Early Book Review: Wars in Toyland by Joe Harris, Adam Pollina, Brent McCarthy, and Nolan Woodard

Wars in Toyland is a graphic novel for all ages written by Joe Harris with artwork from Adam Pollina, Brent McCarthy, and Nolan Woodard. It is scheduled for release on July 10 2013. The story in the graphic novel is one that many might have imagined the beginning of. Beloved toys and happy boys playing with them until something bad happens. Matthew falls into the world of toys searching for his brother, and playmate, Alex. Unfortunately he quickly discovers that Toyland is not the happy place he might have imagined, there is a war in progress and the answers for stopping the war and finding Alex might be connected in an unexpected way.

Wars in Toyland is clearly inspired by Babes in Toyland, or at least the common idea behind it. Every child wonders what their toys might, or might not, be doing when they are stored away or simply out of sight. Matthew and Alex are like many siblings, getting along for some parts of their lives and growing apart or fighting as they reach milestones at different times. The story is about growing up, holding on to the child-like wonder that keeps us all happy and young, and facing or fears in order to move forward. This might sound like some heavy stuff for younger readers, and some of the fighting might be upsetting for the youngest readers. However, there is something  here that just about all ages can find to relate to or be entertained by. The artwork is detailed and well paired with the story.

Wars in Toyland is a slightly dark graphic novel for children, young adults, and adults. The story is not as unique as I would have liked, but holds something for most readers. The artwork is a perfect match and can hold interest even when readers might have otherwise drifted away. It was not the best I have seen, but worth a look for fans of Harris and the artists as well as those that share my soft spot for unwanted or uncared for toys.
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