Friday, July 1, 2011

Picture Books For Doll Lovers

In cleaning up the inevitable books scattered here, there, and everywhere, I suddenly realized that we have quite the collection of books about dolls. I suppose that's natural, given that I have three very girly girls who love their dolls. So here you go: our well-loved collection of picture books featuring dolls (and the books we haven't read yet but want to, that feature dolls.) The next post will be the chapter books we have featuring dolls, as well as the books on our reading wish list.

Written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor
A charming book that gets pored over frequently by my girls, about two little girls who discover their grandmother's doll -a nineteenth century porcelain doll- and all her drool-worthy accoutrements, written and illustrated by the incomparable Tasha Tudor.

Another fun and charming doll book from Tasha Tudor. It has made my girls long for the doll house in it, and start writing tiny doll letters.
This book appeals to my bigger girls more now at ages 6 1/2 and 8 than it did when they were younger.

Written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

All of us love this delightful story of a little tomboy of a girl named Charlotte who receives a frilly doll from her aunt. At first, the tomboyish, nature-loving little girl doesn't know what to do with her, but she drags Dahlia along on her day's adventures anyway. By the end of the day, Dahlia is not so frilly anymore, but she has a strangely happy smile on her face. Best of all is the aunt's reaction when she discovers the state of the doll. Such a good story, with wonderful illustrations! One of our most favorite books!

Written by Rebecca Caudill
Illustrated by Elliott Gilbert

If you haven't read this book, it's a little gem. First published in 1962, this sweet story is about a little girl named Betsy and her dolls. One day Betsy is invited to a party and the invitation instructs her to bring one doll to the party. "Prizes will be given for the oldest doll, the best-dressed doll, the doll who can do the most things," reads the invitation. Which of her dolls should Betsy take? Find out which choice she makes, and find out what the wise mother of the birthday girl does to pay special tribute to Betsy's choice. This is a charming story that my little girls love.
Written by Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrated by William Pene Du Bois

A classic. Beautiful, poignant story, beautifully told, with a message that is still valid, despite the dated illustrations. Has anyone not read this? If not, you should, especially if you have little boys. If I were an advocate of required reading, I would thrust this into every father's hands and make them read it.
Written by Rumer Godden
Illustrated by Barabra McClintock

Another classic that I loved when I was a girl, and now my girls love as well. This Christmas story of how a doll, an orphan, and a couple's three wishes converge and are fulfilled makes a truly satisfying read no matter what time of year.

Written by Jacqueline Ogburn
Illustrated by Laurel Long

A Russian-inspired fairy/folk tale of a girl given a matroyshka doll, which comes with special instructions. Best of all (in my girls' eyes) the girl rescues the prince, instead of the other way round. I love Laurel Long's magical illustrations that accompany this intriguing story.

Other picture books we haven't read yet, but would like to read soon:

Babushka's Doll 
Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
"Babushka's doll was special. She had played with it only once, when she was a little girl like her high-spirited granddaughter, Natasha.
Now Babushka is going to the store and it's Natasha's turn to take the little doll down from the high shelf. When the naughty doll comes to life -- and is even more rambunctious than the little girl herself -- Natasha finds out why playing once with Babushka's doll is enough!" (From Goodreads)

Written by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Illustrated by Cristy Hale"When her new baby brother arrives, Elizabeti decides she needs a doll that she can care for the way her mother cares for the new baby. After looking around the village, Elizabeti finds the perfect doll to love. She names her Eva. When Mama changes the new baby's diaper, Elizabeti changes Eva's. When Mama sings to the baby, Elizabeti sings to Eva. And one day when Eva turns up lost, Elizabeti realizes just how much she loves her special doll. For children adjusting to a new sibling, this story is perfect." (From Goodreads)

Written and illustrated by Sharon Kane
"THE 'LITTLE MOMMY' in this story is an adorable little girl. We spend the day in her charming company as she cares for her dolls, treats their ills, gives them a tea party, feeds them dinner, and puts them to bed. Beautifully illustrated, this book has a timeless feel." (From Goodreads)

Written and illustrated by Elisa Kleven
"Lizzy loves the big apple tree in her yard more than anything. So when the first day of school comes, she picks a beautiful apple, turns it into a makeshift doll she names Susanna, and takes it along to keep her company. But her teacher tells her that dolls aren't allowed at school. Even worse, her sister says that Susanna won't last forever. Then Lizzy's mom shows her a way to turn Susanna into a real apple doll. And with the help of Susanna the Apple Doll, Lizzy overcomes her shyness at school and makes plenty of new friends to bring home to play in her beloved apple tree.
Detailed, delightful collage illustrations accompany this sweet story about one girl's success in bringing together her home world and her school world. Instructions for making an apple doll just like Susanna are included!" (From Goodreads)
Written by Morrell Gipson
Illustrated by Steffie Lerch
"For more than half a century children have been captivated with the story of Mary and her dolls. Mary's father was a sea captain who took long trips across the ocean, bringing back a doll from each journey. Soon Mary had six dolls and wished for a seventh one to become her "Sunday" doll. But Mary's father said six dolls were enough for any girl, so she set off to visit the Dollmaker and, oh, was she in for a surprise!" (From Goodreads)

Written by Alison Randall
Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth
"It is the late 1800s. Mary Ann lives with her family in the rugged Utah territory, where she tends the vegetable garden, dips candles, and braids rags into rugs. Mary Ann has a busy life, and a special friend to share it with: her beloved homemade doll, Betty.
Betty's wheat-filled body sits straight and tall. Her embroidered eyes never blink. Still, Mary Ann knows that Betty is always paying attention, and listening to her secrets.But one afternoon, a sudden, fierce storm forces Mary Ann and her family into their cabin before the young girl can retrieve her doll from the garden. By the time the wild wind and rain subside, Betty is gone. Heartbroken, Mary Ann refuses to give up searching for her best friend. Then one day, when winter turns to spring, Mary Ann spies a familiar shape growing as a patch of slender grass near the bottom of a hill...An afterword by the author reveals the story of the real-life Mary Ann and her doll, the inspiration for THE WHEAT DOLL." (From Goodreads)


  1. Wonderful collection!!! Great reading for those sweet "girly" girls!!!

  2. Great list, Mouseprints! We have read and loved a few of these, but I can see that our reading experience in this category might be lacking. I need to seek some of these out. I'm especially interested to compare notes with you on chapter books; I've noted quite a few lately (and have read a few of them to my girls) that have a doll as the main character.

    So glad you joined in RAT!

  3. Oh, I mean to also say--
    We read and enjoyed Elizabeti's Doll a few years ago. Here's a link to my review-->

  4. This is such a great list! We have read a few of these, but many are new to me. (We really love our doll stories here, too!) Can't wait to read your chapter book list :) We girls recently read one called "The Very Little Princess" by Marion Dane Bauer that we enjoyed.

    Thanks so much for linking your post up with Favorite Resource This Week!

  5. I've found a couple more:
    The Ticky-Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Harvey Stevenson
    Doctor Squash the Doll Doctor by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by David Hitch

  6. I love The Best Loved Doll! I haven't thought about that in years. My son loves dolls, but we haven't read many doll-centered books. This list and your other doll list are inspiring me to make a long library list!

  7. When I was a kid, I had a doll party based on the book The Best Loved Doll, but now I don't remember the book, so I will have to check it out from the library, again! Also, I just put a book, The Lonely Doll on hold at the library. It might be one to look at.