Books for Doll's Day

In Japan, March 3rd is Hinamatsuri, or Doll's Day. The festival involves displaying beautiful dolls in traditional Japanese court dress, each representing a different member of or attendant to the court. As a lifelong lover of dolls, I thought that this holiday sounded lovely and wanted to have my own small literary doll festival here at Sparrow Tree Square. So, I picked a few of my favorite children's books featuring dolls to share with you:

 
Dahlia by Barbara McClintock

This was the first book of Barbara McClintock's that I ever came across, and it instantly made me a fan of her work. The story focuses on a girl named Charlotte, who prefers active games to dainty dolls. When Charlotte receives a doll from her aunt as a gift, at first she doesn't know quite what to do with her. But Dahlia soon proves to be more adventure-ready than Charlotte assumes, and Charlotte finds that there are many different ways to play with dolls. You can read Maureen's full review of Dahlia in the Sparrow Tree Square Book Review Collection, if you'd like to learn more. Recommended for young readers ages 4-8.

 

 

Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field

Hitty was one of the first books I read when I started to home-school, and I enjoyed it so much that I frequently went far beyond the assigned chapters for each week. Mehitable Preble, or Hitty for short, is a small, wooden doll who is loved by many girls over the course of her hundred-year existence, as she journeys from one owner to the next in a series of exciting adventures. As a child I used to have a suspicion of Newbery Medal books, believing that they were the sort of thing that adults thought were "good" for children, but Hitty proved me very wrong! Recommended for middle grade readers ages 8-11.

 

 

Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kassirer

This book, originally published in the 1960's and now unfortunately out of print, combines two of my favorite things: dolls and time travel. I've happened to have read more than a couple of time travel fantasies dating from this time period, and all of them, this book included, have been excellent. Magic Elizabeth has all the hallmarks of a great cozy read--a summer spent in a big old house, a small unsolved mystery, and fascinating glimpses into the past. While it would be a perfect pick for summer nights, it's also excellent for cold, dreary days when you dream of warmer weather. Recommended for middle grade readers ages 8-11.