cover image Cornhusk, Silk, and Wishbones: A Book of Dolls from Around the World

Cornhusk, Silk, and Wishbones: A Book of Dolls from Around the World

Michelle Markel / Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $15 (

Dolls whether made with hollow heads to sneak goods across enemy lines during the Civil War or honored by faithful Balinese to please the goddess Dewi Sri--serve as cultural and historical ambassadors in Cornhusk, Silk, and Wishbones: A Book of Dolls from Around the World by Michelle Markel. Illustrated with photos, the A-Z entries run from Akuaba dolls (carried by Ashanti women who need help conceiving) to a Zulu doll (handed by a girl to the boy she hopes to marry). The concept is sound; the design, with its small typeface and staid color accents, looks institutional.