A beautiful doll is given to a spoiled little girl who doesn’t appreciate the gift.
The doll sits on the shelf, unnamed and unloved. She eventually begins a long, lonely journey as she is passed from place to place, each time hoping to find someone who will love her. She decorates a vegetable farm stand, becomes a prize in a carnival game and is finally sold by a street urchin for a nickel. The little girl who buys her names her Kaylee and loves her dearly; she is home at last. Kroll revisits a tale he originally wrote in 1983 with illustrations by Evaline Ness. In this new version, he tweaks it a bit, but leaves the text basically intact, carefully maintaining the essential sweetness of this ever-wistful and patient doll. Andreasen zooms in on the events in vibrant, large-scale close-ups rendered in oil paint on shellacked Bristol board. Each character’s expressions and body language carefully match behavior, and each location is textured and detailed, evoking an earlier time without specific markers. Remarkably, although the doll’s face never actually changes, a slight change in perspective or light or tilt of the head clearly indicates her feelings of hopefulness, sadness or contentment at each turn of events.
A gentle, satisfying reminder of the universal need for love and home. (Picture book. 4-8)