The Doll People

Ann Matthews Martin, Author, Laura Godwin, Joint Author, Brian Selznick, Illustrator Hyperion Books for Children $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0361-3
Passed down from one generation to the next, the Doll family has lived in the same dollhouse, located in the same room of the Palmer family's house, for 100 years. While the world outside has changed, their own lives have notDwith two significant exceptions. First, Auntie Sarah Doll suddenly and mysteriously disappeared 45 years ago, when the Doll family belonged to Kate Palmer's grandmother. More recently, the modern, plastic Funcraft family has moved into Kate's little sister's room. Following the time-honored traditions of such well-loved works as Rumer Godden's The Doll's House, The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh and Pam Conrad's and Richard Egielski's The Tub People, Martin and Godwin inventively spin out their own variation on the perennially popular theme of toys who secretly come to life. By focusing on Annabelle's and Tiffany Funcraft's risky mission to find Auntie Sarah, the authors provide plenty of action and suspense, yet it is their skillfully crafted details about the dolls' personalities and daily routines that prove most memorable. Selznick's pencil illustrations cleverly capture the spark of life inhabiting the dolls' seemingly inanimate bodies. The contemporary draftsmanship frees the art from nostalgia even while the layoutDwhich presents the illustrations as standalone compositions as well as imaginatively integrated borders and vignettesDreinforces the old-fashioned mood of the doll theme. Doll lovers may well approach their imaginative play with renewed enthusiasm and a sense of wonder after reading this fun-filled adventure. Ages 7-10. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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