A Girl And Her Doll (With A Few Books)
Monday, July 18, 2016
We took our daughter to the American Girl store this weekend. We have been promising to go for about five million years and something always comes up. This time we actually made it. The picture isn't that great because it was so sunny I couldn't see the screen so I just aimed my phone in the right general direction and this is what I ended up with. She looks happy, doesn't she?
If you have never been to the American Girl store then just imagine two floors of dolls and clothes and accessories. Add in a cafe, a doll hair salon, and many, many fathers standing on the edges of the store with the slightly long-suffering look of men who are being good fathers but who don't quite know how they ended up in this world of girl stuff and who are, sometimes unsuccessfully, resisting the urge to pull out their phones and escape for a bit.
My daughter loves it. She is not a super girly type girl but there is something about these dolls that just really appeals to her. I think it is that the dolls are girls, not babies, and you can buy clothes and accessories to fit your interests. So my daughter has a pet for her doll (yes, really) and sports outfits for her, and clothes she would wear herself. There are also historical character dolls with books to go along with them but my daughter doesn't have one of those. I have picked up many of the books at thrift shops though.
I like it because it is nice to see girls being little girls and not trying to be grown-ups. There were lots of girls of widely varying ages, many of them older than my daughter. They were all wildly excited and just being their age. I like kids to be kids. Of course, it is ridiculously expensive but we don't go very often so we will have time to pay off that second mortgage.
Something I find interesting is that my daughter tends to tie her reading into whatever she has been doing lately. So when we went to the zoo last month she spent a week or so reading Thornton Burgess books and other animal stories. This week she is reading books that involve dolls in the story. First she pulled out A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett but she has read it so many times she practically has it memorized. Then she read the Raggedy Ann and Andy stories by Johnny Gruelle. I loved those when I was little. The idea of dolls having their own lives when people weren't around was thrilling to me. For a long time I was convinced my dolls came to life and had adventures when I was out of the house and I would always check to see if they were in different positions when I got home. Next she read The Racketty-Packetty House by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is the story of two doll houses and the dolls who live in them. I never read it as a child but I found it for free on my Kindle and my daughter has loved it since she was tiny and I first read it to her. Right now she is reading Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden. It is the story of a lonely little girl and the two little Japanese dolls that are sent to her as a gift. The girl decides to make a Japanese house for them and in the process, learns to be happy again herself. I read it as a child but only remember it vaguely. I am going to have to read it when she is done.
She finished Miss Happiness and Miss Flower while I was writing this. She has requested that we go to the library tomorrow because she thought of another book, Two Are Better Than One by Carol Ryrie Brink. I believe there are two pocket sized dolls in the story and the best friends pass them back and forth. I don't remember much more but I read that when I was young as well.
Do you have any recommendations for books that involve dolls as a large part of the story line? I am running out of ideas and she keeps asking for more.
Do you ever match your books to the activities in your life?