricks to get the most out of their blocks. All-new models along with all-new photography spark new play ideas and LEGO creations. This book is fantastic for any LEGO builder looking to be inspired to build and create. Ages 7-15, 200 pages, $24.99

LEGO® Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual History shows the evolution of this classic toy for the first time ever with exquisite photography and fascinating facts about each and every minifigure included. The first minifigure was created in 1978 and today the entire minifigure could circle the globe more than two and a half times! Featuring more than 2,000 of the most significant, popular, and rare minifigures, this engaging reference guide explores minifigures chronologically by theme. Fans will learn little-known facts about their favorite minifigures in this first-ever publishing of the evolution of the famous LEGO minifigure. Ages 8-18, 256 pages, $40.

Includes 3 iconic minifigures!

Don’t miss Sports Illustrated Kids The TOP 10 of Everything in SPORTS for any kid on your gift list into sports! Presented in the format of Top 10 lists, this book is a comprehensive yet fun look at the greatest aspects of Pro Sports. From the top athletes to the most popular teams in the world, SI Kids ranks a variety of topics covering every professional sport. Readers are guaranteed to love the big, exciting action photos from the Sports Illustrated collection and the insider knowledge of SI Kids. Filled with trivia and information, this dynamic book will be the definitive kids sports book. Ages 8 up, 96 pages, $19.95  

What if dinosaurs had not died out? What if whole colonies of the prehistoric beasts had survived on a remote island off the coast of South America? The latest adventure, Dinosaurology, in the bestselling ’Ology series offers young dinosaur lovers a tantalizing taste of what that would be like. The year is 1907, and young adventurer Raleigh Rimes is on an expedition to South America with real-life explorer Percy Fawcett. There he discovers the unimaginable: living dinosaurs roaming the rain forest! Presented as a journal detailing their extraordinary (and hair-raising) encounters with the amazing beasts — fearsomeTyrannosaurus rex, pack-hunting allosauruses, predatory velociraptors, armored triceratops, and other species — Dinosaurology is filled with flaps and booklets offering dinosaur lore, along with such novelties as a sample of dinosaur skin, a pouch of ground stegosaurus horn, and more. Ages 8-12, $19.99
Another super animal book, this one for ages 8-12. Our world is filled with extraordinary diversity, from amoebas to zebras, from tiny toadstools to giant oaks. The wonders of the natural world are on display in The Animal Book. This guide to life on our planet is packed full of information about creatures big and small. This tome is structured according to scientific classification, with straightforward explanations of more than 1,500 specimens, each stunningly photographed. A “tree of life” greets readers at the beginning of the book, charting the complex and interconnected relationships between species. Feature spreads that focus on a single specimen let children get up close and personal with the world’s most fascinating animals, making The Animal Book perfect not only for homework help but to satisfy kids’ curiosity about the wealth of living creatures that inhabit our planet. Ages 8-12, 304 pages, $24.99

Created in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution and with the latest CGI technology, the Knowledge Encyclopedia is a bold new approach to family reference using 3-D rendered images to explore the wonders of the world in unprecedented detail. Divided into six chapters — Space, Earth, Nature, Human Body, Science & Technology, and History & Culture, plus a reference section — a wide range of topics come to life. Illustrated with fascinating facts, maps, timelines, and graphics, the Knowledge Encyclopedia makes complex subjects easy to understand and is the perfect resource for kids, whether to help with homework or to pique their curiosity.
Ages 8-15, 360 pages, $29.99
History Year by Year presents the world through a detailed timeline, letting children follow the influences, patterns, and connections between historical events. Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution and featuring more than 1,500 images, beautifully illustrated History Year by Year brings the story of the past to life. Beginning with prehistory and running up to the Arab Spring, budding historians will learn about the history of humans across the world. Spreads highlight major historical eras including the Renaissance and the French Revolution, while quotations from primary and secondary sources alongside insight from experts give proper historical context. Children will love the “child of the time” feature, telling the experience of children at important historical periods including Ancient Egypt, Viking England, the Industrial Revolution, and World War II. History Year by Year is a visual journey throughout time and an invaluable reference for kids looking to connect the dots of history across the world.
Ages 9-15, 320 pages, $24.99

Kids love to express themselves, and are designers by nature—whether making posters for school, deciding what to hang in their rooms, or creating personalized notebook covers. Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, by the award-winning graphic designer Chip Kidd, is a stunning introduction to the ways in which a designer communicates his or her ideas to the world. It’s written and designed just for those curious kids, not to mention their savvy parents, who want to learn the secret of how to make things dynamic and interesting. The book ends with ten projects, including an invitation to share your designs at Go, Ages 10 up, 160 pages, $17.95
Unlikely Friendships is the phenomenal New York Times bestseller that’s spent 44 weeks on the list and has 615,000 copies in print. Now its author, Jennifer Holland, who writes about animal relationships with insight, compassion, and a fine narrative touch, explores animal attachments that, in human terms, can only be called love. Packed with beautiful, breathtaking full-color photographs, Unlikely Loves is a celebration of love between species. Here are stories of parental love, like the Dalmatian who mothers a newborn lamb — a lamb that just happens to be white with black spots! Stories of playful love, including the fox and the hound who become inseparable. And stories of orphaned animals who have found family-like ties in unexpected combinations, like the elephant who’s bonded with sea lions, goats, and other animals in her walks around the Oregon Zoo. The stories are written with journalistic integrity and detail—and always filled with the author’s deep affection for her subjects. Unlikely Loves: 45 Heartwarming True Stories from the Animal Kingdom, all ages, 240 pages, $13.95 paperback; also available, $13.95

Brian Floca follows up the acclaimed Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 with Locomotive an ebullient, breathtaking look at a family’s 1869 journey from Omaha to Sacramento via the newly completed Transcontinental Railroad. The unnamed family is a launching point for Floca’s irrepressible exploration into, well, everything about early rail travel, from crew responsibilities and machinery specifics to the sensory thrills of a bridge rumbling beneath and the wind blasting into your face. The substantial text is delivered in non-rhyming stanzas as enlightening as they are poetic: the “smoke and cinders, / ash and sweat” of the coal engine and the Great Plains stretching out “empty as an ocean.” Blasting through these artful compositions are the bellows of the conductor (“FULL STEAM AHEAD”) and the scream of the train whistle, so loud that it bleeds off the page: “WHOOOOOOO!” Font styles swap restlessly to best embody each noise (see the blunt, bold “SPIT” versus the ornate, ballooning “HUFF HUFF HUFF”). Just as heart pounding are Floca’s bold, detailed watercolors, which swap massive close-ups of barreling locomotives with sweeping bird’s-eye views that show how even these metal giants were dwarfed by nature. It’s impossible to turn a page without learning something, but it’s these multiple wow moments that will knock readers from their chairs. Fantastic opening and closing notes make this the book for young train enthusiasts. Daniel Kraus, Booklist. Ages 4 to Dad and Grandpa, $17.99
“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” Few books have been as universally cherished as The Little Prince, the haunting, lyrical fable that explores the very meaning of life. This deluxe seventieth anniversary gift set includes a hardcover book with the original full-color illustrations, along with two audio CDs (and exclusive download) of the unabridged text, narrated by Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen, beloved for his role as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Rediscover the beloved story that begins with a simple picture and blossoms into a spellbinding adventure.

The Little Prince 70th Anniversary Gift Set (Book/CD/Downloadable Audio),
Ages 8 up, $24.99

Don’t forget to visit our website at 

to let us know your preference for email or
USPS newsletters and announcements.

Recommendations include those by independent booksellers from across the nation.