Skip to main content


I loved dolls when I was a kid.  Madame Alexander, Barbie, baby dolls, cloth dolls.  I even went through a period where I made dolls out of my mom's old pantyhose.  I made an orphanage out of a cardboard box, furniture, bookshelves, books and all, and stocked it with kids.  I made dolls with papier-mâché heads and arms and loads of yarn hair.  Surprisingly, I did not turn out to be a collector of dolls as an adult, however I did indulge my daughter pretty seriously, sinking a lot of money into American Dolls...
Now that my seven and a half year old niece is becoming interested in her mom's old dollhouse and sewing, I started thinking about all the books about dolls that I also loved and decided to do a week of reviews of the wonderful picture and chapter books that have dolls and/or doll houses as their main characters.  Boys, don't feel left out.  Most of the stories are universal, ofen adventurous and surprisingly not as pink as you would expect!

[This is the very set (minus the tags) of Madame Alexander Little Women Dolls I collected as a kid.  Didn't get around to reading the book until I was an adult, despite the dolls...]
I am sure that I have overlooked or just don't know about some of the other incredible doll books out there, so I am hoping that you all will write in with enough titles for me to do another whole week of doll stories in the future!

For those of you who are interested, the New York Times ran this article back in April Modern Design, in Miniature, is Growing.  There are links to some interesting blogs by miniaturists that your kids might get a kick out of.


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…