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Reviewed by Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
"The Top Secret Toys" by Tim Kehoe is the second in the 'Vincent Shadow' series and it conveys all the joys and surprises of the first book. Vincent is an eleven year old boy who is a natural at creating unusual toys. He goes to an imaginative school in which creativity is valued and rewarded. Vincent won a toy contest in the first book and in this book, he is doing a summer internship at the location of the Whizzer Toy company. The company is located in the six story home of the owner and Vincent feels a special kinship with the man. When Vincent's inventions are stolen by a would-be child inventor, Vincent and his stepsister Stella try to figure out how to put out a toy line following the death of the owner while also recovering Vincent's toy inventions. Along the way, Vincent is treated to meeting other inventors as well as toymaker idols who readily accept Vincent's strange and idiosyncratic ways of interacting with the world.
The author has created magic for the young reader which will hold the child's attention from the beginning to the end. He develops the story line such that the child must continue to read in order to solve the mysteries apparent in the first chapters. The child is bonded with imaginative ideas and welcoming interactions between the adult toymakers and the child inventor. Kehoe has created an imaginative series and children will be begging for more.