The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale


Do you remember when you believed in magic?

The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical…

My review

What an absolutely stunning, beautiful story this is. I know the year has only just begun but I think I will be hard pushed to find a book to rival this one this year. I want to say it is the best book and the MUST Read of 2018 but being that it is only the 6th January it wouldn’t do it justice, and as clichéd as it is – This really is, no matter the age, a MUST read for anyone and everyone! I can’t stress to you how blindingly good this book truly is.

This book conjures up the grand opulence of movies such as The Greatest Showman and the wonder and magic of books such as Caraval or The Night Circus and then takes them to a whole new level. The Toymakers is in a league of its own and shines even brighter than any star ever seen.

Another over used cliché but none the less true – I literally couldn’t put it down, the kids had to fend for themselves and I even had them fetching me cups of tea! I started reading 9pm Thursday evening and I was still reading 8am Friday morning, sleep didn’t even occur to me I was that engrossed. Suffice to say no housework got done at all Friday   as I HAD to finish the book.

I can already see this book being a spectacular big budget movie, it would look amazing up on the big screen and I know this household would pay to watch it!

It begins in London 1917 and follows the lives of Papa Jack and his two sons, Kaspar and Emil in their wonderful Emporium and a young runaway girl, Cathy, who comes to the Emporium looking for work and a place of safety, all the way through to 1953.

Full of magic and wonder Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium is a place to behold, you can feel the enthusiasm of the children and adults alike and is a place you never want to leave. But as is with everything in life, real life can’t be ignored, bringing the war to the establishment, forever changing the lives within.

The ending wasn’t what I was expecting, not that I knew what to expect and there as a twist in the tale that had me wanting to shout out loud – Noooooo and shaking my head in disbelief!

Blending historical fiction and magical realism together to create a magical world full of passion, inspiration, imagination, love, secrets, loss and fear that will always stay with you long after the last page has been read.

The Toymakers will be published on the 8th Febuary 2018 and can be pre ordered now from Amazon UK or




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