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Capture the Flag
Kate Messner


The Best Loved Doll PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
• A simple, timeless story of a girl and the special bond she has with her doll.
• Although it was written over 50 years ago, it is still a special treat.
• Read this book out loud with your child and definitely keep it on your bookshelf to enjoy again and again!
Sweet Book Summary:
Does anyone else remember this book from when they were growing up? As soon as I saw this one, it brought back memories! I loved the sweet story back then and was so happy to find it for my own daughter. It is a great read aloud and a perfect starting point for conversations about making decisions, feeling comfortable with the consequences of our choices and disregarding the reactions of friends.

The whole story, about a girl and her four dolls, takes place in one afternoon. Betsy needs to choose one doll to bring to a friend’s party. According to the invitation, prizes will be awarded to the best dressed, the oldest and the most talented dolls. Betsy has dolls that would do well in all of those areas, but instead of taking them, she chooses Jennifer who is not at all likely to win any awards. Her dress is tattered, she looks older than her years and all she can do is smile. She's not the best in any of the prize categories, but she is the best loved doll. At least that’s what Betsy comes to realize when she follows her heart and brings Jennifer to the party.

The illustrations deliver the same sweet and gentle feeling as the text does. Some are in black and white and some have a touch of lavender, but all are beautifully detailed and still appealing today. According to a brief account at the back of the book, the illustrator “wanted the art to reflect the timelessness of the story. So he worked to achieve a period look that was both classic and feminine.” I also love the cover with the girl in red, waiting at the front door. She makes you want to open the door and go inside with her!
Author: Rebecca Caudill Illustrator: Elliott Gilbert Published: 1962, 64 pages
Themes: Adventure, Behavior, Family Life, Fantasy, Girl Power, Independence, Magic, Siblings
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• What made Betsy choose Jennifer?
• Would you have chosen Jennifer?
• Do you have a doll that you love the best? Why?
• Do the other girls react nicely to Betsy’s choice of which doll to bring?
• What strategies do you use to make tough choices in your life?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
May I Bring a Friend, Beatrice Schenk De Regniers
Tales of Oliver Pig, Jean Van Leeuwen
The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes
This recommendation was written by: Melissa G.
Support Independent Book Shops: Click Here to Buy this Book on IndieBound

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