The Bakers: Do These Toys Belong Somewhere?

The Bakers: Do These Toys Belong Somewhere? collects Kyle Baker’s family-oriented cartoons in a handsome color hardcover. The family’s based on his own, with dreadlocked daddy, organized mommy, and three adorable kids, but the humor is universal.

The Bakers: Do These Toys Belong Somewhere? cover
The Bakers:
Do These Toys Belong Somewhere?
Buy this book

The gags and strips are frequently wordless, because why do you need text to show the joy of a new baby or the cleverness of a mom trying to get the balloon off the ceiling or the pain of tripping over too many toys on the floor? At least, you don’t need them if you’re as talented as Baker and can capture those particular images and feelings so beautifully.

Baker’s animation experience gives him the eye to select the perfect moment of action, so the reader knows exactly what happened before and after the slice of time shown. The color also deserves mention. It’s computer-shaded but realistic in its tones and gradients, grounding the events in a cartoon-style background.

The book’s subjects are lightweight — avoiding waking up the kids, trying to get a photo where they all look good, problems with the Tooth Fairy — but hilarious. The book is easy to pick up and put down, and it’ll be just as funny when it’s re-read months or years from now. A particular favorite is the four-page sequence that starts with Daddy telling the kids to respect Mom’s hard work and eat what she’s cooked. (As a picky eater, I could relate.) I never expected the punchline. Although it brought the family back together, how it did it was surprising… and all the more funnier as a result.

It’s humor for all ages, although parents who occasionally find their children as annoying as they are exhilarating will be the ones nodding knowingly.

Animated versions of the characters can be seen at Kyle Baker’s website. Baker talks about the ideas behind the series in this interview, and this profile covers his history.

8 Responses to “The Bakers: Do These Toys Belong Somewhere?”

  1. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Oct. 24, 2007: The short tail Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson on Kyle Baker’s The Bakers: Do These Toys Belong […]

  2. Tim O'Shea Says:

    Baker is an industry great. I love his work as far back as his stuff on DC’s The Shadow.

    I cannot find a good link other than at Image–but apparently YALSA ( has nominated his Nat Turner work for its Great Graphic Novel award.

  3. Tommy Raiko Says:

    I think the list of current YALSA nominees for the “Great Graphic Novel” list is at:

    Not to take anything away from Baker–his work is fantastic, no doubt–but there seem to be a LOT of titles nominated for this YALSA list…

  4. Tomorrow’s Comics Today + Late Books » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Bakers: Babies & Kittens (due July)? Kyle Baker’s first cartoon collection about his family was self-published; this one was due out from Image. He’s released Special Forces though them […]

  5. The Bakers: Babies & Kittens Out » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] It’s a book-length story instead of a collection of short pieces (as the previous volume Do These Toys Belong Somewhere? was). From the press release: “After the success of the previous collection, I really wanted […]

  6. Recommend Good African-American Comics » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] are autobio but quite funny without self-pity. You might also enjoy the works of Kyle Baker. His Baker family strips are like cartoons on paper, but he’s also done more serious work, like Nat […]

  7. *Why I Hate Saturn — Recommended » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] I Hate Saturn is only the second graphic novel by Kyle Baker (Nat Turner, The Bakers), but it’s one of his best. Why I Hate SaturnBuy this […]

  8. Read a Lot of Great Kyle Baker Comics Online for Free » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] (my review), plus his how-to book How to Draw Stupid (my review), his family cartoon The Bakers (my review), and his recent book Special Forces. Want some good comic reading? You can read the books online […]




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