Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Summary: Teddy has many cool toys: a fire truck, blocks, puzzles, action figures; but his favorite is Bren-Da, Warrior Queen of Pacifica, a Barbie-like doll in a pink dress. Not only does Bren-Da have the best manners, but her sick fighting skills and variety of put-together looks make her queen of the other toys. When one of Bren-Da’s legs falls off, Teddy does his best to repair it, but he’s running late for school and Bren-Da gets left in a bunch of tape and plastic. Alas, his mother mistakes her for garbage, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s trash day. When Teddy tells his mom where he left Bren-Da and asks if she’s seen the doll, his mom realizes what has happened. Busting some pretty sick moves herself, Mom manages to track down the garbage truck and rescue the Warrior Queen of Pacifica. That night, Mom, Teddy, and Bren-Da enact an extra-long, magnificent battle to celebrate. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: A fabulous read on many levels, celebrating favorite toys, diversity, and an amazing role model of a mom that Teddy is clearly watching and reenacting with his toys. The pictures are a lot of fun, particularly Bren-Da’s various “looks”.
Cons: Dolls kind of give me the creeps, especially when their limbs break off.