Although we don’t hear much about the extra work that goes on behind the scenes in preparation for a film, there are always merchandise and promotional projects happening in tandem with the actual filmmaking. Books, for example, begin the process of publication long before the movie is released – and sometimes, when you’re lucky, you can find their titles ahead of time on Amazon or other publisher sites. As a part of my constant searching for Toy Story 4 news, I often check for these as well, and today, I actually found some titles with their expected release dates!
While, sadly, none of the movie-specific listings provide final cover images with any new clues to the story, the majority share a release in early May 2019. This is roughly six weeks before Toy Story 4 hits theaters, which sounds about right compared to my memory of Toy Story 3 and other more recent Pixar films. Here’s a list of all the ones I’ve discovered so far:
- Disney Pixar Toy Story 4 The Official Guide
(May 2) The ultimate companion to Disney/Pixar’s highly anticipated fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise, DK’s Official Guide will cover all Toy Story 4‘s memorable and popular characters, plus key locations, themes and iconic moments from the movie. Directed by Josh Cooley (Riley’s First Date?) and produced by Jonas Rivera (Inside Out, Up), Toy Story 4 opens in theaters on June 21, 2019.
- Toy Story 4: Picture Book
(May 7) Featuring stylized illustrations from a Pixar artist and a hilarious story by Drew Daywalt, this picture book will welcome fans into the world of Toy Story 4 through the perspective of a brand-new breakout character.
- Toy Story 4: Inspirational Toy Box
(May 7) Follow fan-favorite Toy Story characters in this unique format that includes inspirational and hilarious words of wisdom from beloved Toy Story characters old and new!
- Toy Story 4 Read-Along Storybook and CD
(May 7) Readers can follow along on the latest Toy Story adventure with word-for-word narration, character voices, and sound effects from the film in this thrilling read-along and CD set.
- Disney/Pixar Toy Story 4 Woody Takes the Reins (Guess Who)
(May 7) Meet the characters of the all-new Toy Story 4 movie in this interactive book with peek-a-boo gatefolds. The deluxe casebound book features a sturdy lift-the-flap on the cover that allows readers to play peek-a-boo with Woody.
- Disney/Pixar Toy Story 4 Magnetic Hardcover
(May 7) Play all day with your favorite toysand some new friends from Toy Story 4 in this interactive magnetic format. Re-create your favorite scenes from the newest Toy Story movie by placing the 12+ included character magnets right on the magnetic book pages while reading the story. Great for an on-the-go adventure, this magnetic Toy Story 4 title will quickly become any Toy Story fan’s favorite.
- Toy Story Storybook Collection
(May 7) Everyone’s favorite toys are hitting the big screen! But the fun can be taken home and enjoyed over and over again with this brand-new storybook collection, timed to the release of Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4! Young readers are in for hours of rollicking good fun with this collection featuring gilded pages, over 250 illustrations, and 18 action-packed stories to read. This latest addition to the best-selling storybook collection series will make the perfect gift.
- Disney/Pixar Tales of Teamwork: A Lift-and-Seek Book
(May 7) Join the latest adventure with Buzz and Woody featuring an all-new room from Toy Story 4, explore the Marine Life Institute with Hank and Dory, walk through the Land of the Dead with Miguel and Héctor from Coco, and more! Packed with 50+ surprise flaps and interactive activities, this book is perfect for all Disney/Pixar fans!
Some of the new book descriptions don’t claim to include Toy Story 4, and appear to mainly refer back to the earlier films – although they might end up featuring a few elements of the 4th as well:
- Toy Story: Welcome to Andy’s Room & Beyond
(May 7) Little explorers can travel through the worlds of Toy Story with Buzz and Woody in this delightfully illustrated and fun-filled picture book. Featuring hundreds of objects and labels scattered throughout multiple playtime locations, little readers can expand their vocabulary with some of their favorite Pixar pals, making it a great reading tool for even the youngest Toy Story fan.
- Toy Story Read-Along Storybook and CD Collection
(May 7) Including fan-favorite Read-Along storybooks, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3, this paperback bind-up includes 3 action-packed stories, word-for-word narration, character voices, and sound effects for each tale!
- 5-Minute Disney/Pixar Stories (5-Minute Stories)
(May 7) Woody and Buzz, Mike and Sulley, Joy and Sadness – the gang’s all here, plus more! This treasury stars favorite Disney/Pixar characters and features a padded cover and beautiful full-page and spot illustrations. With twelve adventure-filled stories that can be read aloud in about five minutes, this collection is the perfect choice before bedtime, story time, or anytime!
- Disney/Pixar My First Bedtime Storybook
(May 7) This padded storybook with rounded corners, painted edges, and vintage art is filled with perfectly-paced stories featuring favorite Disney/Pixar characters that will make bedtime a special time.
- Disney/Pixar Toy Story Movie Graphic Novel Collection
(May 14) To infinity and beyond! Building up to the highly anticipated release of Disney/Pixar Toy Story 4, fans can relive the heartwarming adventures of Woody and Buzz in this collection of the first three Disney/Pixar Toy Story films, retold in graphic novel adaptations drawn by Disney’s master artists.
- Toy Story Mad Libs
(May 21) Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the rest of the crew are back in action with Toy Story Mad Libs. Toy Story Mad Libs features 21 original stories based on the smash Disney Pixar franchise. Featuring stories from all of the films, this Mad Libs collection allows readers to play along with their favorite characters simply by filling in the blanks.
There’s also a book called Toy Story: Toyography listed for publication on April 23, but with no description given, I can’t say for sure that it will have anything to do with Toy Story 4. I’m sure we can expect more than just these titles, too, as the movie’s release draws closer. There’s always a junior novelization – but since that typically follows the film’s storyline practically verbatim, and requires no illustrations, it will likely be added to the list later. And there will probably be some early-reader paperbacks and Little Golden Books, as well as the usual coloring and activity books.
As could be expected, none of the Amazon synopses really give away any major plot clues for Toy Story 4. There’s mention of a “new breakout character” as well as a “new room” from the film, but that’s about the extent of the “new” information they share. It’s still exciting to know that even this many books are in the works so far – I can’t wait for new illustrations of the characters, as some of the books from Toy Story 3 were gorgeously illustrated. And you can be sure I’ve added all these titles to my Amazon wishlist, so that as soon as they’re updated with cover images, I’ll see them and be able to share!
I can vividly remember stumbling upon the junior novelization of Toy Story 3 at the grocery store, back in 2010. I stood there and read through the entire thing in the aisle – the horror of knowing all the spoilers! – but in the end I was glad I did, since I could relax during the incinerator scene while everyone else in the theater was panicking. Will I be able to resist peeking inside the Toy Story 4 books when they hit the shelves? I’m not sure yet; I have a few more months to decide. But if I decide to stay spoiler-free this time around, it’s going to be an epic struggle not to read them all!
Which title are you most excited to see? Share in the comments!
Images © Disney/Pixar and their respective publishers.