The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

The Toymakers

The Emporium opens with the first sign of frost...It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is a place of hope and enchantment.The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles on their own.Into this family business comes young Cathy Wray, running away from a shameful past. Th...

Details The Toymakers

TitleThe Toymakers
Release DateFeb 8th, 2018
PublisherDel Rey
GenreFantasy, Historical, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Fiction

Reviews The Toymakers

  • Amalia Gavea
    ‘’Are you lost? Are you afraid? Are you a child at heart?’’ I never thought that there would ever be another book that would make me experience all the emotions The Night Circus brought to surface. The awe, the magic, the sadness and the hope. Naturally, I was immediately drawn to the story of ‘’The Toymakers’’, but I thought that it would be an elegant fairytale, a book to prepare me for the festive reads of this year’s Christm...
  • Paromjit
    Robert Dinsdale has written a richly detailed and imaginative historical story of the place toys have in the hearts of both children and adults through Papa Jack's Emporium located on Iron Duke Mews in London. It begins in the early part of the 20th century with a pregnant 16 year old Cathy running away from home to work at the Emporium which offers accommodation. A traumatised Papa Jack Godman began to comprehend the role that toys have for a ch...
  • Jules
    I loved The Toymakers. This was a truly magical and emotional tale.I was sad to leave Papa Jack’s Emporium. It was a safe place so full of wonder, love, friendship, hope and the magic of toys. The whole place came to life in front of my eyes. I was surrounded by toys the whole time I was reading this book. It was such a delight.However, this book is not all fun and games. While one brother obsesses over his toy soldiers in the Emporium, another...
  • Hannah
    I struggled with this. It took me about two months to read and I never felt compelled to pick it up. This is not a bad book by any means and I am still struggling to pinpoint what did not work for me. So stick with me as I am trying to figure out my thoughts.I adored the first chapter and was absolutely convinced I would love the book to pieces. It brilliantly introduces Cathy, knocked-up and desperate, who flees her parents’ home to find work ...
  • Dannii Elle
    "Do you remember when you believed in magic?"Set inside a magical toy shop, in the heart of 1940's London, where paper trees grow in front of your eyes, patchwork dogs act like breathing ones, and doll houses are bigger than most city compartments live Kaspar and Emil. Two brothers who travelled, with their estranged father Papa Jack, to this foreign city to make their home and perfect their craft. The toy shop has grown and every year, at first ...
  • Pauline
    Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale is a story of Cathy a teenage runaway who takes a job in Papa Jack's Emporium. A place where magical toys are made and sold by toymaker Jekabs and his two sons. I enjoyed the imagination and the description of the toys that were created. I really liked the character of Cathy. I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Phrynne
    A magical story about a magical toy emporium. Some reviewers liken it to The Night Circus. They are right!I must admit to moments during the book when things were a bit too sweet, a bit too perfect, but then along came World War 2 and everything changed. The last chapters of the book are actually quite dark and the ending is amazing. I was stunned at the eventual outcome.The author writes well and has an excellent imagination. I felt sorry for th...
  • Lotte
    3.5/5. An imaginative and magical story about a toymaker, his sons and a runaway finding refuge in their legendary toy store, Papa Jack’s Emporium. The detailed descriptions of the store and its inhabitants various incredible inventions reminded me of the beautiful writing in The Night Circus and made for a really fun reading experience. It was a rather slow read for me though and especially around the middle the story dragged quite a bit. More...
  • Louise Wilson
    The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. Across the city, when children wake to see the ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice cracking underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open. In the heart of Mayfair, there is a place of hope. A place where children's dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible - that place is Papa Jack's Toy Emporium. For years Papa Jack has created his...
  • Emma
    3.5 starsThere's so much to like in this book- the Emporium is truly a magical place, somewhere a patchwork dog can run, and play, and love. It brings to mind every Christmas film you've ever seen, Santa's factory brought once more to life within the pages of the book. Such a place might seem inimical to disaster but conflict arrives in the form of a young girl, pregnant and in search of a place to survive. Cathy is the instant and everlasting fo...
  • Lucy Banks
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.Richly written, full of magic - a lovely book.Others have compared this book to The Night Circus, and for good reason; as it has similarly rich, lyrical language, and deeply evocative descriptions.The novel follows Cathy, a pregnant young runaway, who finds herself at Papa Jack's Emporium in London. This is no ordinary toy shop, as hints of magic rule every aisle; fro...
  • Helen
    The Toymakers opens in 1906 with Cathy, a pregnant sixteen-year-old who runs away from home in order to avoid being forced to give up her baby. She sees an advert for a sales person for Papa Jack’s Emporium, a toy shop with a legendary status, and buys a one-way ticket to London. It wasn’t quite magical realism because the fantastical elements in the toy shop were not presented as the mundane, it was clear other shops don’t offer flying pat...
  • Helen (TBC)
    Wow - Prepare for me to gush about this utter gem of a book because gush I must!The Toymakers is a magical, compelling and mesmerising read that totally absorbed me and has changed the way I'll look at toys forever. The writing is flawlessly beautiful and engaging and the characters are so well drawn that I feel I've left friends behind. The author vividly portrays the most magnificent awe inspiring scenes, totally capturing the wonders of childh...
  • Aoife
    4.5 starsI received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.A magical toyshop, a family who can make the ordinary become extraordinary and a runaway girl looking for a new place to call home.This book - there is no other word for it but magical. Think The Night Circus meets the childish wonder and imagination of Toy Story, and you’ve got it - all set in pre-First World War Londo...
  • Karen ⊰✿
    Not all magical realism is the same, and this is a great example of the genre.Welcome to The Emporium where you walk into a toy shop, but are transported to a world of wonder where toys seem to have lives of their own and magic is around every corner.Papa Jack runs The Emporium with his two sons and in 1917 we follow Cathy Wray as she discovers and starts to work at The Emporium. It opens every year at the first frost and closes when the first sn...
  • Marco
    I had the privilege to be one of the first people to read this book (which comes out on 8th February 2018) - courtesy of Ebury Publishing and thanks to my friends from Parabatai Reviews for offering me a copy. Given that I have already read so many books as well as a great variety of them, nowadays it is hard that a book is able to make me drop everything I’ve got to do so I can immerse myself in it but there are, gladly, exceptions. From its f...
  • Demi Parker
    WOW read this its brilliant
  • Thebooktrail
    I remember when I started believing in magic againWhen I read this bookVisit the Emporium for yourself - Enter the store in LondonThis is a joy of a read. The sentences are exquisite and the magical feeling they evoke, reminiscient of that sense of amazement you got as a child. There is childhood magic in this book and words of wisdom such as ““There’s a shared heritage in toys. Take any man and show him a hobby horse and a little piece of ...
  • Jodie Humphrey
    This is the most fantastic, magical, enchanting book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is both heart-warming and heart-breaking. Pure wonder from beginning to end. (Proper review to come when I have gathered my thoughts and feelings)
  • booksofallkinds
    **RATING 4.5**THE TOYMAKERS by Robert Hinsdale is a beautiful story that will appeal to all of us who can remember the magic of toys and the special place they can hold in your heart.When Cathy Wray finds herself on the doorstep of the unusual Papa Jack's Toy Emporium she is afraid of the huge changes that are taking place in her life and hopes to find a job and a place to stay. But as soon as she walks through its magical doors, Cathy realises t...
  • Tessa
    This beauty was given to me by the lovely Parabatai Reviews as they had a spare copy (courtesy of Ebury Publishing) and I couldn’t be happier that I get to own such a masterpiece.This was my first ever proof copy and the experience of reading, first hand, something that wasn’t yet been released was incredible.Not only is this book absolutely gorgeous (I mean, look at that cover, it is the most beautiful thing I own), but the story was also ou...
  • Lisa
    This book is a joy. A complete and utter joy. The story, the characters, the setting, the writing, the cover, it was all top notch. I haven't read a book this magical since The Night Circus. Set in a mysterious toy emporium in London and covering a timespan of nearly 50 years, this book is a treasure trove packed full of surprises, magic and wonders of all shapes and sizes. I am in awe of Robert Dinsdale's imagination. Papa Jack's Emporium is a p...
  • Imie K-M
    This book has been raved about to no end on Instagram, and generally online. However, what caught my attention was a review comparing this to one of my favourite books: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. I was lucky enough that my request was granted so that I could give this book a go. I originally planned only to read a chapter before bed, but before I knew it I finished the book at 4:30 am and was in love. The raving was for good reason ...
  • Kate (infinitelynovel)
    Such a rich, evocative story, bursting with magical realism and imagination. A bit darker than I was anticipating but that was one of the reasons it kept me hooked! The Toymakers is definitely a new favourite of mine.
  • Jersy
    I was starting to read this book thinking it would be a heartwarming feelgood story full of magic. That was slightly wrong, it was more of a typical historical novel set in war time, with the addition of some small fantasy elements. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though.The characters are immensely interesting. Even if there not always likable, there flaws and mistakes were presented in a way that the reader could understand where they were ...
  • Cassidy (Reminders of the Changing Time)
    To see all of my book-related content, check out my blog @ I’m being honest, for a while I balked at the prospect of reading The Toymakers. I had just finished Weave a Circle Round and I’m 22 - I didn’t know if I could make it through another book targeted towards children.But oh boy, I was mistaken.Don’t be fooled as I was by the toy solider on the book’s cover, inside of these pages is not a story that a parent...
  • Lissa {rabidreadings}
    I had pretty high expectations for The Toymakers, despite telling myself countless times to lower them. However, it wasn't necessary in the end because I loved it all the same. There's so much more to this story than just Papa Jack's Emporium, that's what draws you in at first, but by the end you've experienced a life time of stories.(view spoiler)[Like Kaspar's toy-boxes, The Toymakers is story after story. You get Cathy's tale of running away t...
  • Simone
    There's a lot to love about this novel and I'm not the magical-fantasy type, at all. Dinsdale is simply a great writer whose words are, themselves, arranged in a magical kind of way. Wouldn't it be a fabulous film (not that I'd see it)?
  • Helen
    This was not what I was expecting from the blurb. I was thinking it would be a light-hearted and magical Christmas read but it turned out to have a lot more depth to it and be a whole lot darker than I thought.It starts out as a magical Christmassy story. Cathy is pregnant and running away from her family who want her to give up her baby. She sees an advert in the paper for The Emporium, a toy shop, and instinctively feels that it's the answer to...
  • Hayley Long
    Thank you to Netgalley, Katie Sunley at Penguin Randon House and of course Robert Dinsdale for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this amazing book.This book did not play out in the way that I thought it was going to. It started out with this wonderful childlike feeling of magic and whimsy and as the years in the book progressed I felt this creeping responsibility of adult hood sinking in, yet there was always the possibility of magic...