The Children’s Book Review | February 25, 2017
Written and Illustrated by Giselle Potter
Age Range: 5 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade, Random House (2016)
What to expect: Dolls, toys, friendship, arts, creativity
This beautifully illustrated children’s book has a fun surprise on the inside cover – instructions to make your own dollhouse!
A little girl has a dollhouse. But not a fancy store-bought dollhouse. Hers is made from a box that she painted with bricks. Inside is a fun stove she made from a block, a television made from a tiny silver box, spaghetti made of cut yarn, and even a fun mixed family! Grandma’s a mouse, Mommy is a doll, Daddy is a teddy bear, and the twins are little girl dolls.
The little girl loves her dollhouse. She makes them breakfast every day (white paper with yellow pen make great fried eggs). Then she dresses the twins, takes them up in their paper-cup elevator, and they swim on their private swimming pool on the roof!
Then one day she visits her friend Sophie. She has a fancy store-bought dollhouse. Everything is shiny and slick, and the family all match. They have painted on clothing and painted on food on their plain plastic plates. The little girl wants to liven things up. “How about they get a new dog and need to walk it?” she asks, putting a hair tie around the neck of a stuffed puppy. Sophie has a little tantrum. That stuffed dog does not match her dollhouse! So when Sophie comes over to play, the little girl hides her dollhouse. Hers isn’t fancy, and it isn’t store bought.
But Sophie is entranced by the little girl’s dollhouse. She even likes the plane made out of a shoe! They have a wonderful time together and the little girl realizes that her dollhouse is wonderful and special because she made it with her own two hands.
This adorable book is a great project-starter. The illustrations are beautiful, and the prose is perfectly on point. Potter is an excellent author who really identifies the insecurities and triumphs of children. This little girl’s dollhouse was a special, heartfelt thing that she created, and she was worried her other friend wouldn’t like it. Creative types will instantly fall in love with the little girl, and children will see through her struggle that it’s okay to be different, and be yourself! The inside cover has a manual on how to make your own dollhouse, and it is fabulous! Children will immediately want to break out their scissors and glue and get to work.
About Giselle Potter
Giselle Potter has illustrated numerous books for children, including Cecil the Pet Glacier by Matthea Harvey, Want to Be in a Band? by Suzzy Roche, and The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter, which was a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner. Giselle lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and daughters. Visit her at GisellePotter.com.