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Dolls: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about dolls?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to dolls. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about dolls.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about dolls, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Clue in the Old Album to popular sellers like Doll Bones to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Doll People.

We hope this list of kids books about dolls can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C. McKissack & illustrated by April Harrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

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Masha and Her Sisters
Written by & illustrated by Suzy Ultman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Meet Masha and her sisters in this charming die-cut novelty board book inspired by Russian nesting dolls. Featuring shaped pages with brightly painted edges, and culminating in a satisfying finale, these nestled dolls reinforce a sweet message: they may be different, but they’re a perfect fit!

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The Doll People
Written by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin & illustrated by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

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Penny and Penelope
Written by Dan Richards & illustrated by Claire Almon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Two girls on a play date learn there’s more to each other than meets the eye with a little help from their dolls in this exciting picture book adventure. Penny and Penelope are very different dolls. Penelope is a sweet princess, while Penny is a fierce secret agent. Penelope wants to ride her pony through the countryside, while Penny wants to wrestle alligators. How can they possibly get along playing in an imaginary kingdom? Luckily, Penny and Penelope are more than their packaging. After all, you can’t judge a doll by its outfit.

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Button and Bundle
Written by Gretchen McLellan & illustrated by Gillian Flint
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A tender story about two best friends who must move away from each other. With a sprinkle of imagination and a lot of love, Button and Bundle will learn the true meaning of friendship.

Button and Bundle are best friends. So are their dolls.

But when Button has to move away, she’s sad and lonely without Bundle.

Until one day, Button finds a single yellow balloon and an idea. With a little luck, maybe she can reunite Bundle with their dolls again!

Knowing that her faraway friend would be happy is the happiest idea of all.

This sweet and charming friendship story addresses how to cherish old friendships while making new ones. With fun, imaginative play, Button and Bundle create a world they’ll share no matter how far apart they are.

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  • Emily's Idea - How a simple creative act spreads a message of love and acceptance around the world? Emily’s idea started small. Many beautiful ideas do. She folded, doodled, and snipped. But also, like many ideas, Emily’s small idea grew. When a little girl decides to create a paper chain of dolls, her idea catches on. Then it spreads far and wide as children around the world begin to create and share their own. This is the story of how that girl makes it happen.

  • Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper - Book four in this charming chapter book series, starring a spunky Japanese- American heroine. Jasmine’s best friend, Linnie, has just gotten a puppy. And now Jasmine wants a pet of her own—a flamingo! So when her grandmother sends Jasmine a daruma doll as a surprise gift, Jasmine colors in one doll eye and wishes for a flamingo to keep. Next, Jasmine tries to convince her parents that she’s responsible enough for a pet. She cleans her room, brushes her teeth, takes out the trash, and, most importantly, researches everything she can about flamingos. But soon it becomes clear that her wish may never come true! Will Jasmine’s daruma doll ever get its second eye? Luckily her big sister, Sophie, has a surprise planned that fulfills Jasmine’s wish beyond her wildest dreams. Debbi Michiko Florence is at her best in this sweet, special story of sisterhood and new responsibilities!

  • The Doll Hospital - It’s a quiet morning at the Doll Hospital until… DING-A-LING-A-LING! The emergency bells ring! Here comes a patient who needs Dr. Pegs’s help. Dr. Pegs is about to get to work when… DING-A-LING-A-LING! Here comes another patient! And another! How will Dr. Pegs take care of them all? Looks like the doctor needs some help herself!

  • A Is for Annabelle: A Doll's Alphabet - Learn the alphabet from A to Z with the help of Annabelle the doll. Each gorgeously illustrated spread features one of her favorite things. With antique boxes, parasols, and yarn for knitting, children can learn the alphabet in grand style. Amazon.com Review Young children will welcome the return of a classic from the mother of children’s illustrators, Tasha Tudor. A Is for Annabelle is a quaint, old-fashioned alphabet book graced with Tudor’s intricately detailed, highly appealing illustrations. Annabelle is a china doll that belonged to Grandmother. Two little girls play their way through the alphabet, dressing up this lovely doll (“H is her Hat with an elegant feather”) all the way through X (“the letter for which I’ve no rhyme”), Y (“the Yarn her stockings to mend”), and Z (“her Zither and this is the end”). Alternating black-and-white illustrations with full-color spreads, Tudor surrounds each page with a graceful floral border and includes such charming details as a sewing basket with a pincushion, a cricket peering at a pink patchwork quilt, and the tiny boxes containing Annabelle’s hats, slippers, and earrings. Little girls will find Annabelle and her alphabetical wardrobe irresistible. Tasha Tudor is the Caldecott Honor artist of 1 Is One and more than 90 other well-loved picture books. (Ages 3 to 7) –Emilie Coulter

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Story of Holly and Ivy
Written by Rumer Godden & illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she’s sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true? This festive tale is perfectly complemented by beloved Barbara Cooney’s luminous illustrations, filled with the warm glow of the Christmas spirit.

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Babushka's Doll
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Natasha isn’t really a bad girl. It’s just that she wants to play on the swing “now,” not after the laundry is done. She wants a ride on the goat cart “now,” not after the wash has been hung up to dry. And she wants her soup “now,” not after the goats have been fed. Looking after Natasha keeps Babushka, Natasha’s grandmother, very busy.

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The Tale of Two Bad Mice
Written by Beatrix Potter
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A doll’s house is the delightful setting for this most hilarious tale. One day, when the house is empty, those two bad mice, Tom Thumb and his wife, Hunca Munca, make themselves at home, only to find that the delicious looking ham that they were planning to devour is made of plaster, and the fish is glued to the plate! How they deal with this unexpected situation, and what happens when the house’s occupants unexpectedly return, make for a surprising ending.

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Lulu & Pip
Written by & illustrated by Nina Gruener, Jess Brown, and Stephanie Rausser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lulu takes her doll Pip on a camping trip, where they make friends with an old donkey, build a tent, eat dessert over a campfire, and fall asleep underneath the stars.

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William's Doll
Written by Charlotte Zolotow & illustrated by William Pene du Bois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

William wants a doll - to hug, to feed, to tuck in, and kiss goodnight. “Don’t be a creep, “ says his brother. “Sissy, sissy, “ chants the boy next door. His father buys him trains and a basketball - but not the doll that William really wants. Then one day, someone comes along who understands why William should have his doll.

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  • This Is My Dollhouse - A girl makes her own dollhouse in this picture book that celebrates creativity and imagination! A little girl proudly walks the reader through her handmade dollhouse, pointing out the bricks she painted on the outside, the wallpaper she drew on the inside, the fancy clothes she made for her dolls, and the little elevator she made out of a paper cup. She’s proud of her house and has lots of fun using her imagination to play with it—until she discovers her friend Sophie’s “perfect” storebought house. Sophie thinks her house, with everything matching and even a toilet seat that goes up and down, is pretty perfect too, until both girls discover that the narrator’s handmade dollhouse is really a lot more fun. “Celebrates the best of free play, capturing what it’s like to be fully engaged and inspired.” —The New York Times “Readers will feel right at home with this cozy tribute to imagination.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred “The realization that creative, outside-the-box artistry can be more inspiring than anything manufactured makes for a wonderful story.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

  • Sophie and Rose - Morning and evening, rain and shine, winter and summer, Sophie and her doll Rosie are always together–when the seam on Rosie’a arm is torn, Sophie nurses her back to health, and when Sophie gets chocolate on Rose, the sweet smell becomes a part of Rose–in a story about a child’s bond with her doll.

  • Elizabeti's Doll - When her new baby brother arrives, Elizabeti decides she needs a doll that she can care for the way her mother cares for the new baby. After looking around the village, Elizabeti finds the perfect doll to love. She names her Eva. When Mama changes the new babyÂs diaper, Elizabeti changes EvaÂs. When Mama sings to the baby, Elizabeti sings to Eva. And one day when Eva turns up lost, Elizabeti realizes just how much she loves her special doll. For children adjusting to a new sibling, this story is perfect. “This book is a splendid celebration of life and the power of a childÂs imagination.” Â School Library Journal Starred Review “A little slice of perfection.” Â Publishers Weekly Starred Review

  • Willa and the Bear - More than anything, Willa adores her ragdoll, Rosie, made just for her by Grandma. But one day, on a bumpy sleigh ride to Grandma’s birthday dinner, Rosie falls into the snow and disappears. Willa is inconsolable–until, mysteriously, Rosie reappears at Grandma’s door. Can Willa find a way to thank the special friend who returned her doll? This picture book will warm the heart of every child who has ever had a favorite toy.

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The Mennyms
Written by Sylvia Waugh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Number 5 Brocklehurst Grove is the home to a most unusual family, the Mennyms–father, mother, grandparents, and five children–who refuse to mix with outsiders lest the secrets of their existence be revealed.

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Rachel Field's Hitty, Her First Hundred Years
Written by Rosemary Wells & illustrated by Susan Jeffers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Based on the 1930 Newberry Award Winner On a cold Maine night in 1829, an old peddler carved a small doll out of a piece of mountain ash wood. Her name was Hitty and she was no ordinary doll. Hitty’s first owner, Phoebe Preble, takes her from Boston to India. From the hands of Phoebe Preble, Hitty travels on with a snake charmer, a Civil War soldier, a riverboat captains daughter, and a former slave. Along the way she meets presidents and painters, relating each adventure in vivid detail. Rachel Field’s masterful novel Hitty: Her First Hundred Years was first published in 1929; it was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1930. In this full-color adaptation, the award-winning team of Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers has taken Hitty down from the shelf and dusted her off for a new generation of younger readers. The short, fast-paced chapters and pictures on every spread bring life to this beloved classic, and make it perfect for sharing with the whole family.

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Penny and Her Doll
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s award-winning Penny returns in the second easy-to-read story about a sweet and curious mouse, perfect for fans Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Chrysanthemum.

When Penny receives a surprise box in the mail from Gram, she is thrilled. The surprise is a doll, and she is absolutely perfect, from her head to her toes. Penny loves her immediately. She introduces her new doll to Mama and to the babies and to Papa. But then Papa asks what the doll’s name is, and Penny realizes that she doesn’t know. What should Penny call her?

Kevin Henkes is a master at creating beautifully illustrated books that resonate with young children. The Penny books are new classics for beginning readers and will appeal to fans of Frog and Toad, Little Bear, and Henry and Mudge.

Don’t miss Penny’s newest adventures in Penny and Her Sled, coming this fall!

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Clive and His Babies
Written & illustrated by Jessica Spanyol
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Meet Clive - and his imagination! Clive loves his dolls. He enjoys playing with them, and sharing them with his friends. A gentle, affectionate book, celebrating diversity and challenging gender stereotypes.

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The Doll Shop Downstairs
Written by Yona Zeldis McDonough & illustrated by Heather Maione
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Nine-year-old Anna and her sisters love to play with the dolls in their parents’ doll repair shop. But when World War I begins, an embargo on German-made goods-including the parts Papa needs to repair the dolls-threatens to put the family’s shop out of business. Fortunately, Anna has an idea that just might save the day. Inspired by the true story of Madame Alexander, this is a timeless tale of family and imagination. This beautiful gift edition of The Doll Shop Downstairs, featuring an eye-catching foil embossed cover, will make a perfect holiday present for dreamers and doll lovers everywhere.

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  • The Meanest Doll in the World - Annabelle and Tiffany, dolls who are best friends living in the Palmer house, have an adventure when they hide in Kate Palmer’s backpack, are carried to school, mistakenly go to another house, and try to stop Princess Mimi, a doll who threatens all dollkind.

  • Summertime Song - One warm summer night, a frog jumped into Lucy’s room with an invitation for her to a birthday party and a magic paper party hat. Lucy put it on, and out in the garden, when a moonbeam touched the hat, Lucy was as little as a leaf. So begins Lucy’s wonderful adventure.

  • Golden Plate - While Isobel is playing with her best friend’s beautiful store-bought Doll’s House, she becomes intrigued by one of her friend’s toys–a small golden plate. But when Isobel takes the golden plate home without asking for permission, she gets more than she bargained for: the plate doesn’t look right in her handmade Doll’s House, and she feels guilty for having taken her friend’s toy. Isobel’s supportive mother helps her find a solution that makes Isobel feel better. And on Isobel’s next birthday, she is rewarded for following her heart. Bernadette Watts’s colorful, delicate illustrations are filled with wonderful details in this charming and thought-provoking story about friendship, sharing, and feelings.

  • Ella Bella Ballerina and the Magic Toyshop - This title in B.E.S. charming <i>Ella Bella</i> series tells another story of Ella Bella, a little girl who loves to dance. In this story, Ella’s ballet teacher, Miss Rosa, tells them the story of <i>La Boutique Fantasque</i>. The story takes place in a toyshop full of dancing dolls, she explains, as she shows them her own collection of dancing dolls and her magical music box. When Ella stays late to help clean up, she finds herself magically transported to a toyshop filled with magical dancing dolls! Ella is thrilled to meet all of the dancing dolls, but she is especially taken with two can-can dancing dolls that are in love. When two different families come to the shop and decide to each buy one of the dolls, the pair are distraught. Now Ella wonders… is there some way to keep them together forever? This charming tale is beautifully illuminated by James Mayhew’s delightful illustrations. A page at the end of the book explains the story behind <i>La Boutique Fantasque</i> for young readers.

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The Clue in the Old Album
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy Drew witnesses a purse snatching and runs after the thief. She rescues the purse, but not its contents, then is asked by the owner, a doll collector, to do some detective work. Readers will enjoy Nancy’s clever ways of finding all she seeks, and bringing happiness to a misunderstood child and her lonely grandmother.

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Hitty: Her First Hundred Years
Written by Rachel Field & illustrated by Dorothy P Lathrop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Hitty is a doll of great charm and character. It is indeed a privilege to publish her memoirs, which, besides being full of the most thrilling adventures on land and sea, also reveal her delightful personality. One glance at her portrait will show that she is no ordinary doll. Hitty, or Mehitable as she was really named, was made in the early 1800s for Phoebe Preble, a little girl from Maine. Young Phoebe was very proud of her beautiful doll and took her everywhere, even on a long sailing trip in a whaler. This is the story of Hitty’s years with Phoebe, and the many that follow in the life of a well-loved doll.

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The Adventures of Henry Whiskers
Written by Gigi Priebe & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Henry Whiskers must face his fears and rescue his little sister from the scary Rat Alley in this fun, fast-paced debut chapter book set in Queen Mary’s historical dollhouse at Windsor Castle. Twenty-five generations of Whiskers have lived in Windsor Castle’s most famous exhibit: Queen Mary’s Dollhouse. For young, book-loving Henry Whiskers and his family, this is the perfect place to call home. But when the dollhouse undergoes unexpected repairs and Henry’s youngest sister, Isabel, goes missing, he risks everything in a whisker-whipping race against time to save her. His rescue mission will take him to the murky and scary world of Rat Alley, and Henry will have to dig deep and find the courage he never knew he had in order to bring his sister back home.

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From Mother to Mother
Written & illustrated by Émilie Vast
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

“Looking back at Baby’s ancestors, Mother describes how long, long, long, long ago, her mother’s mother’s mother’s mother gave birth to her mother’s mother’s mother. And so it goes, describing Baby’s lineage through to present day. Russian nesting dolls (matryoshka) illustrated on each spread get smaller with each page turn, and each is a different color decorated with animals, flowers, and other nature-based items”–

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Disney Junior Fancy Nancy: The Case of the Disappearing Doll
Written by & illustrated by Disney Storybook Art Team
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It's time for a tea party, but Nancy's doll, Marabelle, is nowhere to be found! Nancy and Bree will have to be sleuths (which is a fancy way of saying people who solve mysteries!) to crack the case of the disappearing doll.

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  • My Bossy Dolly - Sally is the perfectly sweet little girl every parent would love, and Betsy is her favorite doll. Sally and Betsy go everywhere and do everything together. But Betsy is prone to yelling, screaming, and complaining! When Sally goes to bed, Betsy wants to stay up and drink milk. When Sally goes on the swing, Betsy wants to go higher. When Sally and her parents go to dinner, Betsy wants candy and ice cream. When Sally has to go home, Betsy refuses. Betsy is so bossy! It’s a good thing Sally is not that way!<BR>

  • Changes, Changes - A charming, wordless picture book that the very youngest can “read” all by themselves. The little wooden couple are happy in their building-block house—until it catches fire. The solution? They transform the house into a fire engine! But then there’s so much water that they have to build a boat… Follow these inventive dolls as they use their imagination to adapt to each situation they encounter.

  • The Dollhouse Fairy - What if a little girl looked in her dollhouse and found an injured — and very untidy — fairy? A sweet story from celebrated illustrator Jane Ray. (Ages 3-7) When Rosy discovers a real fairy living in her beloved dollhouse — the one her dad made just for her — she can’t believe her eyes. But Thistle is no ordinary fairy. Despite a hurt wing, she’s turned all the tiny furnishings topsy-turvy, and she’s starving for raspberries and chips and other treats to eat. Rosy loves nurturing the mischievous fairy back to health, and can’t wait to introduce her to her dad when he returns from his hospital stay. With a true flair for visual detail, Jane Ray offers a tale of family and friendship that touches on illness with a lighthearted tone — and celebrates the healing power of the imagination.

  • From Father to Father - “Looking back at Baby’s ancestors, Father describes how long, long, long, long ago, his father’s father’s father’s father welcomed to the family his father’s father’s father. And so it goes, describing Baby’s lineage through to present day. Russian nesting dolls (matryoshka) illustrated on each spread get smaller with each page turn, and each is a different color decorated with animals, flowers, and other nature-based items”–

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Doll Bones
Written by Holly Black & illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

Discover the Newbery Honor winner “Doll Bones,” from Holly Black, the cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. A “Kirkus Reviews “Best Book. A “School Library Journal “Best Book. A “Booklist “Editor’s Choice Books for Youth. A “Publishers Weekly” Best Children’s Book. A NYPL “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.” A “People Magazine” “Best New Kids Book.” Six starred reviews! <BR>Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her. <BR>But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen–and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave. <BR>Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches? <BR>”Doll Bones” is a winner of the Newbery Honor, is the recipient of six starred reviews, was on five Best Book lists, and was called “perfect” by “The New York Times.”

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Miss Hickory
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A Newbery Award winner!

Most dolls lead a comfortable but unadventurous life. This was true of Miss Hickory until the fateful day that her owner, Ann, moves from her New Hampshire home to attend school in Boston—leaving Miss Hickory behind. For a small doll whose body is an apple-wood twig and whose head is a hickory nut, the prospect of spending a New Hampshire winter alone is frightening indeed. In this classic modern day fairy tale, what’s a doll to do?

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Don't Let the Doll in (Frightville #1), Volume 1
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Welcome to Frightville... one-stop shopping for all your fears!
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