The Five Sisters

Margaret Mahy, Author, Patricia MacCarthy, Illustrator
Margaret Mahy, Author, Patricia MacCarthy, Illustrator Viking Children's Books $14.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-670-87042-4
Paperback - 79 pages - 978-0-14-130334-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-18250-8
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In another writer's hands, a plot involving talking paper dolls could be disastrous. But Mahy (The Door in the Air; The Greatest Show Off Earth, see p. 69) has a dazzling touch with fantasy, elevating it from potential silliness to lyrical inventiveness. One day, a girl's grandmother cuts out five paper dolls. She draws a face and clothes for the first one, but before she can finish all five, they blow away on a talking breeze. Thus begins a years-long journey in which each of the remaining four dolls is drawn by different people who chance to encounter them. Their adventures include being shut in a chemistry book and almost being chopped up by a lawnmower; they end with a return to the first owner and a sailing trip in a paper boat to a magical island where ""the voices of the world sang and whispered and grumbled and joked and argued all around them."" Readers who crave a dose of enchantment in their fiction will savor this diversion. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
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