September 2003

The secret life of dolls

By Ann M. Martin, Brian Selznick & Laura Godwin
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Annabelle Doll and her best friend, Tiffany Funcraft, return in a satisfying sequel to The Doll People. They, and their families, are special dolls dolls who are really alive. No lounging about in a Barbie dream house for these heroines they are ready for exploring and adventure! The dolls are only able to move when the grownups are asleep or absent. If the humans discover them moving, the dolls will remain in Doll State, frozen for 24 hours. Too much time spent in Doll State will cause the offender to remain in Permanent Doll State, a condition so horrid that no one likes to say the words aloud.

When Annabelle and Tiffany find themselves in the backpack of their owner, Nora, they decide to see what school is all about. Left in the hallway, they sneak out of the backpack and scoot along the walls. Eventually they find their way back, but something is wrong. The girls have chosen the wrong backpack and end up in a different house. It's not long before the dainty porcelain Annabelle and the hearty plastic Tiffany realize they are in deep, deep trouble. The dolls in the new house are alive, but they are scared. Mimi, a beautiful pink princess doll, has been running her own little fiefdom and bullying the others into submission. She does not believe in Permanent Doll State and recklessly endangers all of dollkind with her brazen behavior, right under the eyes of the humans of her house.

Authors Martin and Godwin spin a charming tale with plenty of action and humor, as well as lessons about bullying and social cruelty. Selznick's signature pencil illustrations add to the fun. The giant walking baby doll under Mimi's command makes for a hilarious presence next to the tiny Mimi.

Readers will be looking at their dolls in a new way after getting to know Annabelle and Tiffany and will hope for many more tales in the series for years to come.

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The Meanest Doll in the World

The Meanest Doll in the World

By Ann M. Martin & Brian Selznick & Laura Godwin
ISBN 9780786808786

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