SECRETS FROM THE DOLLHOUSE by Ann Turner

SECRETS FROM THE DOLLHOUSE

Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

PLB 0-06-024567-0 Turner (Red Flower Goes West, p. 971, etc.) imagines that dollhouses can be pretty scary places, where fears from the human world may be amplified. Emma, a doll, narrates this glimpse into her life, where a longing for an adventure in the land beyond the walls of her house tugs at her, while the cat, mice, and the war-playing proclivities of dollhouse owner’s brother give her a good case of the willies. Emma has a difficult time getting around, because she is made of wood, but she does go outside with the human girl and even spends an exciting twilight hour watching the sky turn to stars when she is briefly left behind. The outward of the serenity of a doll’s life is totally refuted by Emma’s perspective and in these pages: the mice that roam the dollhouse at night are tiger-sized; the house cat, sharp of tooth and claw, is as large as a brontosaurus; a baby doll gets kidnapped and her room is left in tatters. Even though the cat returns the baby, it doesn’t quell the initial terror of the act; the other inhabitants can hear the baby’s cries as it is snatched, but cannot act, or even move. Children who like their dollhouse tales with an edge will take to this; in poem-like passages, Turner has ratcheted up all the yearnings and frustrations of childhood to almost unbearably intense levels. Col¢n’s artwork, with its Edwardian atmosphere, aptly conveys the mute, vulnerable qualities of the dollhouse. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 29th, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-024564-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1999