The Magical Characters of Childhood

A Room Full of Toys

What exactly do toys do when there’s nobody there to watch them?

Here is an amazing journey through the world of toys and the children’s rooms that were their homes, from the late 19th century to the present day. More than seven hundred toys from the superb collection at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, are brought to life in a series of fabulous and fantastical scenes, strikingly staged to produce a toy’s-eye view of more than a century of fun and games.
Dolls and teddies, trains and planes, robots and animals, favourite characters ranging from Donald Duck and Barbie to Luke Skywalker and the Ninja Turtles – all of these and more run riot through a land that seems both strange and familiar, comforting and unsettling, and absolutely evocative of the pleasures and pains of the playroom.
The book is led by the gaze of Alberto Manguel, whose text explores what toys mean to both children and adults – how toys can tell us who we are and allow us to imagine what we may become. Manguel’s words and the extraordinary images come together to form a dazzling recreation of the dreamlike world of childhood, the serious business of pretending – and the magic of make-believe.

Internationally acclaimed as an essayist and novelist, Alberto Manguel is also a prize-winning translator and has edited ten anthologies. Author of the award-winning A History of Reading and News from a Foreign Country Came, his most recent novel is Stevenson Under the Palm Trees. Born in Buenos Aires, he has lived in Italy, England, Tahiti and Canada, and now lives in France, where he was named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Béatrice Salmon is Director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Dorothée Charles is a Curator in the Department of Toys at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Michel Pintado is a photographer, illustrator, special effects designer and modelmaker. Jean Haas is an award-winning set designer who has worked on many theatre productions, exhibitions and concerts. Simon Saulnier designs exhibitions and creates special effects for films and advertising.

A Room Full of Toys, by Alberto MenguelTHAMES & HUDSON

This book awaits you at Bloom!


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