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Big Susan

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  100 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Mr. and Mrs. Doll and their six children, Nurse and the old Cook all lived in a house which had no front and belong to Susan. Susan was just an ordinary-sized little girl with taffy colored pigtails. But to the dolls she was a very Big, very Wonderful, very Important Person.

There was one short night in every year when they needed no help from Susan - that Wonderful Night

Hardcover, 83 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Purple House Press (first published 1947)
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Among the Dolls by William SleatorTime Windows by Kathryn ReissThe Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren WrightThe Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth WinthropDollhouse of the Dead by Kathryn Reiss
Dollhouse Living
8th out of 35 books — 7 voters
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery WilliamsWinnie-the-Pooh by A.A. MilneThe Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamilloCorduroy by Don FreemanRaggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle
Children's Literature - Sentient Toys
39th out of 101 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 144)
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Dec 31, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathryn by: Chandra--thank you!

A charming story about a doll family presided over by Big Susan, the little girl who controls their every move and word (but not their independent thoughts) for 364 days of the year. The dolls love Big Susan and know she takes good care of them. Yet, on one magical night (Christmas Eve), the dolls are able to move and talk all on their own! This Christmas, however, Big Susan is nowhere to be found and the dolls awaken to a very dilapidated and non-Christmasy home. What will they do for
Sep 22, 2014 Phoebe rated it liked it
First written in 1947 and republished in 1975, and again in 2002 as a 55th Anniversary edition, this softly illustrated book about Mr. and Mrs. Doll and their six children is endearing and beautifully done. (Jones won the 1945 Caldecott for Prayer for a Child.) The Doll family adores Big Susan, who guides their daily adventures. But it is close to Christmas, and it is a very busy season, so seven weeks go by without any sign of Susan. The dollhouse gets dusty, the nurse spends her time upside do ...more
Abby C.
Oct 20, 2014 Abby C. rated it liked it
This book was pretty good. Not something I would read on a regular basis, but if I were trying to read a book to some small children or an eight year old, this might be the book I'd choose. My younger sister LOVES this book, so far, but I didn't see it as that AMAZING, if you know what I mean. Perhaps that's because I'm reading at a more complex level, but either way, if you are looking for an action-adventure book, a book to keep you from getting bored, or a book to write a report on, this is n ...more
In true Elizabeth Orton Jones, this book is so weird! Her stories are charming and sweet, but they're also really, really bizarre because they have all these bizarre suggestions or themes that sort of run right underneath the surface. In Twig, it was all about gender roles and relationships (and some strange stuff about storytelling and reality), but in this one, we've got some straight up God stuff. I mean, Big Susan is God. And Big Susan controls these little dolls every move, except for one n ...more
May 13, 2014 Myles rated it liked it
This was a spur-of-the-moment read to get myself in the mood for the Christmas season. I'd never read it before, but it was a childhood favorite of my boyfriend's so I curious. And I felt I owed it to him after I laughed at the title.

The name 'Big Susan' is actually a reference to the size difference between the girl and her family of dolls, they mean no offense. This is a simple, nice story about how the doll family, so grateful to Susan for all she does for them, want to give her a gift for Ch
Donna Davis

One of the perks of being a teacher's kid is that your parents go out and buy you books all the time. And if you live in a household that celebrates Christmas, which we do, that can add up to a lot of Christmas books! Now the youngest is in her teens, and there are so many gorgeous picture books, primarily for decoration now, of course. So we pull out two good-sized boxes, and flip through them. Which ones stay in the box, and which are treasured enough to show and perhaps when the ad
Jan 28, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, doll-house
I recently bought this for my five year old granddaughter's birthday. The book is 55 years old so there are a couple of terms like celluloid that will need explaining. It's a charming book about a little girl's doll house. The people in it come alive once a year on Christmas Eve. Will the little girl remember them this Christmas?
Jan 06, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
We ordered this book from for Micah's present from Matt and me for Christmas. It's a thin, hardcover chapter book and it's definitely now one of my girls' all-time favorites.

Apparently, Elizabeth Orton Jones wrote this book after she purchased a secondhand dollhouse for her own girls fifty or sixty years ago (or more, as the dolls are made of celluloid), and the tone of the story is so sweet and innocent, without being cloy, that in my book, it's one of those well-kept secret cla
Oct 25, 2015 Jennie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
One of my childhood favorites.
Sep 30, 2008 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This book is sweet. I'm giving is a high rating because my daughter LOVES it. It was recommended to me by a friend, and my gaughter has read it (or I've read it to her) about a zillion times in the past three days -- she has enjoyed it so much. Great read-aloud for about six and up, and for those with readers at the 3rd grade level, they can probably read this too.
Feb 18, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok
I wish I would have read this to B. when she was 4 or 5. It would have been totally up her alley then as nothing really happens and it is all very sweet. Now, she wants more. Yay for that - but boo that I waited. It has been on my to-read list that long!
Nov 25, 2010 Leah rated it it was amazing
I checked this book out so many times in first & second grade that my mom tried to buy it from the library!They said no :( BUT my aunt was able to get me a of the BEST Christmas presents EVER, and I still cherish this book today!!!!
Jul 23, 2010 Jenn rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenn by: Lori Kuder
Another perfect read aloud with Lucy. The pictures, short chapters, and easy to follow simple story were great for me and my 4 year old during this first summer of reading chapter books together. Thank you Lori!
Geneva Miller
Dec 10, 2012 Geneva Miller rated it it was amazing
I cannot recall the first time I read this book--though I know it was read aloud to me by my grandmother. It's now a family holiday favorite. Jones' wry sense of humor makes the story a fun read for all ages.
Dec 08, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
I bought this for my granddaughters
but can't part with it. It is
an old old book about a girl named
Susan (no coincidence) and her dollhouse.
The dialogue is hysterical and
the pictures, charming.
Dec 19, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
In this story, the dolls in Big Susan's dollhouse can speak only on Christmas. It is a charming little tale that children will enjoy reading each Christmas.
Jan 08, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
What a nice, classic book. Christmas themed, although we read it after the holiday. It gives story and characters but gives a child room to imagine, too.
Dec 03, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Sweet story to share at Christmastime with a little imaginative doll lover. Touching scenes throughout.
Donna Gardner Liljegren
Jan 01, 2010 Donna Gardner Liljegren rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this from a friend. It was originall published in 1947. What a charming book!
Nov 29, 2013 Hilarie rated it really liked it
This was a very cute story that I read to my children over several nights. They were enchanted.
Jan 29, 2010 Elfiegirl rated it liked it
Good writing and realistic characters, but I don't love the plot line very much.
Jan 04, 2011 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-by-hannah
It's a good Christmas story, and it's really like the dolls come to life.
Dec 10, 2012 Marcia rated it it was amazing
You know that dolls come alive at Christmas right?
Apr 02, 2012 Anjolette rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books as a kid.
Jul 05, 2012 Linden rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Love the illustrations.
Oct 14, 2009 Natalie rated it really liked it
Laura rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2016
Laura marked it as to-read
Apr 01, 2016
Tami rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2016
Casey added it
Mar 26, 2016
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