Jacob’s Toys – The Big Backyard Adventure #PictureBookReview 20


First to flee were Ted and Dupree,

then Tess Turtle, Poncho and Mousy Dundee.

Not far behind was the smallest of all,

the teeny tiny reindeer that Jacob called Paul.

Jacob’s Toys – The BIG Backyard Adventure arrived in the mail last week all the way from Australia. As soon as the packaging was opened, we had an adorable picture book in our hands which was claimed by Dhruv right away even before I could have a good look at it. It was surprising for me to see him intently occupied with this book and I got to know why a little later.

Story – 

Jacob considers himself big enough to play with his soft toys. His Mum suggests finding them a new home but only after giving them a good wash. After the washing, Mum hangs the soft toys outside in the sun on the clothesline to dry where they happily dream of a new home. It’s here that the backyard adventure of the toys begins with the weather soon turning stormy, They get blown away, get lurked upon by a nasty neighbourhood cat, meet with an accident while trying to escape on a toy car, clamber on a drain, get swept away, seek shelter under a withered umbrella to get blown away with the wild wind once again.

Do the toys reach a safe place at the end? Is there nobody taking a note of their being lost or is there someone who has been missing them earnestly?

My Review- 

The author and illustrator Claudia Woods brings to us an endearing adventure story with numerous twists and turns. As soon as the reader thinks this might be the end of it, there is another adventure waiting around the corner.

The lines are rhythmic hence can be read aloud in a sing-song fashion which really works well for the younger children. There are alliterations used in the sentences which Dhruv and I had fun identifying. The repetition of the soft toys’ names in a set sequence is sure to bring out giggles while reading.

Jacob’s Toys – The Big Backyard Adventure -> Unique Illustrations

Let me assure you I am not always looking for learnings from stories but also insist on having fun along the way. I was delighted to find an inclusion of a ‘Look and Find’ challenge at the end of the book wherein a different type of insect has to be spotted in every illustration the names of which are given at the end of the book. This certainly increased the fun quotient,

What is a picture book without the pictures!

In Jacob’s Toys, Claudia Woods has come up with unique illustrations where she has used mixed mediums in the form of drawings, paintings, models, felt, natural materials etc. Most of the illustrations have a 3-D effect.

A sneak peek into the book

Dhruv’s review – 

It has been some time since Dhruv has not contributed to my book reviews. However, with this book, he had his fillers. He specifically liked the smallest, teeny-tiny reindeer Paul among all the toys because he was very cute. He also liked the alliteration play. He has a question for the author – “If Jacob was uninterested in his soft toys and had no qualms in giving them away in the beginning, then why would he miss them at the end of the story when they get lost? Wasn’t he supposed to be unaffected?”

I hope the book Jacob’s Toys – The Big Backyard Adventure is soon available on Amazon worldwide. I also wish Claudia Woods all the best for her second book which she is currently working on in the Jacob’s Toys series.

Author/Illustrator – Claudia Woods

Release Year: 2018

Publisher: Harbour Publishing House, Australia

Age group: 3 + years

Available on: Harbour Publishing House, Australia

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thank so much Anamika and Dhruv for taking the time to read my book and for the wonderful review! In answer to your question Dhruv, I think it is a case of not realising what you have until it is gone. Jacob wants to be grown up and feels like he is too big for his toys but once they are gone he realises that he is lonely without them and that he actually misses them. I hope that answers your question 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My three year old loves picture books. I have been looking out for some more options since I am trying to get him interested in listening to stories. This looks like a great option but not sure if it is available in India yet. Thank you for a detailed review.


  3. What a lovely detailed review Anu- the added bonus is the input from D. The illustrator seems to have done a brilliant job and I am amazed at the number of techniques used here in the artwork.

    All the best Claudia!!


  4. This is such a fun review. My son is unfortunately not fond of picture books but I still love reading them. I love books that use alliteration. I loved the names of the toys. Thanks for this review Anamika and Dhruv.


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