Children's picturebooks about war explore the encounter with death through the animation, destruction, and mending of symbolic toys. To empower the child caught in the machinery of war and loss, these stories oscillate between breaking and remaking, as they articulate cycles of adventure and return, explosive victories and traumatic suffering. By layering verbal and visual narratives, as well as inversions in the relationships of power, some stories invite complexly ironic readings. Animals mediate between human and inhuman, and codes of size evoke latent vulnerabilities. Toys perform cultural work that includes the reinscription of disrupted gender roles and the naturalization of a social order that depends upon disorderly violence.