Cover image for Mabel ran away with the toys
Mabel ran away with the toys
Wahl, Jan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Watertown, MA : Whispering Coyote, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A young girl is happy with her parents and her toys, but things change when her baby brother is born.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.4 0.5 41577.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Spirited, independent Mabel, along with her three favorite stuffed toys, gradually comes to accept the presence of her new baby brother.

Author Notes

Jan Wahl was born April 1, 1933 in Columbus, Ohio, and was raised in northwest Ohio. Much of his childhood was spent on a farm, in a small town. After graduating from high school in 1950, Wahl attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953. Wahl was author of a play called Paradiso! Paradiso! while he was a student at Cornell. The play was produced by the school in 1954.

Wahl enrolled in a creative writing class, and after graduating, learned that he had been awarded the honor of being a Fulbright fellow in the area of Folklore and Folk Literature. His new found scholastic status brought him to the University of Copenhagan in Denmark. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Copenhagan, Wahl worked with Danish film director Carl T. Dreyer during the making of Dreyer's prize-winning film Ordet. He worked with Dreyer from 1954 to 1955.

In 1957, Wahl returned to Denmark to take a position with the mystery writer Isak Dinesen, who was ill. Dinesen dictated her novel Last Tales and Wahl recorded it for her. After being abruptly fired by the famous Danish author, Wahl returned to America where he attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor to complete his Master's Degree in arts in 1958. In 1955 he was awarded the Avery Hopwood Prize in Fiction for his collected short stories. The next major milestone in his career was the 1964 publication of Pleasant Fieldmouse, by Harper & Row, illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

Wahl has published more than 100 books for children, and won various awards including the Bologna (Italy) Book Fair Young Critic's Prize in 1969, the Ohioana Book Award in 1970, the Parents Choice Award in 1987, the Redbook Award in 1987, the Christopher Medal in 1987, and the Coretta Scott King recognition in 1992.

Several of Jan's books have been set to music, and How the Children Stopped the Wars was turned into an opera and has been performed many times. A few of his stories have been animated and another is expected to be adapted as a feature film.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Mabel lives with her parents and three stuffed animals. The small, happy family goes to the beach, horseback riding, and to the zoo. Then, with a turn of a page, the girl's mother goes to the hospital and brings home a new baby, who wakes Mabel and her animal friends at night with his crying. Next morning, she decides to move into the backyard playhouse, where she has complete peace and quiet-until a frightening storm blows in, and her thoughts return to the comfort of home and concern for the baby, who "doesn't know about rain." The large and richly colored illustrations, rendered in pen and ink and watercolors, humorously follow the text. However, there is little physical indication of the mother's pregnancy, and the baby's arrival comes as a complete surprise. It seems odd that the parents never introduce the idea of a new sibling to their child as they do in Martha Alexander's When the New Baby Comes I'm Moving Out (Dutton, 1992) or Dorothy Corey's Will There Be a Lap for Me? (Albert Whitman, 1992). Still, this is an adequate starting point on this subject.-Elizabeth Maggio, Palos Verdes Library District, Rolling Hills Estates, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.