The Doll People - Ann Martin & Laura Godwin

In a flash, Annabelle scooted across the nursery, and landed on Bobby's bed. By the time Kate ran into her room, Annabelle was propped against the headboard, her legs sticking out in front of her, her painted eyes staring ahead.

This is another one of those books that I read about somewhere, requested at the library, and now can't remember where I'd heard about it. It was one suggested for younger readers, so I read it to Ridley, who really enjoyed it. I do think it would also be good for somewhat older kids who would be able to read it themselves; the characters are fun and there's an interesting mystery to be solved.

The premise is reminiscent of "Toy Story": the idea is that many dolls take a "Doll Oath" when they are first made. They can move and talk but will never do anything that will endanger dollkind or allow their secret lives to be discovered by humans. They have to resume their positions whenever humans are around, lest they find themselves in Doll State, unable to speak or move for 24 hours. (Young dolls are often threatened by their parent dolls with Permanent Doll State.)

Annabelle belongs to a family of dolls that is about a hundred years old. They are porcelain dolls, originally purchased for Katherine, now Grandma Katherine. They now belong to Katherine's granddaughter Kate, who has an annoying little sister Nora. Kate and the dolls are all glad when Nora receives her own dollhouse for her birthday: the Funcraft family, entirely made of plastic and a little shaky on the idea of the Doll Oath.

There is, of course, danger and adventure, some involving The Captain, Kate's unpredictable cat. And there's also the mystery of Aunt Sarah, who went missing forty years ago and hasn't been seen since. When Annabelle Doll and her new friend Tiffany Funcraft set out to search for Aunt Sarah, all sorts of other questions are raised about the Doll family.

I really enjoyed reading this to Ridley, who was delighted by the story even though I think there are parts she didn't quite understand. The contrast between the Dolls and the Funcrafts is a little stereotyped but still funny, and Ridley is at the age where she's pretty sure her own dolls aren't alive but just might be convinced otherwise. The illustrations by Brian Selznick (the author/illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret) are spot-on and work really well with the story.

I found that there are two other books in this trilogy, and I've already mooched the second book so Ridley and I can read that next.

Fed to jonathan's brain | April 15, 2009 | Comments (0)


Post a comment

Remember Me?