Book Review: Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story

Coco Pinchard's Must-Have Toy Story

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story by Robert Bryndza
Release Date: 1st October 2015
Publisher: Team Bryndza Books
Buy: Paperback | Kindle


It’s December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy – almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz.

Throw into the mix a horrible boss, a lazy husband, and the prospect of her in-laws arriving for the festivities, and Coco wishes she could cancel Christmas and sail off to a desert island somewhere – preferably with the gorgeous-yet-unattainable Tom from work.

But retail therapy is at hand! Coco’s faithful friends Chris and Marika rally round, and even her mother-in-law Ethel tries to help in her own eccentric way.

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story is a hilarious feel-good comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child this year’s must-have Christmas toy?


As with Robert Bryndza’s FANTASTIC Christmas novella from last year, A Very Coco Christmas, we are once again whizzing back in time to get a snippet of life for Coco and family, this time during the Christmas of 1992.
When we become reacquainted with the marvellous Coco, things aren’t going exactly to plan. She is having a tough time settling in to her teaching role at St Dukes, especially once the head teacher (otherwise known as ‘The Ripper’) starts to make life difficult.
Coco’s home life isn’t much better either. Her husband Daniel doesn’t seem to want to do anything (well, except watch Sons and Daughters) and her troublesome mother-in-law, Ethel, is permanently round their house.
Then there’s Coco’s biggest problem of all. The impossible mission to somehow acquire this years must-have Christmas toy, Tracy Island, for her four year old son Rosencrantz. Coco is determined not to let Rosencrantz down…After all, it’s only a toy – surely it  can’t be that difficult to get hold of? Right? Right….?
Bribery, tears, fights and 6am queuing outside Hamley’s follow as Coco and her family attempt to do ANYTHING in order to get hold of the elusive Tracy Island…

Coco Pinchard is one of my own personal heroes so when I found out that Robert Bryndza (who happens to be my official favourite-author-in-the-whole-world-ever) was releasing a Coco Pinchard novella it really did feel as though Christmas had come early.
There’s always a certain amount of expectation when I read one of Robert Bryndza’s novels and I love that he never lets me down. Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story lived up to all of my expectations and more (And it made me chortle with laughter numerous times.) It was perfect – warm, hilarious, exciting and more festive than a sack full of mince pies.

As expected I love becoming reacquainted with Coco and her wonderful family. They are as bonkers and dysfunctional as ever and an absolute joy to read about. Four year old Rosencrantz was adorable (I especially loved his wise man song), Coco’s friend Chris was as flamboyant as ever (I LOVED the whole Disney thing with his new boyfriend Benji!) and of course, the legendary Ethel was still just as…erm…legendary (I’m talking showing her pants on the central reservation.) I love this woman so much. I’d even go so far as to say she is one of my favourite fictional characters ever. Her one-liners are just pure gold. It was also great to meet Marika and the extremely handsome-sounding Tom Wednesday.

Robert Bryndza has this magical way of making his characters so very real and believable (whilst being completely crazy at the same time). His writing is a dream to read and his novels are just so much fun. If I was told I could only read one set of books for the rest of my life then I would choose Coco’s hilarious tales. (Can I have two? I’d have to sneak Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic books in too, of course) But that truly is a testament to just how much I love Robert’s books.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story will undoubtedly resonate with frazzled parents everywhere who are desperately trying to get hold of this years ‘must-have’ present. Therefore, it’s the perfect antidote to Christmas madness. Kick off your shoes, grab a mug (or four in Ethel’s case) of mulled wine and laugh your festive socks off with this brilliant addition to the Coco Pinchard series.

Plus HOW gorgeous is that cover? Robert’s covers always look amazing but this one is especially perfect. It compliments the whole story so well.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story is probably one of the best Christmas presents you could ever give (who needs a Tracy Island!?)

A huge thank you to Robert Bryndza for the opportunity to review Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story.


Robert Bryndza is offering up a fabulous prize to celebrate Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story… Be sure to check it out & see what’s up for grabs!

Click here to enter via Facebook

IMG_20151122_145715A signed dedicated paperback copy of Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story

A £20/$20 Amazon voucher
A limited edition A Very Coco Christmas mug, filled with Marks and Spencer’s chocolate Brussel Sprouts
A signed dedicated paperback copy of A Very Coco Christmas

Robert Bryndza was born in the UK and lived in America and Canada before settling in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján. His debut novel The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller and two best selling sequels have followed, Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding and Coco Pinchard, The Consequences of Love and Sex.When he’s not writing Rob is learning Slovak, trying to train two crazy dogs, or watching Grand Designs – all in the hope that he’ll be able to understand his mother-in-law, build his dream house, and get the dogs to listen. He’s just published a brand new romantic comedy called Miss Wrong and Mr Right. You can find out more about Robert at

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One thought on “Book Review: Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story | Robert Bryndza

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