cover image The Doll People’s Christmas

The Doll People’s Christmas

Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, illus. by Brett Helquist. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4847-2339-5

The Doll People series of novels expands to picture books as Christmas descends on the Palmer household. The Dolls—delicate Victorian dolls who belong to Kate Palmer—and the plastic Funcrafts who live in younger sister Nora’s room neatly represent the push-and-pull between tradition and change that often arises during the holidays, and that drives the action of this story. After the tiny angel that always tops the Doll family’s Christmas tree is broken, it’s the first of several unwelcome events that cause some holiday strife before Annabelle Doll realizes that spontaneity and new experiences can be good things. Interestingly, the dolls spend time near the (non-mobile) figurines of the Palmer family’s Nativity scene, though the book doesn’t delve into what the crèche represents. Still, the authors’ gentle storytelling and Helquist’s intimate images of the dolls’ miniature world create a Christmas story that’s rich with emotion. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)