Monday, April 25, 2011

MONDAY MEMORIES: The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill

Today I'm taking part in a meme started by Annette at Annette's Book Spot called Monday Memories.

Here's the deal, it's a meme to "feature favorite books we've loved from the past. You can link to an old review, or write something new about a beloved book from your past. Really, what's important is not the book, but why it is memorable to you."

Do you have a book that brings back swarms of warm fuzzies? Head on over to Annette's and tell us about it.

This is one of mine: The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill. If you've ever read it, you're probably feeling warm and fuzzy right about now, as memories flood back to you.

When I was young, that just-entering school age, I was not a girly-girl, but I did love my dolls. I knew they weren't real, but there was that part of me that believed they almost had feelings. I had a favorite, Ruthie, but I didn't want the other dolls to know because I didn't want to hurt their feelings.

So when I read this book about Betsy and her four special dolls: Melissa -- who is antique, Belinda -- with her hand-sewn, fine clothes, Mary Jane -- a mechanical doll who can sew at a sewing machine, and Jennifer -- a plain, rather worn-out, best-loved doll, I was spell-bound. Betsy is invited to a birthday party and asked to bring a doll along. There will be prizes for oldest, best-dressed, and for the doll who can do the most things. But Betsy decides to bring Jennifer.

The book is utterly sweet. Any child who whole-heartedly loves a toy will empathize completely with Betsy and will have her heart warmed by the conclusion.

And I love this story even more because I rediscovered it when my own daughter was at that doll-loving age. It's a perfect read-aloud story. And it's a beautiful favorite for mothers and daughters to share.


  1. I've not heard of this particular book, but I've definitely heard of Rebecca Caudill. We have a book award in Illinois that is named after her. I'll have to see if I can find this one. Thanks for participating!

  2. Memorable books are like songs or certain smells that bring back a memory. For me, the book Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman always reminds me of my childhood and how it left me wondering if animals talked to each other like the toads did:)