Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: Fanny by Holly Hobbie

We have a new, loved doll book we recently added to our collection. Holly Hobbie has written a book that this mom and her daughters can relate too, a story that will delight any creative little girl's heart, about a little girl who desperately wants a Connie doll just like her friends, but consistently and vehemently gets told no by her mother,
"Because I don't like the way Connie dolls look," said her mother. "They're just too...much."
Frustrated but resourceful, Fanny decides to make her own Connie doll. But when she's finished, the doll doesn't look anything like Connie. When her friends silently express their disapproval, Fanny banishes the doll to a dresser drawer. She ultimately has to decide which she cares about most: the doll or her friends' approval.

Despite the heavy sounding moral, the story is charming, not too "girly" and comes across as a joyful testament to a child's creativity and ultimate good sense.

(A bonus of buying the book is that it includes a Holly Hobbie illustrated paper doll to fasten together, as well as a blank one that your child can color and make thoroughly their own.)

Like Fanny's mom in the story, I too have refused to buy my daughters certain dolls, despite their popularity, due to their being too... much. Bratz dolls, for example. Yikes! I don't much like Barbies either, for their unrealistic proportions, but mostly due to the fact that their outfits have gotten excessively slutty in the last ten years. I spent the first few years of their lives assiduously keeping Barbies away from my young daughters, even going so far as to get rid of them when they received one as a birthday present. (Barbies as a gift for a two year old? Come on, people!) But life contains a certain amount of bowing to the inevitable. As they got older of course, they started encountering Barbies at other little girls' houses, and we went to my parents home on vacation and they encountered the Barbies my mom had saved from my youth. They were over the moon and went through a few months' phase of intense Barbie love, which has thankfully ceased. (To help myself not feel too nauseated over the thought of what I was allowing, I sought out the older Barbie clothes on Ebay, buying them in bulk, repairing when necessary, throwing away the more sluttish outfits I came across. I know. I'm intense about some things.)
Likewise, I know moms of boys who vowed to never allow their boys to play with guns, but boys (especially in playing with other boys) will turn anything into guns, and at some point you have to pick your line in the sand, and some lines are more movable than others. (For me: Barbies a reluctant, teeth-gritting "yes," Bratz "no.")


  1. I am proud to say that my precious sons very rarely play any sort of gun game. This is of course because of my superior parenting.

    Unrelatedly, everything they pick up becomes a sword. Hmm.

    I also draw the lines at Bratz dolls when buying for my nieces. And watching the girls play with the dolls they have was promising -- they didn't role play cattiness about clothes, but went off on journeys and careers. And anyone who can "make" a doll gets my admiration, as I am deeply uncrafty.

    1. Oh yes, swords...forgot that one.

      My sister inherited my mother's crafty gene. It very firmly skipped me. (And stuck out its tongue.)
      Last night Olivia was lamenting her apparent lack of creativity, and I could only humbly apologize for the genes I sent her way.