First off, the title of this book is adorable and it, along with the cover featuring a girl looking at a tiny bear asking “Are you real?”, is what initially made me gravitate to this book. Upon reading it, I was pleased to discover that this story of a magical little stuffed animal and the girl who is desperate to keep him fulfills the promise of the cover. Minty and Tink is filled with lovely illustrations, but they don’t take up the entire page, so there is still a lot of emphasis on the words, a design choice I really appreciated.
The story, told by Minty, starts in a toy store, where Minty is shopping for a toy to give to her baby brother for his birthday. She isn’t having much luck until she notices, on a shelf not far away, a tiny panda bear jumping up and down, saying, “Help! Get me out of here!” Minty picks up the bear, and her mother, seeing this, thinks that Minty wants to give her brother the stuffed animal. Once they get home, Minty and the bear, named Tink, form a bond. Minty loves her new friend, but when she realizes that she has to give Tink to her slobbering baby brother, she starts to panic. Will Minty be able to find a way to keep Tink?
I loved the idea of a small toy bear actually coming to life, so this book charmed me. Not only is the story delightful, but the pictures convey so much. On one page, Minty, who has just been told by her mother that she has to give Tink to her brother, looks over and sees him sucking on a toy giraffe, staining it the same tomato-y red that is all over his face and hands. Her face in that picture conveys so much concern and worry, you’d almost think it was animated.
I try to put this book on display as often as I can so that more parents and children can be swept up by the adorable tale of a little girl and a talking toy, so don’t be surprised if you see it gracing the tops of our shelves. And if you do read it, feel free to let me know what you think!