I’m not sure if Mr. Steve has blogged about these Doll family books before, but I’m going to ladder up on his comments if he has, and if he hasn’t, okey dokey!
There are three books about the Doll family (their last name is Doll) that have lived and still live, in a 100-year old Victorian doll house in Kate’s room at the Palmer’s house in “Anytown USA”. By this, I mean that their story could happen anywhere and at any time. The Dolls (father, mother, aunt, uncle, nanny, sister, brother, and baby) all are porcelain with cloth bodies. They are dressed in 100-year old clothes, which are beginning to show wear, as are the Doll family themselves. Titles in the trilogy by author Ann M Martin include The Doll People, The Meanest Doll in the World, and The Runaway Dolls.
To begin at the beginning, these dolls have all taken the “Oath” which requires them to always be on the watch for humans and to avoid PDS (permanent doll state) at all costs. As you might expect, the dolls all talk, think, and walk around; after hours, of course. Annabelle Doll makes friends with the daughter of the Funcraft family that move in to Kate Palmer’s messy little sister’s room (her name is Nora).
The adventures that follow the Funcrafts’ arrival are exciting, realistic in a fantastical sort of way, funny, and sad all at the same time. Such extraneous characters as Mrs. Robertson, Mean Mimi, The Captain (a lecherous cat that loves to play with dolls), and a couple of human-type children all add in to this mix of wonder for anyone who has dolls/played with dolls or who loves a good fantasy with just the right ingredients mixed together to make a real treat! Especially enjoyable are illustrations by Caldecott Medal winner Brian Selznick.
I couldn’t put the books down once I had started them!
The Runaway Dolls