The Doll People

( 122 )

Overview

Annabelle 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.

A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor.

...
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Overview

Annabelle 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.

A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly
This novel, named a PW Best Book of 2000, introduces the Doll family, who has lived in the same dollhouse, in the same room of a family's home for 100 years. "The authors provide plenty of action and suspense, but it is their skillfully crafted details about the dolls' personalities and daily routines that prove most memorable. A fun-filled adventure free from nostalgia," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Kate inherited her dollhouse with its handmade porcelain dolls from her mother and her grandmother. The dolls have lives of their own inside that hundred-year old doll home. While the dolls do not age, they do play and work and have adventures when the humans are away from the house or asleep. Annabelle Doll lives in the house with her mother, father, brother, baby sister, Nanny, and uncle. Her aunt used to live there too, but about forty-five years ago, she disappeared! When Annabelle discovers her aunt's old diary, she becomes determined to solve the mystery of her aunt's disappearance; modeling her behavior after the detective Nancy Drew that she hears Kate talking about all the time with her friends. Fans of such little people books as The Borrowers or The Littlest will enjoy reading about Annabelle Doll and her family and neighbors gallivanting around the human house trying to find the missing Auntie Sarah. Black-and-white drawings turn up often lending just the right old-fashioned touch to the tale. 2000, Hyperion Books for Children, Ages 7 to 10, $15.99. Reviewer: Judy Katsh—Children's Literature
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-When dolls Annabelle and Tiffany are inadvertently carried to another household, they come up against Mean Mimi, a bullying princess who rides roughshod over the toys in her realm. Superbly nuanced drawings echo the action that breathes life into these extraordinary playthings. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In the further adventures of best friends Tiffany Funcraft and Annabelle Doll, the two are accidentally carried to a strange home in a school backpack. There they encounter Princess Mimi, a small, vividly wicked doll, so bad that she's good. Mimi, who's convinced that she's a real princess and will someday be queen of all the dolls, is terrorizing the other dolls in her house. When Tiffany and Annabelle help the frightened dolls overcome her, Mimi follows them home, intent on revenge. Annabelle understands that if the dolls choose not to be threatened by her, Mimi will make enough trouble to destroy herself. Wrapped in humor and adventure are serious considerations of self-esteem, the power of intimidation, and the nature of friendship. Selznick's precisely detailed illustrations, opening with the most brilliant curtain-raiser in children's literature, enhance the humor, fright, and chaos caused by Mean Mimi. With its indelible mingling of wit, action, characterization, and art, this stands alone, but will especially thrill expectant fans of the original Doll People. (Fiction. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786812400
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 63,227
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of the New York Times best-selling The Invention of Hugo Cabret, winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal and a National Book nominee. He has also illustrated many other books for children, including Frindle by Andrew Clements, Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Mu oz Ryan, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which received a 2001 Caldecott Honor. Brian lives in Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

It had been forty-five years since Annabelle Doll had last seen Auntie Sarah. And forty-five years was a very long time, especially for an eight-year-old girl.

The dollhouse, where Annabelle lived with her family, hadn't changed much over these years. True, tiny things had been added or had been broken or lost. A rug that had lain on the floor under the dollhouse had been taken away and never replaced. A pane of glass had fallen out of a bedroom window in the dollhouse, and the wallpaper in the kitchen had been painted over. But those were small changes.

The Dolls themselves had remained much the same, as well. Their china skin was a bit grayer, and their clothes were a bit more frayed, but otherwise they looked almost the same as they had the day Auntie Sarah was lost. In fact, the Dolls looked very much the same as they had the day they first arrived at 26 Wetherby Lane. However, they had once been a family of eight (if you included, as the Dolls did, the children's nanny as a member of the family), and now they were a family of seven.

Outside the dollhouse, in Kate's room and beyond, everything changed. Little girls grew up and had little girls of their own, people left the house and went to work or on vacations, things happened. History was made. But inside the dollhouse, not much happened, as far as Annabelle was concerned. The only important event in her entire, one-hundred-year life was that Auntie Sarah had disappeared.

But today, the second most important event had occurred: Annabelle had found something that had belonged to Auntie Sarah. No one knew she had found it. Not Kate Palmer. Not any of the Dolls. And keeping a secret in a house like Annabelle's was awfully hard. It might even be impossible, Annabelle thought, except for the fact that there was no one with whom Annabelle wanted to share a secret.

Chapter One: Annabelle Doll's Secret

Annabelle looked around the dollhouse nursery, feeling restless. "Bobby," she said to her brother, "let's play tag."

Bobby Doll was propped up in a corner by the stairway landing in the dollhouse. That was where Kate Palmer had left him before school that morning.

Do you think that's safe, Annabelle?" asked Bobby. "The Captain is right outside."

Annabelle didn't have a chance to answer his question. "No, it's not safe!" Mama Doll called from downstairs. Mama was standing on her head next to the fireplace, which was where Kate had left her that morning. It was a most uncomfortable position. "If you move around now, Kate might come home and see you. And Bobby's right. The Captain is just outside."

Annabelle looked out the side window of the dollhouse and saw the round yellow eyes of a cat staring back at her. She sighed. Why couldn't The Captain take a nap?

Annabelle flopped on her bed. She tried to remember where Kate had left her that morning. It was somewhere in the nursery. On her bed? Sitting on the floor playing with Baby Betsy? Calling to Nanny from the doorway? Annabelle got to her feet again and peered though the window. The Captain was just sitting there, staring in at the Dolls. When he saw Annabelle he licked his lips. Annabelle stuck her tongue out at him.

"Scat!" she called in her tiny doll voice.

"Annabelle, hush!" said Nanny.

Annabelle couldn't see Nanny, but she pushed herself away from the window anyway.

"This is so boring," she exclaimed. "My life is so boring."

No one answered her.

"Kate won't be home from school for ages!" she went on.

Silence.

I am going to die from boredom, thought Annabelle. She flopped on her bed again. "Mama, can I ask you a question?" she called out.

"Is it a quick question?"

"I want to know how Auntie Sarah is related to us. Is she your sister, or is she Papa's?" Or is Uncle Doll your brother and --"

"Annabelle, that is not a quick question," called Papa Doll from somewhere.

And at that moment, Annabelle heard the Palmers' front door slam, heard Kate shout, "I'm home!," heard feet clattering on the stairs. The feet were somewhere near the top of the staircase when Annabelle remembered just where Kate had left her that morning. In a flash, Annabelle scooted across the nursery, and landed on Bobby's bed. By the time Kate ran into her room, Annabelle was propped against the headboard, her legs sticking out in front of her, her painted eyes staring ahead.

For the next three hours, while Kate did her third-grade homework, telephoned her friend Rachel, and tried to keep her little sister, Nora, out of her room, Annabelle sat on Bobby's bed and thought about her secret. Her secret was wonderful, and it was the only thing, that prevented Annabelle from actually dying of boredom.

Annabelle recalled the moment when she had made her discovery. It was during a night when Kate had closed the front of the dollhouse before she had gone to bed. She rarely did this, and when she did, Annabelle was delighted. It meant the Dolls had plenty of privacy during their nighttime, the time when the humans slept and the Doll family could move about their house. They could be a teeny bit less quiet, a teeny bit more free. Even The Captain, snoozing at the end of Kate's bed, couldn't harm them.

And since they would have more freedom than usual on that night, Mama Doll had said, "How about a sing-along, and then free time?"

"Yes!" Annabelle had cried. Sing-alongs were always fun, and free time meant time when the Dolls could go anywhere in their house, and do anything they wanted to do, within reason. "Remember," Papa often said, "never do anything you can't undo by the time Kate wakes up in the morning."

The Dolls had gathered around the piano in the parlor. Uncle Doll propped two tiny songbooks in front of him. One was a book of hymns. It had come from England a hundred years earlier with the Dolls and the house and the furniture. The other book had been purchased by Mrs. Palmer, Kate's mother, when she was a young girl and the dollhouse had been hers. On the cover of the book was a rainbow. Written across the yellow band of the rainbow were the words GREAT HITS OF THE SIXTIES.

"Let's sing 'Natural Woman,' " Annabelle had suggested.

"Yuck," said Bobby.

"Okay, then 'Respect,' " said Annabelle.

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T!" sang Bobby.

"Sockittome, sockittome, sockittome, sockittome!" Annabelle chimed in.

"How about a quieter song?" suggested Nanny.

The Dolls had sung song after song while Uncle Doll played the piano. Outside the dollhouse, Annabelle caught a glimpse of The Captain. He sat silently, listening to the doll voices. He could barely hear them, but they were there, all right.

The Dolls ended the sing-along after two choruses of "Bringing in the Sheaves" from the hymnbook. And then their free time began. Annabelle knew exactly what she was going to do. She wanted to examine the books in the parlor. And she wanted to do it privately. Lately, Kate and Rachel had talked of nothing but Nancy Drew and how she solved her mysteries. They had even read a couple of the mysteries aloud to each other, and Annabelle had listened intently. She wished she could be a detective like Nancy. And now she thought she might find something interesting on the dollhouse bookshelves. It was unlikely. But possible. Annabelle knew that most of the books on the shelves were not real. They were simply tiny flat blocks painted bright colors, with book titles written on one side in gold ink. But perhaps she might find a secret compartment in one of the shelves. Things like that were always happening to Nancy.

So Annabelle had begun her search. She started by removing the books from the shelves, one by one. Presently she discovered that some of the books were attached to one another. She could remove a whole block of books at once. This was interesting, but not very mysterious. Then she discovered that some of the books were, in fact, real, like the songbooks. She could open their covers and inside were teeny tiny pages with teensy writing: Classics of Modern Poetry, Oliver Twist. Annabelle read the eight-page story about the little boy named Oliver with great interest. Eagerly, she pulled out every book from the shelves. But the others wee pretend. She checked for secret compartments. Nothing. She stood on a stool and tackled the next shelf. Only pretend books. She stood on tiptoe and reached for the shelf above. And that was where she found Auntie Sarah's journal.

From outside it looked like all the other books in the parlor. It was dark green, with gold writing stamped on the cover. The title was My Journal. It was slightly fatter than most of the books, and contained dozens of pages as thin as onionskin, filled with spidery black handwriting and even some drawings

Annabelle stepped off of the stool and sat on the floor to look through My Journal. She opened to the first page. And there she found the words "The Private Diary of Sarah Doll, May 1955."

Sarah Doll. That must be Auntie Sarah, Annabelle had thought. She gasped. And when she heard the voices of Mama and Papa just outside the parlor she had shoved the book under the hem of her long dress.

"Annabelle," Mama had said, "let's have a bit of family time while we can still talk freely, and then it will be time to go back to our places. Kate will be up soon."

"All right," replied Annabelle. She had managed to scurry upstairs without anyone seeing the book, and she had hidden it under the covers of her bed. She knew that was dangerous. What if Kate, of all people, should find the book while she was playing in the dollhouse? But Annabelle couldn't help herself.

For the last week she had read the book in snatches, whenever Kate was gone or asleep, and Annabelle's family was in other rooms. Each time she read a few more pages she would close the book and once again place it under the covers, feeling restless. Annabelle was used to feeling bored. But not restless. Something was wrong with her life. Something was missing. It wasn't anything specific such as a hairbrush or a shoe. Annabelle didn't even think it was Auntie Sarah. Not exactly. It was...what was it? Was it possible to miss something you had never had?

Annabelle now sat stiffly on Bobby's bed, waiting for Kate to be called downstairs for supper. She thought about the last time the Dolls had seen Auntie Sarah. Annabelle remembered it as a day like any other, except that one moment Auntie Sarah was in the living room, and the next moment she wasn't. And she hadn't been seen since.

Annabelle thought again about Auntie Sarah's journal. Many of the pages were filled with drawings, mainly drawings of spiders. In some of the drawings Auntie Sarah had even labeled the parts of the spiders. Annabelle had read just a few of the pages of words, and this had taken her a long time because Auntie Sarah's crawly handwriting was hard to read. All Annabelle had learned so far was that daily life in 1955 had barely been different from Annabelle's life today.

Annabelle let out a sigh, hoping Kate wouldn't hear her. She liked having a secret. And she didn't. Because she had no one with whom to share it.

Text copyright © 2000 by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1
1. Annabelle Doll's Secret 5
2. The Mystery of Auntie Sarah 17
3. Where Could She Be? 31
4. Hello, Funcrafts 44
5. The Funcrafts Come Visiting 57
6. Annabelle Downstairs 73
7. Doll State 89
8. SELMP 99
9. Exploring 110
10. Uncle Doll Moves Out 123
11. The Attic 136
12. The Dolls Go Visiting 146
13. Where's Papa? 158
14. The Funcrafts to the Rescue 176
15. Into the Attic 191
16. The Dolls Make a Plan 207
17. The Captain Helps Out 223
18. Annabelle's Birthday Party 234
19. Grandma Katherine and the Dolls 252
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 122 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(92)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Awesome!!!

    I read this book back in fifth grade and I plan on reading the whole series again even though I'm older now. It was sooo cute and I really enjoyed seeing the detailed pictures that went along with it. I recommend this book for everyone no matter how old! Two thumbs up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Amazing Dolls

    This book was about a doll. Her name is Annabelle and she has a friend named Tiffany. They are very brave because they find missing dolls. My favorite character in this book is Aunt Sarah because she explores around the attic and likes spiders. Aunt Sarah has been lost for 45 years.Will she ever be rescued?
    I liked this book because two very brave girls go out to save Aunt Sarah. You should read this book because it is an amazing story for children because it teaches you to be brave. (Jacie, 7)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This series is the best I've ever read in my life!!!!!!

    Don't ever think twice about buying this! I loved it!I found out about it when I went to Barnes and Noble to buy mouse and the motercycle and some girl was lookiong for it!:)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great!!!!

    I love this book!It is a great book for my 9 year old!she can not put it down

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    Doll People

    This book was so good, its actually hard to explain. It combines realistic fiction, but then switches it to somthing that not real but it a great perspective to look at!!! REALLY GREAT BOOK

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    This is a great book!

    You should totally read it. And you would love it. It's very adventurous, exciting, caring, loving, and it sure leaves you hanging from chapter to chapter. If you read this one , you'll want to read the whole series! There are two more books, this is the 1st, here are the others: 2nd The Meanest Doll In The World, and 3rd The Run Away Dolls.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Nice story with some good messages

    My 6 year old daughter loved this book. We read it together and then she re-read it again on her own. There are some nice underlying messages in the book about self-confidence and friendships as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Doll People ROCKS MY SOXS!

    My Book Review:

    I loved the book "The Doll People" because it gave great detail and it had a happy ending. I loved how Annabelle went on an adventure to find her Aunt but instead she found a new doll house with a family. Annabelle became great friends with the family in the box and had a great time looking for her aunt with her new friend. Annabelle went on great adventures with her new friend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2009

    The Doll People

    The Doll People is a great funny learning book that you cant wait to read the next chapter in. I truly think it can help people find others if they find a place for them in there heart.Some people can relate to this book and you can find out if your really love someone in your family.After you finish reading this book if someone is missing in your family go fight for them because im sure they love you too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    its great

    i love this book it is really fun the book has lots of imagination
    and mystery

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2009

    VERY CUTE STORY

    I chose this book to read to a 3 year old boy and a 7 year old girl i take care of during the week. we got into the habit of reading while they eat dinner as a way of getting away from having the tv on. we started out with the book "coraline" and the idea worked so well that they were telling me to continue reading til mom and dad got home. Doll People is a cut funny story about a family of dolls living in a doll house that has been in the family for many many years. It is currently owned by a girl named Katie. when the family goes to school or work during the day and to sleep at night the dolls come alive and are free to roam the house. they must, however, be back in the same exact positions they were in when everyone went to work or sleep by the time they get home or wake up. they can not raise the suspicions of the humans. katie's little sister gets a modern doll house with "plastic" dolls for her birthday. the older porcelain dolls and the new plastic dolls become friends and the 2 doll children annabelle and tiffany embark on an adventure to find annabelle's auntie sarah, who has been missing and is believed to be somewhere in the house for years. annabelle and tiffany take us on many adventures and come up against many close calls in being almost being discovered. Doll People is an easy and fun book. it's easy enough and intrigueing enough for a 3 year old to get into and just old enough to still hold the childish imagination of a 7 year old.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2009

    Doll People

    My daughter read this book in the summer before her 3rd grade year. She could not put the book down. Every once in a while I would get reports from her about how the doll people were and what they were doing. She really got into this book. It has some adventurous parts, some funny, some reflective. I would recommend this book to any young reader.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Great Book

    Its a great book, I think everyone should read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    EXTRA EXTRA READ "THE DOLL PEOPLE"!!

    This is such a good book!!! there is a sequel the meanest doll in the world, which is so good! The author Ann M. Martin has great books like Main Street(Welcome to Camden falls)! her writing is so pretty.in main street each chapter starts out explaining the scenery. All the recommended books below. Are also GREAT!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    The Doll People

    My daughter LOVED this book. She has since read the second and third book in this series and found them equally as exciting

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This Book Was Great!

    This book was full of exitement! Annabelle was always bored and she
    always wanted to do things full of exitement. In this great book,
    Annabelle and her family had many adventures. This book taught me lots of lessons. One of the lessons was, to do what she was supposed to do. This book is one of the best books I've ever read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    This was a wonderful book! I loved it so much! The second in the trilogy, The Meanest Doll in the World, was good too, but my favorite of the three is tied between this one, and the third, The Runaway Dolls.<BR/>Overall, a fun, imaginative series that is good for all ages!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2008

    The best book ever!!!

    This book was so charming and imaginative. I was just as enthralled as my 8 year old daughter was. I could not wait to read with her everynight. I hope they come out with a movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2008

    I loved it!

    It tells about what happens after you go to bed.(If you have dolls.) <BR/>-Written by my 8 year old granddaughter, Foster.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    THIS IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK!

    This book is the greatest book I have ever read. I love the adventure. I think that Ann M. Martin should write more of the doll series. I have read it over and over again- This book never gets old! I have read both of the doll books but I still think that this one is the best. In both of the doll books there is so much adventure! Okay, well I gotta go now. To let you know again, this book is the best! Thanks for reading. Bye!

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