Rating: Cannot Recommend
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Aileen Leitjen
Publisher: Clarion Books
When lint, buttons, and wool collide in the dryer, a little Lint Boy is born. He is soon joined by Lint Bear and the two live safe in the warm dryer. One day, Lint Bear lingers when the wrinkly hand appears and he becomes another victim of the cruel Tortura. Tortura lives to torture toys into revealing that they are alive. Lint Boy meets the missing socks who live in the dryer but misses his bear brother. Against the advice of the socks, he gathers his courage and goes to find his brother. When he becomes the next of Tortura's victims, he makes friends with all of the other captured and mutilated toys and they band together to escape and drive her from her home.
The illustrations are bright and well done but the story lacks character and depth. Tortura is mean. She seems to have been born without a single redeeming quality and never develops any character beyond meanness. She hassles her mother, bullies the boy next door, kicks and beats her dogs, and pulls toys apart with gusto. Don't look for remorse or growth in this book because there isn't any. Lint boy and Lint bear are friends, the socks are fairly nice, and the other toys have PTSD. Lint boy, Lint bear and all the other characters are flat and one dimensional. This is a dysfunctional story that may appeal to those who have been victimized and need to know that they are not alone. The illustrations really are awesome, but the story, characterization, and topic leave a great deal to be desired.
*Contains moderate violence.