Gr 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. Unexciting fare. --Bonnie Wheatley, Emma Conn Elementary School, Raleigh, N.C.