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THE VERY BEST DOLL by Julia Noonan


by Julia Noonan & illustrated by Julia Noonan

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-47075-1
Publisher: Dutton

In this sweetly old-fashioned story, little Nell is a soft cloth doll with a polka-dot dress and button eyes who accompanies her little owner everywhere. When the unnamed narrator celebrates her sixth birthday, she receives a large ballerina doll with a more sophisticated look, realistic hair, and a trunk full of fancy clothes. The new doll becomes the favorite companion, until bedtime, when the old, familiar friend is rescued from under the covers and brought back into her place of honor. The short, poetic text uses strings of hyphenated phrases with a rollicking rhythm to describe each doll (“a sunshine-or-rain, never-complain, loyal kind of doll”) and the little girl’s feelings. The double-page spread illustrations show the little girl’s comfortable home in an earlier era (when girls had just a few dolls), and the dolls each have distinct personalities. The short text, simple plot, and large, appealing illustrations make this a good choice for younger preschoolers as well as for story hours with a theme of dolls or toys. (Picture book. 2-5)