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“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” More
Summary: Clara and Ana have beautiful dolls. They were having fun playing with the dolls and invited Mary to join them. Mary didn't have a doll, and they didn't have any money to buy one. So Mary decided to make a doll. She loved her new doll. It wasn't until she sneezed, though, that she realized she forgot one thing: a nose! How would she make a nose? This picture book shares a story of friendship, acceptance, and creative problem solving.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Started reading to nearly 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loved this book the first time we read it. Even though she knew the answer to Mary's nose dilemma, she still wanted to read it again.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a creative, well-balanced story. It doesn't overplay the family's poverty and Ana and Clara are not mean about having dolls. It has just the right blend of independence and creativity you hope to see in a story, and I love how the other girls want to have dolls that are just like Mary's. It would be nice to find more stories like this one.
Pros: Girls will love this story about friendship and creativity. This is a great read-aloud story and would make a fun partner read with a young reader (first or second grade).
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Pre-readers and young readers alike will enjoy this story. Young girls will likely see themselves in this situation (even if it's not over dolls) and the story presents solutions in an emotion-neutral way.
Educational Themes: The story offers a great lesson in getting over the "have nots," and shows that you can have something different without being judged. You can also use it as a springboard for making your own doll. Talk about what materials you can use that you already have on hand. Contrast and compare what would and wouldn't work. For example, would straw make good hair?
Notes: This book is available in multiple languages.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, friendship, foreign language
Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008
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