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The Dolls' House [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Rumer Godden , Christian Birmingham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 2006
Tottie is a loving little wooden doll who lives with her family in a shoebox. The doll family are owned by two sisters, Emily and Charlotte, and are very happy, except for one thing: they long for a proper home. To their delight, their wish comes true when Emily and Charlotte fix up a Victorian dolls' house – just for them. It's perfect. But then a new arrival starts to wreak havoc in the dolls' house. For Marchpane might be a wonderfully beautiful doll, but she is also terribly cruel. And she always gets her own way . . .

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; New edition edition (3 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330442554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330442558
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 582,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"For little girls who love dolls, women who remember dollhouse days, and literary critics who can recognize a masterpiece."--. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Rumer Godden was one of the UK's most distinguished authors. She wrote many well-known books for adults and children, including THE STORY OF HOLLY AND IVY and THE DIDDAKOI, which won the Whitbread Children's Book Award in 1972. Rumer was awarded the OBE in 1993 and died in 1998, aged ninety.

Christian Birmingham is one of the most outstanding children's book illustrators of his generation. He has been shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award, the Kurt Maschler Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Smarties Book Prize. His line drawings illustrate many best-selling novels by Michael Morpurgo.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hankies at the ready! 10 May 2007
By International Cowgirl VINE VOICE
Like previous reviewers, I too read this as a child, and the name Marchpane still sends shivers down my spine! I bought a copy recently for my 8 year old daughter, and now she's fallen in love with it too. Be warned, though, it's a bit of a tear jerker. As you get towards the final chapters, you might want to schedule a half hour or so to console your child afterwards!

First published shortly after the second World War, The Dolls' House is a beautifully-written tale about Tottie Plantaganet, a small Dutch doll 'made a long time ago', and the other members of the Plantaganet 'family': Mr Plantaganet, who was cruelly abused by his previous owners, his wife Birdie, who isn't quite 'right in the head', and their mischievous son, Apple, with his darning-wool hair. Darner, the dog, has a darning needle backbone that makes him awkward to handle. More awkward for modern day parents is the fact that Darner says 'Prick' whenever danger is present... Old-fashioned terms such as 'rickrack braid', meanwhile, provide a more innocent reminder of just how ancient this book is. But, conversely, that's part of its charm. This particular edition is riddled with typos, but Godden's text shows enormous attention to detail. Words are lovingly chosen, and sentences beautifully crafted with an elegance that's rare in children's literature today. My daughter loved the slightly archaic nature of it, all the unfamiliar words like 'stay-bones' and 'quilling'. It's a joy to read aloud as well.

I think one element that children particularly relate to is the fact that the dolls can't 'do', they can only be 'done by'; equally they can't choose, but can only 'be chosen'. Children, who get to make so few decisions themselves, can't help but relate to them. And the portrait of a post-war childhood (or dollhood perhaps!) is strangely fascinating for today's kids, reared on a diet of TV and video games. Ideal for little girls... and grown-up ones as well!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the dolls house -paperback book. 27 Mar 2010
This book was one that I had read in my childhood - It arrived in very good condition at an excellent price. I was still as enthralled with it as before. It arrived shortly after ordering which was good as I was waiting in anticipation for it. It is a book that I can read over and over again without getting bored with it. even though it is a childrens book and I am 56yrs old!!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite childrens book 8 July 2000
By A Customer
I read this book when I was 7 and watched the accompanying TV series. What can I say, its enchanting and its unlike any book I had read. It's the book I want to read to my kids when I have them ! There are morals in the book (vanity is bad, family love is good) but its not "in your face". Truly magical :)
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