Bookanista Recommendation: THE DOLL PEOPLE

Today’s Bookanista Recommendation: The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, illustrated by Brian Selznick

The Doll People

From Goodreads: A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for 100 years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn’t follow the Doll Code of Honor.

And from AmazonAnnabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

Today I’m shaking things up and featuring a super-cute chapter book. While young adult fiction has my heart, I read lots of picture books and chapter books with my girlie, and as a former fifth grade teacher, I’ve read countless middle grade novels. The Doll People is exceptional among books of any reading level.

I’ll admit, I initially picked The Doll People up because of the first-billed author: Ann M. Martin of The Baby-Sitters Club fame. I grew up reading and loving the BSC (Claudia was my favorite, naturally), but I had no idea that Ms. Martin continues to enjoy a prolific publishing career apart from her most popular (and probably mostly ghost-written) series.

I read The Doll People aloud to my daughter (who’s nearly five) and we both adored it. The story is quickly paced and charming, decidedly contemporary but with a delightfully timeless feel. A mystery involving Annabelle Doll’s Auntie Sarah carries the plot, and there are plenty of cleverly woven lessons about physical and “cultural” differences (these are dolls), following rules, true friendship, and finding the courage to explore new and sometimes scary avenues. The Doll People‘s illustrations (black and gray drawings by Brian Selznick, Caldecott-winning illustrator and author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret) are gorgeous and perfectly match the enchantingly magical quality of the story.

My girlie and I have already started the second book in this series, The Meanest Doll in the World!

Tell me: Have you read The Baby-Sitters Club books? Who was YOUR favorite sitter?