Sam is tired of his toys. Why would he want his Grandma’s old trainset and teddy when there’s a toy factory high up in the clouds that makes rumbly red toys, grumbly green toys and so much more? In this important story about reducing waste and taking responsibility for the environment, Sam is about to find out.
Toy Mountain is a quirky story about 5-year-old Sam’s chance to become a toy tester for the Tiny Hands Toy factory. After Sam signs up for his exciting new task, he quickly accumulates a pile of plastic, clunky toys, discarding the well-loved toys handed down to him from his Grandma. But one by one and plonk! by plonk!, his shiny new toys start to break. Soon enough, Sam has a mountain of broken toys that just won’t stop growing!
This colourful and whimsically illustrated story highlights the waste that results from ‘consumer culture’, and the value of looking after our belongings. Inspired by the author’s childhood of hand-me-down toys, it empowers children to take sustainability into their own hands through their toy purchases. This is a vitally important message in a world where we generate 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic each year, 79% of which goes into landfill.
Children and adults alike will find themselves cheering Sam along as he rescues his treasured old toys from being lost under a growing mound of broken plastic, and realises why they’re so special after all.
Stef Gemmill is a children’s author and former technical writer, teacher, and music journalist. Her writing career kicked off with reviewing rock gigs. After becoming a mum, she swapped the mosh pit for toys and tantrums and is the author of children’s books telling stories of friendship, hope and adventure. She lives on the Surf Coast of Victoria, Australia, with her surf mad family and skateboarding cat, Luna. Stef won the children’s category of the International Rubery Book Awards with her picture book A Home For Luna in 2020. Toy Mountain is her third book.
Katharine Hall is an illustrator based in Wellington, New Zealand. From her studio in Aotearoa, she tells stories that translate across language – specialising in ink work and digital design. In addition to picture book illustration, she has also worked on various projects for individuals, start-ups and businesses both big and small. Her lively, happy-go-lucky, and detailed style is inspired by a few simple loves; intricate details, fluffy cats, funny stories, bright colours, and nature. The quirky stuff in between is always an option too!