Forty-five years ago, the Doll family lost their beloved Aunt Sarah from their humble dollhouse home. After finding her Aunt Sarah’s journal stashed in the library bookshelves, Annabelle Doll takes it upon herself to venture out of the house and look for her aunt. On one of her explorations, she meets a new set of dolls and befriend Tiffany. With a new friend and a new burst of courage, Annabelle and Tiffany venture into the world of the living humans to look for their missing relative.
There are number of elements in this book that make it fantastic.
1. Illustrations by Brian Selznick. The author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret does a fantastic job bringing the doll families to life in this book. He pencil illustrations are amazing, depicting the smallest flecks of emotion in the doll’s faces.
2. Ann M. Martin. The author of the Babysitter’s Club teams up with author Laura Goodwin to write the first in a trilogy about the Doll family. This book is imaginative, funny and well paced. Annabelle’s family is from the Victorian era, made of porcelain and passed down from generation to generation. Tiffany’s family is new, plastic and perfect for the rough hands of a playful 5-year-old younger sister. The contrast between old and new, traditional v. modern is well examined through the friendship of Annabelle and Tiffany.
3. Living Dolls. Lives in Dollhouses. I LOVE, LOVE this genre in children’s fiction. This book is a perfect for fans of the following:
- The Indian in the Cupboard series (Lynne Reid Banks)
- The Castle in the Attic (Elizabeth Winthrop)
- Toy Story (the movies)
- Time Windows (Kathryn Reiss)
The storyline is simple to follow, adventurous and the conversations feel true to the ages of the characters. Parents can enjoy this book and also use it as an opportunity to share stories from their childhood, or pass along toys from their childhood.