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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 The Doll People to some of our favorite hidden gems like What Is Given from the Heart.

We hope this list of kids books about dolls can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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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.
Emily's Idea book
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Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper book
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The Doll Hospital book
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A Is for Annabelle: A Doll's Alphabet book
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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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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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This Is My Dollhouse
Written & illustrated by Giselle Potter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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
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Sophie and Rose
Written by Kathryn Lasky & illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.
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Elizabeti's Doll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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 book
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The Mennyms book
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Penny and Her Doll book
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Clive and His Babies book
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  • 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.

  • The Mennyms - 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.

  • Penny and Her Doll - 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!

  • Clive and His Babies - 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 Meanest Doll in the World
Written by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin & illustrated by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
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.
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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 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.
From Mother to Mother book
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Changes, Changes book
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The Dollhouse Fairy book
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From Father to Father book
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  • From Mother to Mother - “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”—

  • 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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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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