Doll Books For the Younger Set – about them and "by" them

One of the most beloved types of books I read as a child, and that my children enjoyed having read to them, were classic doll stories. While I had most of Rumer Godden’s books and we read those over and over, and my youngest was at the right age when Ann Martin’s Doll People came out, there are many others as I discovered, including a set of “Story House Dolls” books. I picked the states of my daughters’ births, and the state we live in. Hope you enjoy them!

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Goddden

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower

Ages 6-10. “England is the last place Nona Fells wants to be. No one asked her if she wanted to leave sunny India to live in a chilly English village with her aunt’s family — and her cousin, Belinda, just hates her! But when two dainty Japanese dolls arrive at Nona’s doorstep, everything begins to change. Like Nona, Miss Happiness and Miss Flower are lonely and homesick, so Nona decides to build them their own traditional Japanese house. Over time, not only does Nona create a home for the dolls, but one for herself as well.

Originally published in 1961, Rumer Godden’s classic story of friendship and being part of a family is now back in print for a new generation of readers to cherish.” Book description

This book, and other Rumer Godden doll books, were among my absolute favorite as a child, and this one was long out of print. I read this and Little plum to both my daughters and each of them wanted nothing more than two little Japanese dolls. While living in Hawaii I combed the stores, looking for the right ones, but despite the Japanese department store, and shops, and the celebration of “doll day” for girls, I couldn’t find the ones I want – I’ll keep trying, for my grandchildren, if they ever arrive.

Little Plum by Rumer Godden

Ages 6-10. “Rumer Godden excels at creating a gentle fantasy world where dolls have Lives–or in this case, Thoughts–of their own. Nona and Belinda Fell treasure their three Japanese dolls: Miss Happiness, Miss Flower and Little Peach. These special persons enjoy their own Japanese dollhouse and clothes, beds, foods (green paint water tea) and celebrate many traditional customs. While the dolls converse privately, the sisters (who are unaware of their dolls’ communications) plan and dream of a new friendship. They themselves are very different: nine-year-old Nona is neat, polite and very talented with her creative fingers. While eight-year-old Belinda is a fearless tomboy, a reckless daredevil who defies parental authority, common sense and even the laws of gravity, to satisfy her whims.

But things get really interesting when a rich family buys and improves the big House Next Door. What delicious opportunities to observe the doings and possessions as they move it–and there is a daughter too! Gem proves to be a “motherless” only child, waited on by her personal nanny and a large household staff–all supervised by an authoritarian aunt. The kindly father is often away on business, but after one trip he brings his daughter a Japanese doll of her own. Poor Little Plum–as the spying girls name her and discover–is neglected by her lonely mistress.

Belinda decides to teach the proper care of Japanese dolls to the sulking snob next door, but soon the teasing and critical notes escalate into a non-verbal war between the headstrong young ladies. Will that “rough child” ever be allowed in the front door of the wealthy but isolated Tiffany-Jones’ mansion? And will Gem ever accept cultural tutelage from mere middle-class English children? This is a delightful read-aloud story for Girls Under Ten. And all women who remember the dolls of their girlhood.” Amazon Customer Review

The Doll’s House by Rumer Godden

Ages 6-10. “Rumer Godden, the author of those absorbing novels about nuns of yesteryear, “Black Narcissus” and “In This House of Brede,” both successfully filmed with Deborah Kerr and Diana Rigg respectively, tries her hand here at a book for younger readers. This is the tale of a doll “family,” not related by biology but the simple fate of being thrown together. Although there are nominal mother and father dolls, the real head of the household is Tottie, a wooden farthing doll, wise beyond her childish appearance. The dolls’ relative happiness and the way it is threatened by the appearance of Marchpane, an expensive, arrogant and, as it turns out, really malevolent interloper, makes for surprisingly gripping drama. Indeed, the tale of Marchpane’s machinations and the tragic climax of the story may be too intense for younger or more sensitive children, for whom this book needs to be introduced with care. For the rest of them, and for adults who simply like a good story, “The Dolls’ House” still exerts its considerable spell. Tasha Tudor’s illustrations are a notable contribution as well.” Amazon Customer Review

The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill

Ages – unknown. “I still have the 1962 paperback edition and the pages are so brittle. I get all choked up reading it to my own daughter now, as I used to when my mother read it to me. It is 30 pages and tells the tender story of a girl named Betsy and her decision to bring her Best-Loved doll to a party. It is a doll that has seen better days. She had many other choices, but she followed her heart. Moral: True beauty is on the inside. I treasure this book as much as Betsy does her doll.” Amazon Customer Review

Story of Holly and Ivy, The by Rumer Godden

Ages 4-8. “Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she’s sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Jones’s wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true? This festive tale is perfectly complemented by beloved Barbara Cooney’s luminous illustrations, filled with the warm glow of the Christmas spirit.” Book Description

Doll People, The by Ann M. M. Martin

Ages 7-10. “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 not with 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 layout which presents the illustrations as standalone compositions as well as imaginatively integrated borders and vignettes reinforces 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. Publishers Weekly

This one and it’s sequel were favorites of my younger daughter, not although being published when my older daughter was young (and missed out something she would have loved), it’s becoming a family favorite – the new Rumer Godden for the modern age,

The Meanest Doll in the World by Ann M. Martin

Ages 8-12. “Grade 3-6–Annabell Doll and Tiffany Funcraft are back in Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin’s fun-filled sequel (Hyperion, 2003) to The Doll People (Hyperion, 2000). This time the dolls take a trip outside the house in Kate’s backpack by mistake. Unfortunately, there is a mix-up at school and the dolls wind up in the home of classmate BJ. Here they meet the evil Mimi, a doll who is convinced she shall be queen of all the dolls and has the demanding attitude to prove it. Annabelle and Tiffany, along with an assortment of other dolls, fend off Mimi and her wicked army before returning to their own home. There they discover that Mimi has followed them, bent on revenge. Mimi manages to cause a rift between the Doll and Funcraft families before her own rash behavior causes her downfall. Lynn Redgrave does an admirable job of voicing the various characters and imbuing Mimi with a sly, sneering intonation. Have the book available so listeners can enjoy Brian Selznick’s witty illustrations which do a fabulous job of extending the story. This fantasy with its broad humor, evil machinations, and tales of friendship will delight both fans of the Doll People and those new to the story.” School Library Journal

The Enchanted Dolls’ House by Robyn Johnson

Ages – any, although as it’s pop-up, probably 6and up. “Adventure & Romance in Four Period Dollhouses: A Medieval Dollhouse; An 18th Century Neoclassical Dollhouse, A late Victorian Dollhouse, An early 20th Century Dollhouse. 32 pages. The 4 pages of houses are the fronts of the houses that pop forward (that is the 3D). You look in through the windows and doors and see the interior. Very interesting, very creative, and great for the imagination.” Amazon Customer Review

Enchanted Dolls’ House Wedding by Robyn Johnson

Enchanted Dolls' House Wedding

Ages 6-12. “Albert and Lucinda from the beloved The Enchanted Dolls’ House have pled their troth (Victorian for “got engaged!”). It is a happy time for everyone in the Enchanted Dolls’ House. All the dolls from the servant dolls to the toy dolls, even the resident dog and cat dolls enthusiastically join together to celebrate a joyous wedding with all the fashionable and tasteful accoutrements of the Edwardian, Regency and Victorian eras available to them.

Four masterfully conceived and constructed pop-up buildings amaze with historical accuracy and bustle with activity: Shop for wedding finery in an Edwardian department store. See the toiletries, accessories, hair styles, and beautiful wedding clothes from which the dolls choose. Attend a wedding breakfast, complete with musicians, favors, and a glorious cake garnished with marzipan pearls, pendants and bows. Peek through windows and doors of a Victorian Manor Dolls’ House and a Regency Dolls’ House to see the dolls observe their elegant way of life. And finally, attend a breathtakingly beautiful wedding in a Victorian Chapel.

Overflowing with doll lore and loving rendered details of wedding gifts, food, and flowers, readers of all ages will attend the wedding of their dreams!” Book Description

Hitty Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field

Ages 9-12. “Presented for the first time in audio, here are the charming and adventurous memoirs of an exceptional doll named Hitty. Her story begins in Maine in the early 1800s, where she is transformed from a piece of sturdy mountain-ash wood into the valued playmate of a young girl named Phoebe Preble. When the inseparable pair join Phoebe’s father on a journey aboard his whaling ship, Hitty’s one hundred years of exciting adventures begins! Join this doll of great charm and character as she travels all over the world, from India to Philadelphia to New York. Whether she is traveling with a snake charmer, attending the opera, meeting Charles Dickens, becoming a doll of fashion, posing as an artists’ model, or being stolen away on a Mississippi riverboat, one thing is certain… no doll has led a life like Hitty’s! The 1930 Newbery Award winner.” Book Description

Impunity Jane by Rumer Godden

Ages 6-12. “Impunity Jane is a Victorian pocket doll who years for adventure. Without a trace of sticky-sweetness, Godden shows us a restless doll consigned for four generations to sitting in a dollhouse, sometimes neglected for years, until she is purloined by a 7-year-old cousin, Gideon, who can hear doll wishes. Then Impunity Jane’s life begins! She is a devoted companion in Gideon’s play and gets to be a sailor, an aviator, a miner, and enjoy all manner of adventures. Gideon faces being called a “sissy” by a gang of older boys, until tough little Impunity Jane manages to win them over. Yet the guilt of her being stolen weighs heavily on both the boy and the doll, and they know they must do the honorable thing …
This story is also included in the Rumer Godden collection ‘Four Dolls.'” Amazon Customer Review

Mouse House by Rumer Godden

Mouse House

Ages 4-10. Although not truly a “doll” book, it takes place inside one… “This is special! It has a gentleness, and love of tiny creatures reminiscent of Beatrix Potter. It also depicts real animals as infinitely more beautiful than their toy counterparts, and it reminds us that there is plenty of room to share with…well, take your pick: other animals, other people who may be less fortunate than ourselves. This story is replete with lessons for charity, kindness, tolerance, the wonder of life, the fact that toys – and other gadgets – are really not so important for one’s happiness.

The surprise is that it’s all so poetic and subtle that there is not a trace of moralistic dogma in the entire story.” Amazon Customer Review

The Fairy Doll by Rumer Godden


1956. Ages 9 to 12. “The youngest child in a family of four children is constantly berated by her siblings as she struggles to grow past immaturity. Great Grandmother blesses her one Christmas with the gift of the Fairy Doll, who usually resides on the tree. She cares for the Fairy Doll, and the Fairy Doll helps her grow to maturity and confidence.” The Doll Book List

Candy Floss by Rumer Godden


1960. Ages 9 to 12. “Candy Floss and her crew of friends live the carnival life with their owner, Jack. Jack fondly calls Candy Floss his “good luck charm”. Then, a spoiled child determines that the doll must be hers at any cost.” The Doll Book List

Ages 4-8. “Grade 1-4– Candy Floss, a small china doll; Nuts the wooden horse; and Cocoa the dog bring Jack luck until a spoiled little girl named Clementina steals the doll and almost destroys her. The girl realizes the error of her ways and returns Candy Floss to Jack; he mends her and makes her look like new again. This book has gone through a similar rejuvenation with Hogrogian’s new illustrations, which replace those done 31 years ago by Adrienne Adams (Viking, 1960; o.p.). The doll is now stunning, with a short, stylish haircut and bright blue eyes. People and fashions are noticeably updated, but the look is still timeless. Numerous full-page paintings are more elegant than the older, smaller pictures that included simple sketches. One drawback of the new design is that there are several spreads of solid text. While there is nothing wrong with the previous edition, this one will likely attract a whole generation of readers who may otherwise have ignored the book. School Library Journal

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Dicamillo

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Ages 6-adult. “Starred Review. Grade 3-6–This achingly beautiful story shows a true master of writing at her very best. Edward Tulane is an exceedingly vain, cold-hearted china rabbit owned by 10-year-old Abilene Tulane, who dearly loves him. Her grandmother relates a fairy tale about a princess who never felt love; she then whispers to Edward that he disappoints her. His path to redemption begins when he falls overboard during the family’s ocean journey. Sinking to the bottom of the sea where he will spend 297 days, Edward feels his first emotion–fear. Caught in a fisherman’s net, he lives with the old man and his wife and begins to care about his humans. Then their adult daughter takes him to the dump, where a dog and a hobo find him. They ride the rails together until Edward is cruelly separated from them. His heart is truly broken when next owner, four-year-old Sarah Ruth, dies. He recalls Abilene’s grandmother with a new sense of humility, wishing she knew that he has learned to love. When his head is shattered by an angry man, Edward wants to join Sarah Ruth but those he has loved convince him to live. Repaired by a doll store owner, he closes his heart to love, as it is too painful, until a wise doll tells him that he that he must open his heart for someone to love him. This superb book is beautifully written in spare yet stirring language. The tender look at the changes from arrogance to grateful loving is perfectly delineated. Ibatoulline’s lovely sepia-toned gouache illustrations and beautifully rendered color plates are exquisite. An ever-so-marvelous tale.” School Library Journal

This book, being as it were, a sort of companion to our beloved The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by the same author, is mine – I bought it for me, and was not disappointed, nor was my then 13 yr old, who also loved it – a story for all generations who have ever loved a toy.

Patty Reed’s Doll: The Story of the Donner Party by Rachel K. Laurgaard and Elizabeth Sykes Michaels

Patty Reed's Doll: The Story of the Donner Party

Ages 8-12. “In the winter of 1846, the Donner Party was stranded by heavy snows in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The pioneers endured bitter hardships, and many of them died. But some survived, including 8-year-old Patty Reed, a girl filled with dignity and determination in the face of mortal danger. This is her story, as told by Dolly, the wooden doll she kept hidden in her dress.” Book Description

The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

A Ghost Story

Ages 9-12. “Grade 4-7– A young girl helps her cantankerous elderly landlord to resolve a childhood act that caused the woman lifelong guilt. Ashley follows a white cat back in time and meets Louisa, a girl who is dying and who longs for her beloved doll–a doll that Ashley and her friend Kristi have found buried in Miss Cooper’s garden. In the end Ashley, Kristi, and Miss Cooper visit Louisa; the woman is able to make am mends with her childhood friend, and Ashley begins to accept her father’s death. Hahn’s portrayal of crotchety Miss Cooper is expertly drawn, giving vivid insight into why she acts and lives as she does. Ashley, her widowed mother, and Kristi are also fully realized characters. When Hahn sticks to her story, it moves along at a steady, scary clip. However, when she lapses into lengthy descriptions of flowers, birds, and landscape, she slows the pace of the story rather than creates the intended atmosphere. Ashley’s first-person narrative often gets bogged down in a flowery adult voice, particularly in the descriptions: “As still as the cherub behind me, I watched the leaves sway in the breeze. Sunlight and shadow mottled the ground, and the weeds whispered to themselves, lulling me like distant voices of children at play.” Still, it’s an imaginative ghost story, fairly predictable, but with a completely satisfying ending.” School Library Journal

The Christmas Doll by Elvira Woodruff

The Christmas Doll

Ages 4-12. “Lucy and Glory are orphaned sisters with no real place to call home. Only their memories of a beautiful doll named Morning Glory brighten their bleak lives. When a deadly fever sweeps through the workhouse where the girls live, Lucy and Glory flee to the mean streets of London.One day the girls find an old battered doll that Glory senses is their beloved Morning Glory. But Morning Glory is no ordinary doll–the girls learn that she has magical powers that will change their lives in amazing ways.. With the help of the doll, the sisters discover the true meaning of the Christmas spirit.” Book Description

The Magic Nesting Doll by Jacqueline K. Ogburn and Laurel Long

The Magic Nesting Doll

Ages 6 and up. “Opulent oil paintings, as lushly colored and intricately detailed as a Russian lacquer box, set the stage for this original folktale. As Katya’s grandmother lies dying, she bequeaths Katya a magic matryoshka, or Russian nesting doll, and tells her that she may open it three times in an hour of need. The girl sets out to make her way in the world and soon arrives in a city under a wicked spell: “It is always winter without thaw, night without moon, and dark without dawn,” an innkeeper explains. Worse, the handsome young Tsarevitch has been turned into living ice. With the help of her nesting doll, which releases first a bear, then a wolf and finally a firebird, Katya is able to break the enchantment, give the conniving Grand Vizier a taste of his own frosty medicine, and find true love. Ogburn’s (The Jukebox Man) assured storytelling memorably joins together classic fairy-tale elements with Slavic imagery; her tale reads like one already tested by time. Long (The Mightiest Heart) weaves a kind of visual magic in a series of darkly lavish scenes. Her paintings simultaneously recall ornate tapestries, Russian icon art and the romantic elegance of Trina Schart Hyman. All ages.” Publishers Weekly

Tatiana Comes to America: An Ellis Island Story (Doll Hospital) by Joan Holub and Ann Iosa

An Ellis Island Story (Doll Hospital)

Ages 6-12. “Sisters Lila and Rose, ages 8 and 10, are spending the year with their eccentric grandmother (who runs a doll hospital) while their parents are working out of the country. The girls are not pleased with this arrangement, but they begin to enjoy themselves when they learn that their grandmother has a special power to “read” the lives of the dolls she is working to restore. In each book in this series, their grandmother tells the girls the story of a different doll.In this book we meet Tatiana, a doll who travels to Ellis Island with her owner, a Russian girl named Anya.” Book Description

Goldie’s Fortune: A Story of the Great Depression (Doll Hospital, Book 2) by Joan Holub and Cheryl Kirk Noll

Goldie's Fortune: A Story of the Great Depression (Doll Hospital, Book 2)

Ages 6-12. “Sisters Lila and Rose, ages 7 and 10, are spending the year with their eccentric grandmother (who runs a doll hospital) while their parents are working out of the country. The girls are initially unhappyt, but they begin to enjoy themselves when they learn that their grandmother has a special power to “read” the lives of the dolls she is working to restore. In each book in this series, their grandmother tells the girls the story of a different doll.In this book we meet Goldie, the beloved doll of a girl named Eliza whose family lost their fortune during the Great Depression.” Book Description

Glory’s Freedom: A Story of the Underground Railroad (Doll Hospital, Book 3) by Joan Holub and Cheryl Kirk Noll

Glory's Freedom: A Story of the Underground Railroad (Doll Hospital, Book 3)

Ages 6-12. “Sisters Rose and Lila, ages 10 and 7, are spending the year with their grandmother (who runs a doll hospital) while their parents are working out of the country. Their grandmother has a special power to communicate with dolls, and to tell their stories.In this book we meet Glory, a doll who is given to a slave girl named May by Arabella, the daughter of a plantation owner. Glory then accompanies May on her journey to freedom. Years later, Glory is discovered by the new owners of an old house that, unbeknownst to them, was used as a stop along the Underground Railroad.” Book Description

The Christmas Dolls (The Girls of the Good Day Orphanage) by Carol Beach York and Victoria De Larrea

The Christmas Dolls (The Girls of the Good Day Orphanage)

Ages 6-10. “This book was given to me by my grandma when I was around 9 or 10. I adored it. It truly captures the magic of Christmas that children understand better than adults. The pictures are beautiful. I haven’t read it in many years, so I can’t provide much more detail, but I plan on finding my old copy and rereading it this Christmas. My best friend also had this book and absolutely adored it. Good for 6-10 year olds.” Amazon Customer Review

The Gingerbread Doll by Susan Tews and Megan Lloyd

The Gingerbread Doll

Ages 4-8. “When the extended family gathers for its annual cookie baking, great-grandma Rebecca tells about her ninth Christmas, in 1930 during the Depression. Times were hard on their Wisconsin farm, and there was no hope of the porcelain doll she wanted; so Mama improvised a doll of thick gingerbread, with yarn hair and a dress of cloth scraps. Rebecca ‘loved Button Marie in a way you could never love anything from a store;’ but though she was careful, ‘Button Marie’ eventually broke. Later, times got better and she had a cornhusk doll and, finally, the porcelain doll. But it’s Button Marie’s scrap of a dress that great-grandma Rebecca treasures and talks about on cookie-baking day: she ‘was made from love, and that’s the part…that lasts forever.’ Lloyd’s sharply observed realistic watercolors–in a palette somewhat grayed as if to recall old b&w photos–beautifully reflect this well-told story’s warmth and focus on essential values. (Picture book/Young reader. 5-9)” Kirkus Reviews

The Doll with the Yellow Star by Yona Zeldis McDonough and Kimberly Bulcken Root

The Doll with the Yellow Star

Ages 9-12. “Gr. 3-5. Eight-year-old Claudine, who lives with her parents in Nazi-occupied France, is upset by the yellow stars that she and the other members of her family are required to wear. She sews a star on the velvet cape of her treasured doll, Violette, but she affixes it to the inside of the garment so she can decide whether to let it show. When Claudine is sent to live with relatives in America, she loses both her doll and her family. Writing a Holocaust novel for young children is a tricky business, but McDonough succeeds in conveying the realities of war without terrorizing her audience. Violette is a symbol of innocence lost, but like Claudine’s father, the doll is miraculously found and restored by the end of the story. The use of the present tense brings a sense of immediacy to the telling, while Root’s full-color artwork lends a feeling of reassurance. Give this to fans of Amy Hest’s Love You, Soldier (1993), also set in New York City, but with an American Jewish protagonist.” Booklist

Henriette: The Story of a Doll by Tracy Friedman


Ages 6-10. Grade 3-5 A delightful tale of a doll’s determination and a steadily paced adventure story. After years of searching, a grandmother finally locates her long-lost granddaughter in an orphanage, but decides that it is too late to claim her. In the end, however, there is a reunion, brought about by the 14-inch doll who once belonged to the grandmother and now belongs to the granddaughter. With clever cunning, Henriette fights off a puppy, rides in a wagon among cotton bales to town, rides in a carriage with some fretful children who claim her, and finally reaches the orphanage. Children will relate to Henriette’s strong will and adventuresome spirit. The book is a new story with an old theme, and a nice addition to any collection.” School Library Journal

Home is the Sailor by Rumer Godden and Jean Primrose


Ages 6-12. “Through a series of unusual circumstances the missing men of the doll family are reunited with their relatives.” Alibris

This book is out of print, and there are simply no reviews on it. But I have a copy, and it was one of my children’s favorites. The interwoven stories of the dolls, and how each “man” is found, is enchanting, and unforgettable. Worth hunting for in library sales.

Caitlin’s Holiday by Helen V. Griffith and Susan Condie Lamb

Caitlin's Holiday

Ages 8-12. “A delightful chapter book told with such good humor that readers will easily believe in one more toy that comes to life. Caitlin is browsing a sidewalk sale table when an irresistible urge comes over her and she “trades” her own beloved doll for a more beautiful one. Caitlin is convinced that this is a special doll, and worth every bit of the guilt she suffers, and sure enough, she is awakened that night by music playing in her room. Not only is her new doll alive, she is also obstinate, rude, and unreasonable–she refuses to turn down her stereo. Caitlin’s problems mount as the doll, who says her name is Holiday, becomes more and more difficult and demanding; she scorns Caitlin’s doll clothes, ignores Caitlin’s friends and their dolls, and won’t do anything but sunbathe on the windowsill and throw tantrums. Caitlin’s endeavors to cope with an absurd situation and to reason with Holiday, who has no logic or morals, is a maturing experience, first in frustration, and finally in diplomacy. The struggle of a child to understand and compromise is contrasted clearly with Holiday’s stunning about-face at the novel’s end, which indicates a sequel is to come. Young readers will be enchanted by Caitlin and Holiday and will be readied for the more serious subject matter of Banks’ The Indian in the Cupboard (Avon, 1982) and Cassedy’s Behind the Attic Wall (Crowell, 1983).” School Library Journal

Doll Trouble by Helen V. Griffith and Susan Condie Lamb


Ages 8-12. “Having a favorite doll come to life–what a rich, delicious fantasy. Caitlin’s old doll Jodi, resenting Caitlin for abandoning her, arranges events so that Caitlin is blamed for stealing doll clothes, and even the doll herself. Caitlin, in turn, blames Holiday (the doll in Caitlin’s Holiday, 1990) for the thefts. In the end all is forgiven: Holiday finds her way back into Caitlin’s good graces; Jodi comes home to stay; and friend Lauren’s Sandi joins Holiday and Jodi to make a trio of “living dolls.” Deftly told from Holiday’s point of view, the story skips along at a playful pace. Holiday is still entirely self-centered yet endearing–just the kind of character a 12-inch fashion doll suggests. Smooth, satisfying fantasy. (Fiction. 8-12).” Kirkus Reviews

The Richest Doll In The World by Polly M. Robertus


Ages 9-12. “Her parents having died, Emily faces the worst Christmas Eve ever. She decides to set off in the middle of a snowstorm for a spooky old mansion in hopes of seeing “the richest doll in the world.” Book Description. Available April 15, 2008

The Racketty-Packetty House: 100th Anniversary Edition by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Wendy Anderson Halperin

The Racketty-Packetty House: 100th Anniversary Edition

“Acclaimed illustrator Wendy Anderson Halperin celebrates Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic, a tale of two dollhouses, just in time for its 100th anniversary. When Tidy Castle arrives, brand-new and grand in every way, the Racketty-Packetty House has never looked shabbier, and it is shoved in the corner of Cynthia’s nursery. But the Racketty family still dances, sings, and laughs louder than all the fancy dolls combined. When a real-life princess visits the nursery, the Rackettys learn that the humans are planning to destroy their house. Only a miracle — or some very unusual magic — can save them now!

Since its publication in 1906, the story of how Queen Crosspatch and her band of fairies rescued the Racketty-Packetty House has inspired dreamers and readers of all ages in the tradition of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Now Wendy Anderson Halperin’s illustrations, brimming with whimsy and wonder, unlock the magic of two dollhouses — one posh and one proud — to a whole new generation of readers.”

The Racketty-Packetty House is a beautifully illustrated charmer. It should bring great satisfaction to children with happy spirits but messy rooms!” — Gail Carson Levin, author of Ella Enchanted

“If you believe in fairies — and if your dolls have adventures when you leave the room — then Frances Hodgson Burnett has written a book for you. With brilliant storytelling and intriguing characters, she pulls readers into the world of the haves and have-nots — only in this case the two classes both happen to be dolls. Burnett’s old-fashioned, charming tale has been given beautiful new clothing for its 100th anniversary edition. Now it can delight the next generation of readers.” — Anita Silvey, 100 Best Books for Children

The Doll Hospital by James Duffy and Susan Tang

The Doll Hospital (An Apple Paperback)

Ages 6-10. “Grade 3-6– Eight-year-old Alison, an invalid for as long as she can remember, realizes that she is different from everyone else. She counts her brother Christopher and her dolls and stuffed animals as her best friends. When Denise, her beautiful French doll, comes down with the measles, Alison convinces Christopher to help her convert Mama’s old sewing room into a doll hospital. The two children decide to accept outside patients, and the doll hospital begins to play a significant role in Alison’s own medical treatment and recovery. In this quiet, old-fashioned story, the characters, even the dolls and animals that come to life, are not fully developed. The plot is predictable, and there is too little action in this slow-moving tale to capture and hold young readers’ attention.” School Library Journal

Through the Doll’s House Door by Jane Gardam

Through the Doll's House Door

Ages 9-12. “Friends Mary and Claire, who as children shared playtimes with their special dolls, now have children of their own to continue the tradition; PW praised this “clever bit of characterization, told with humor and imaginative zeal.” Ages 9-12. Publishers Weekly

Two girls lose interest in playing with their doll house after moving from London to Wales but the dolls in the house amuse themselves by telling stories about their exciting pasts.” Card catalog description

Amy’s Birthday Doll by Kenneth James Newbrook

Amy's Birthday Doll

Ages 9-12? “Ken and Spot travel back in time with a doll than can talk, Spot also talks, making for a great adventure, when they turn up at his great, great grandfather’s wedding.” Book Description

The Missing Doll by Constance Hiser and Marcy Dunn Ramsey


Ages 8-10? “Grade 3-4-Hiser’s attempt to incorporate suspense, magical happenings, a dysfuntional family, and budding friendships fails in this marginal, forced novel. With the last of her birthday money, Abby buys a beautiful talking doll that speaks in riddles that relate to specific events in her life. When an unpopular girl steals it, Abby and her friend Heather sneak into her house to take it back. There they learn about Julie’s miserable home situation. The drama increases as the child runs away, is seriously injured, and is saved by the doll and the quick actions of Abby and Heather. The plot is contrived and predictable, and the characters are minimally developed. At times motivation is unclear. There is a hint of child abuse, but it’s not explored in depth, and thus Julie’s reaction to a spanking is not believable. The ending is sappy as every loose end is neatly and happily tied together. Youngsters who enjoy books about dolls, suspense, magic, and mystery should try Carol R. Brink’s The Bad Times of Irma Baumlein (Aladdin, 1991), Mildred Ames’s Is There Life on a Plastic Planet? (Dutton, 1975; o.p.), Mary Downing Hahn’s The Doll in the Garden (Clarion, 1989), Betty Ren Wright’s The Dollhouse Murders (Holiday, 1983), and William Sleator’s Among the Dolls (Dutton, 1975). School Library Journal

When the Dolls Woke by Marjorie Filley Stover

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Ages 9-12. “Grade 4-6 That this is a mystery will not be evident early on. In fact, the mystery is handled so routinely that it is solved before readers are sure there was one. Sir Gregory, an antique china doll, is the first to awaken from a long nap of neglect. He, his family and their three-story dollhouse have been owned by successive descendants of the Boston clipper Captain Wurling, whose family tree is diagrammed as the book’s frontispiece (although at a 40-year variance from the text.) Now the Captain’s granddaughter, Abby, nearly 90 and fortune depleted, ships dolls and house to Gail, her unknown great, great niece. A miniature parchment hanging on the dollhouse wall suggests to Gail the possibility of hidden treasure. Sir Gregory, with trusty toy sword in hand, abets its discovery. Great-Aunt Abby accepts the found “treasurea rubyas” a legacy from her father that will rescue her from poverty. The story’s perspective moves erratically among the various characters, flesh and china; none are ever infused with any life. Happily, Loccisano’s handful of soft pencil illustrations enliven the scenes they depict. Children with a ready-honed affinity for dolls and dollhouses might enjoy this staid story, but they would be more felicitously directed to Sylvia Cassedy’s Behind the Attic Wall (Crowell, 1983). Godden’s The Dolls’ House (Penguin, 1976) and Tregarthen’s The Doll Who Came Alive (Harper, 1972,) are better for younger or less proficient readers.” School Library Journal

Minnesota Twins : A Cabin Christmas (Story House Dolls) by Sandra Bartholomew and Lloyd Aadland

A Cabin Christmas (Story House Dolls)

Ages 7-12. “Emma and Will Hanson learn a lesson about the true meaning of the season when their family experiences a blizzard on Christmas Eve. Illustrated by charming photographs of miniature doll characters acting out the story line in an appropriately designed dollhouse. Appropriate for ages 7-12.” Book Description

Sara of Sun Valley : An Idaho Adventure (Story House Dolls) by Sandra Bartholomew and Lloyd Aadland

An Idaho Adventure (Story House Dolls)

Ages 7-12. “Sara of Sun Valley is a delightful adventure that brings the reader from Idaho ski slopes to a hospital in Chicago. The challenges Sara and her family face are illustrated by color photographs of the little character dolls acting out the story.” Book Publisher

Texas Mickey : A Story of Horses and Races (Story House Dolls) by Sandra Bartholomew and Lloyd Aadland

A Story of Horses and Races (Story House Dolls)

Ages 7-12. “Texas Mickey is a story that will delight the horse lover. Set on a Texas ranch, the story of Mickey and her problem accepting the Hispanic migrant workers is believable and compelling. The illustrations are wonderful color photographs of Mickey and the other miniature character dolls (including their horses) acting out the story line.” Book Publisher

The Dolls’ Secret by Linda Blackburn

The Dolls' Secret

Ages 8-12?. “An old lady is the proud owner of two Victorian dolls. They sit quietly on her shelf, as dolls do! Not a peep, not an utterance. That is, until a fairy enters the room through an open window and casts a spell. Victoria and Amy are no longer ordinary dolls. They have a secret; they can come to life! And so begins a journey involving spoilt children and kind children, evil witches and a vicious dog! But will the dolls continue to use their special powers to do good? And, more importantly, will they manage to keep their secret safe? Through the eyes of Victoria and Amy, Linda Blackburn explores the relationships that children form with their possessions, and with each other, in this heartwarming story that will delight any young reader.” Book Description

Victorian Doll Stories (Victorian Revival Series) by Brenda, Mrs. Gatty, and Frances Hodgson Burnett

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No reviews or description available. Suitable for most ages, given the date.

Seth The Doll Who Was Afraid Of Everything by Rowena Avery

Seth The Doll Who Was Afraid Of Everything

Ages 4-8. “Rowena Avery cleverfully illustrates that when someone is afraid of everything, that someone missed out on everything!

Unique dolls highlight Seth as he learns to try new things with his other doll friends. Highly original and entertaining. This is a must-have for any collection.” Amazon Customer Reviews

A Doll-House Christmas by Jean Marzollo and Shelley Thornton

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Ages 4-8. A “punch-and-play storybook, Scholastic 1985.” Book Description

William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow and William Pene Du Bois

William's Doll (Jp 067)

Ages 4-6. “More than anything, William wants a doll. “Don’t be a creep,” says his brother. “Sissy, sissy,” chants the boy next door. Then one day someone really understands William’s wish, and makes it easy for others to understand, too.” Book Description

The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright

The Lonely Doll

“Once there was a little doll. Her name was Edith. She lived in a nice house and had everything she needed except someone to play with. She was lonely! Then one morning Edith looked into the garden and there stood two bears! Since it was first published in 1957, The Lonely Doll has established itself as a unique children’s classic. Through innovative photography Dare Wright brings the world of dolls to life and entertains us with much more than just a story. Edith, the star of the show, is a doll from Wright’s childhood, and Wright selected the bear family with the help of her brother. With simple poses and wonderful expressions, the cast of characters is vividly brought to life to tell a story of friendship.” Book Description

A Gift from the Lonely Doll by Dare Wright

A Gift from the Lonely Doll

“A Gift from the Lonely Doll was first published in 1966 and is one of the most frequently requested and fondly remembered books in the Lonely Doll series by the author/photographer Dare Wright. A Gift from the Lonely Doll again features Edith and her friends, Mr. Bear and Little Bear, and a generous act of kindness that helps all of them understand and celebrate the meaning of the holidays.” Book Description

Edith and Mr. Bear: A Lonely Doll Story by Dare Wright

Edith and Mr. Bear: A Lonely Doll Story

“Mr. Bear’s expensive clock fascinates Edith. She just has to touch it. But when she does, it falls down with a crash. Unable to admit that she has broken it, Edith’s guilty conscience makes her so unhappy that she can’t even enjoy her birthday party. In fact, Edith feels so badly about lying to Mr. Bear that she contemplates running away. What happens next makes for a timeless story that will resonate with anyone who has ever tried to cover up the truth. Dare Wright’s innovative black-and-white photographs make EDITH AND MR. BEAR as intriguing as it was when first published in 1964.” Book Description

Make Me Real by Dare Wright

“”Make Me Real” is a delightful story about a little girl named Brett and the tiny doll, Persis, who becomes her best friend. Persis can only come alive when she is loved by a child, and must return to being a regular doll when that child grows up. Dare Wright (1914-2001) is the beloved author of “The Lonely Doll” series. She wrote and photographed “Make Me Real” the 1970s, but this is its first publication.” Book description

The Surprise Doll by Morrell Gipson and Steffie Lerch

The Surprise Doll

“For more than half a century children have been captivated with the story of Mary and her dolls. Mary’s father was a sea captain who took long trips across the ocean, bringing back a doll from each journey. Soon Mary had six dolls and wished for a seventh one to become her “Sunday” doll. But Mary’s father said six dolls were enough for any girl, so she set off to visit the Dollmaker and, oh, was she in for a surprise!

Now available in its original, full 46-page format.” Book Description

Elizabeti’s Doll (Elizabeti Series) by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen and Christy Hale

Elizabeti's Doll (Elizabeti Series)

Ages 4-8. “In an impressive debut, Stuve-Bodeen warms the heart and hearth with this sweetly evoked tale inspired by her experiences in the Peace Corps. Set in a Tanzanian village, the story tells of Elizabeti, who watches her mother care for her new baby brother and longs for a little one of her own to cuddle. She has no doll, so instead she looks around for a suitable “baby” and soon finds a rock that’s shaped just right. Carefully mimicking her mother, she bathes, feeds (her doll is “too polite to burp”) and changes “Eva,” and when doing chores ties Eva to her back “with a bright cloth called a kanga,” just as her mother does. Downcast when Eva is misplaced (her sister accidentally uses the rock for the cooking fire), Elizabeti finds her special doll in time to sing her to sleep. Stuve-Bodeen’s well-balanced prose strikes just the right tranquil, gently humorous tone. She lovingly delineates the mother-daughter relationship, and offers a rare, intimate view of another culture while sounding a universal chord. Hale (Juan Bobo and the Pig), meanwhile, deftly captures the story’s mood in softly shaded mixed-media illustrations, juxtaposing brightly printed motifs in African fabrics against an earthy, sundrenched palette. The artist is equally adept at conveying close-up portraits with a full emotional range as she is a village scene of Elizabeti carrying a water jug atop her head. A little slice of perfection. Ages 4-up.” Publishers Weekly

The Apple Doll by Elisa Kleven

The Apple Doll

Ages 4-8. “*Starred Review* Through every season, Lizzy loves the apple tree outside her window. On her first day of school, she uses it to create a new friend to take along with her: Susanna, a doll with an apple for a head and twigs for its body. When children make fun of Susanna, Lizzy leaves her at home for a while. Lizzy’s mother shows her how to make Susanna into an apple-head doll by peeling the fruit, carving her features, preserving her with lemon juice, and letting her smiling face wrinkle as it dries. Newly aged but rejuvenated, Susanna accompanies Lizzy to school again and becomes the model for a class craft project. A plot summary does little to re-create the charm of this delightfully well-written picture book. Like the first illustration of the apple tree, where Lizzy lies happily on a branch surrounded by birds, cats, and squirrels, the pictures teem with life and intriguing details, but have at their heart the clear expression of the characters’ emotions. Created in mixed media with collage elements, the illustrations vary in size and complexity, from small winsome vignettes to detailed, double-page spreads that carry the eye from the main character to the outskirts of her neighborhood. For children, parents, and teachers inspired by this inviting picture book who want to make their own apple dolls, Kleven appends instructions.” Booklist

The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll by Patricia Mckissack and Jerry Pinkney

The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll

“It’s Christmas, and Nella is beside herself with excitement! She and her sisters have been given a real gift – a beautiful Baby Betty doll. But it’s hard to share something you’ve waited your whole seven-year-old life for, and Nella grabs the doll for herself. It isn’t long before she discovers that a doll can’t do the fun things she and her sisters do together. So, as Christmas day fades, Nella shares it with her sisters. Set in the Depression era South, here’s a heartwarming story that captures the essence of the holiday.” Book Description

“Parents looking for books on sharing will find this an appealing exploration of the subject, teachers seeking picture books set during the Depression will find many details that bring the period to life. A gentle lesson that plays into the spirit of the holiday.” Starred Review, Booklist

“Full of humorous dialogue and scenes of realistic family life showing the close bonds within the family. Pinkney’s watercolor illustrations are masterful, as always…” – Kirkus Review, Starred Review

“An evocative book with a universal message.” The New York Times Book Review

Dolls Christmas (Tasha Tudor Collection) by Tasha Tudor

Dolls Christmas (Tasha Tudor Collection)

Christmas is a special time at Pumpkin House, where two dolls named Sethany Ann and Nicey Melinda live. Every Christmas they invite their friends to join them for an elegant dinner party and a marionette show. The dolls have fun getting ready for their party: they send out invitations to their guests by Sparrow Post, decorate their very own Christmas tree with silver nutmegs and golden pears, and prepare doll-size cookies and other treats for the party. Then at “candlelight-time” on Christmas Day the guests begin to arrive, and the evening isn’t over until the last carol has been sung around the tree.

Tasha Tudor’s delightful tale captures all the charm and magic of an old-fashioned Christmas shared with your dearest friends. Beautifully illustrated in nostalgic watercolor paintings, this book will be treasured by generations to come.” Book Description

The Ticky-Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant and Harvey Stevenson

The Ticky-Tacky Doll

Ages 4-8. “Rylant (the Little Whistle series) wisely explores a child’s separation anxiety through her relationship with her doll. The author conveys the girl’s bond with the doll, handmade for her by Grandmama (“It was ticky, her mother said, because Grandmama had made it from sewing scraps. And it was tacky because pieces of cloth hung from it like soft bits of hair”), through the rhythms of their day, their trips to town, a shared meal (“At the supper table the doll fit snugly on the little girl’s lap, and its eyes could see what was for dinner”). Stevenson’s (Bye, Mis’ Lela) paintings cast a magic glow on the pair, inseparable in the opening spreads. He portrays the doll with a seam down the middle of her smiling face, X’s for eyes and a mop of striped and polka-dotted fabric strips for hair. On the first day of school, when the girl must leave the doll at home, she withdraws completely: Stevenson shows her with head bowed at a table, markers and paper untouched. Only Grandmama knows what is wrong, and she comes up with an innovative solution. With the barest of statements, Rylant affirms the child’s feelings and conveys the bond between child and grandparent (“Grandmama had lived a long time and knew about loneliness and missing someone,” while the illustration shows a framed picture of her grandfather). Stevenson’s artwork, with its layered, contrasting planes of blue and gold, resembles the loving patchwork of the doll itself. Ages 3-7.” Publishers Weekly

Nutcracker Doll by Mary Newell Depalma

Nutcracker Doll

Ages 4-8. “Tutus, stage lights, and tights-wearing mice – a girl’s giddy first experience dancing in THE NUTCRACKER is celebrated for all to share. For a young dancer, everything about “The Nutcracker” is thrilling, from auditions to opening night. Readers experience it all with Kepley as she dances before judges, goes to rehearsals, and stifles giggles as she gets carried offstage by a man dressed as a giant mouse! DePalma expertly takes readers backstage and into the heart of a small dancer as THE NUTCRACKER DOLL captures the magic of theater and the thrill of being part of a great ballet.” Book Description

Betty Doll by Patricia Polacco

Betty Doll

Ages 4-8. “Polacco (Thank You, Mr. Falker) again elegantly embroiders a patch from the fabric of her own life in a moving tale that demonstrates the importance of family legacies. “I know that someday you’ll read this when your heart is aching,” reads the note that the author finds attached to Betty Doll after her mother’s [Mary Ellen’s] death. Mary Ellen’s letter goes on to explain how, as a girl, she and her mother made the doll from scraps of cloth after her other dolls perished in the fire that destroyed their home. Readers will happily tumble back in time as the fluid, conversational narrative reveals anecdotes underscoring Betty Doll’s importance in Mary Ellen’s life. For instance, the sight of Betty Doll who had fallen out of her owner’s book bag alerts the child’s father to her whereabouts during a blizzard; and when the girl is bedridden with a fever, Betty keeps her company. Over the years, the author and then her own children find solace in the beloved doll, who “kissed away tears, soothed hurt knees and was a guest at hundreds of tea parties and slumber nights.” In an effective graphic manipulation, the doll alone appears in color against Polacco’s finely detailed black-and-white art, which smoothly incorporates framed family photos arranged on tabletops. Together, text and illustrations credibly and poignantly capture the powerful bond among four generations of a loving family. All ages.” Publishers Weekly

Mud Pies and Other Recipes: A Cookbook for Dolls by Marjorie Winslow and Erik Blegvad

A Cookbook for Dolls

Ages 4-8. “Any doll chef will tell you that no supermarket is as well-stocked as a forest, a sand dune, or your own backyard; and everyone knows that dolls love mud, when properly prepared.
For forty years, Mud Pies and Other Recipes has been the consummate cookbook for dolls, using only the finest ingredients found outside. All of the perennial doll favorites are here, including Dandelion SoufflÈ, Wood Chip Dip, and, of course, Mud Pies.
This special 40th anniversary hardcover edition now includes a Tea Party in the menu section, so that dolls with discriminating palates will be prepared for every social occasion. Erik Blegvad’s classically fetching illustrations provide the perfect dressing for Marjorie Winslow’s outdoor cookbook for dolls.” Book Description

“One of the most charming picture books ever published.” —Horn Book
“An adorable little book with charming pictures and a deadpan text.”—Publishers Weekly

“The nicest oddball cookbook of the year.”—Life Magazine

Daisy and the Doll (A Vermont Folklife Center Book) by Michael Medearis, Angela Shelf Medearis, and Larry Johnson

Daisy and the Doll (A Vermont Folklife Center Book)

Ages 6-10. “One of the inaugural releases in the Family Heritage series, this story is based on a true incident. The husband-and-wife authors (the African-American Arts series) adopt the crisp and amiable voice of eight-year-old Daisy Turner, a former slave’s daughter who was born in Vermont in 1883. Daisy’s teacher announces that, for a school competition, each girl will hold a doll from a different country and recite a poem about that nationality. When she hands Daisy a rag doll “with a coal black face,” the other girls giggle; and anger “bubbled inside me like hot tar.” Daisy’s father, Papu, advises her to memorize the poem her teacher has written, even though it obviously offends her. Disconcertingly, readers never learn any of the poem’s contents. Daisy instead comments, “I had never really noticed the color of my skin. It was as if Miss Clark’s poem had opened my eyes for the first time.” On stage during the program, Daisy finds that her teacher’s words “caught in my throat like a bone,” and the child delivers an extemporaneous but prize-winning poem (“My Papu says that half the world/ Is nearly black as night./ And it does no harm to take a chance/ And stay right in the fight”). Johnson’s (Knoxville, Tennessee) spare representational paintings capture the narrative’s emotion-charged tenor. A concluding page offers historical background as well as tips for rhyming games and for writing poems. Ages 6-10.” Publishers Weekly

The Christmas Doll by Linda Doty

The Christmas Doll

“Amy Manchester is a young girl growing up in Victorian England during the turn of the century. She lives with her widowed, artist father and her older brother Jack. Amy’s life is changed when she wishes for a beautiful porcelain doll that she sees in the village toy shop window. Along the way, she finds a new friendship and a strange mystery in an old Victorian estate, that leads her and Jack to an exciting new adventure.” Book Description

The Orphan and the Doll (A Little Apple Paperback) by Tracy Friedman


Ages preschool. “When little orphaned Amanda finds Henriette, a beautiful porcelain doll in her bed one morning, she has no idea that the magical doll will help her find the home she never knew she had.” Book Publisher

The Stone Doll of Sister Brute (A Dell Young Yearling Book) by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban


Ages 6-9. “Dissatisfied with her stone doll and an ugly dog, an obstreperous youngster learns about familial love in this winsome, deceptively simple story. Ages 6-9.” Publishers Weekly

I hope you enjoyed this “romp” through doll land. It’s a wonderful way for mothers and daughters to bond, even if they don’t play much with dolls.


2 responses to “Doll Books For the Younger Set – about them and "by" them

  1. This is an impressive list! Thanks for making it. A couple more favorites: Goldie the Dollmaker, by M.B. Goffstein, and Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, by Marianna Mayer.

  2. P.S. Here is actually a better retelling of the Vasilisa story (though the pictures in the one I recommended are certainly lovely):