Disney·Pixar’s Toy Story 4 comes out June 21st. Kids and parents who want to get acclimated to one of the film’s new stars may be interested in a new picture book from Disney Press called Forky in Craft Buddy Day. But be warned, it takes place after the events of the fourth installment of the Toy Story franchise and may reveal a spoiler or two. If you want to stay completely fresh for the new film, I recommend picking this up after seeing the film and falling in love with Forky.
Bonnie’s Kindergarten teacher is inspired by her relationship with Forky, a toy she made on her first day of class. When she declares it “Craft Buddy Day,” Bonnie helps her classmates make their own toys out of art supplies. But during recess, Forky is left alone with these new creations and has to help them work through the same emotional problems he had when he first came to life.
Toy Story 4 teaches us that toys come to life when they are loved by a child, even the ones you make yourself. In the same way that Forky is made of a spork, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and popsicle sticks, his new peers are made out of paper plates, paper bags, juice boxes, toilet paper rolls, bubble wrap, and clothespins. Just like Forky on his first day, they all think their purpose in life is the same as their former form. The plate, for example, wants nothing more than to put food all over her face.
Forky uses the important lesson that he learns in Toy Story 4 and teaches it to the crafts made by Bonnie’s classmates during their playground time. It’s fun to see a character like Forky, who heavily questions his own existence in the film, step into more of a leadership role in this story.
Forky in Craft Buddy Day is written by Drew Daywalt, famous for his Crayons series of books (The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home). He’s written several books for Disney Press, including BB-8 on the Run and Sleepy the Goodnight Buddy. He’s no stranger to the world of Toy Story, having served as a write on the animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. The illustrations by George McClements and Stephane Kardos feel somewhat reminiscent of Daywalt’s Crayons books.
If your kids love Toy Story 4 and Forky, then they will love this spin-off adventure. Forky in Craft Buddy Day is easy to read to kids and with big letters and speech bubbles, also makes a good early reader.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.