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The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Newbery Honor–winning author McKissack and Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator Pinkney have outdone themselves in this heart-warming story infused with humor and the true spirit of Christmas.

Christmas always comes to Nella’s house, but Santa Claus brings gifts only once in a while. That’s because it’s the Depression and Nella’s family is poor. Even so, Nella’s hoping that
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Schwartz & Wade
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This story brought back the feelings I always had when I was little. Especially how I felt when I wanted something very badly for Christmas. I was a lot like the narrator when I was little, I thought that if I got something I wanted, everything in my life would be perfect.
The family in this story is living in the south during the Great Depression, so money is something for them that has to be used sparingly. The narrator wants a Baby Betty doll for Christmas very badly, but her sisters convince
Nella is certain that if she can just get a Baby Betty doll, it will be the only thing she'll ever want. When you're living in the Great Depression, though, a store-bought doll is simply too much to ask. Nella and her sisters, Eddy Bernice and Dessa, are surprised and excited when Mama & Daddy present them with a genuine Baby Betty doll on Christmas morning, but in only moments things turn ugly. The girls begin fighting over who gets to play with her, and who will be her owner. Because Nella ...more
A Christmas story about receiving your heart's desire, in this case a baby doll, and discovering the joy in sharing it.

There's not much money for celebrating Christmas with gifts and finery so it's a special treat when Santy Claus delivers a beautiful Baby Betty doll. The three sisters argue over who the doll belongs to and the oldest child wins. What she's surprised to learn is that Baby Betty isn't so much fun because all she does is sit and blink. Soon Baby Betty becomes a shared toy and pla
Dec 30, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful story about Christmas in Depression era Alabama. It shows just how special Christmas can be, even if 'Santy Claus' doesn't bring lots of toys. It also shows how important the love and company of our family is to us, far and away better than our possessions.

Many children fixate on that one special toy and convince themselves that life would be just perfect if Santa would bring it (I'm sure I did this when I was a child). I'm convinced that's part of the reason why many parent
Nikki Chadwick
Mar 28, 2015 Nikki Chadwick rated it really liked it
Patricia McKissack’s book tells the story of a little girl, Nella, during the Great Depression in Chicago who only wants the Baby Betty Doll for Christmas. However, because it is the Great Depression Nella is sure that she will not get it. Her parents surprise her. By the end of the story, Nella learns that family is more important than a doll. “Would it be more fun to share this very best gift with them after all?” This story intrigues children because it provides an intricate plot with a use o ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
I haven't read The All-I'll-Ever Want-Christmas Doll in years. It was just as good as I remembered. The book is set during the Depression. A little girl, Nella, knows that her family is poor, that Santy may not come this year at all. Yet, she can't resist writing to him all the same begging for a Baby Betty doll. Her two sisters perhaps think a little less of Nella for her dreaming so big. She shouldn't expect so much from Christmas. But on Christmas morning, there are a few surprises. Each girl ...more
Dec 25, 2009 Josiah rated it it was ok
I already knew that Patricia C. MicKissack was a good writer before reading this story, that she is a real "bright square in literature's quilt" as Jerry Pinkney put it in the book's dedication, and The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll nicely underscores that knowledge.

The story is about three poor girls living with their family in the poorest "black town" in America, and the way in which they celebrate Christmas. More than that, though, this story is about the interactions between the three
Mar 10, 2010 Ch_ebonysmith rated it liked it
This story takes place around the Great Depression. It about an African American family who always ahs Christmas, but Santy Claus does not come every year. This year Nella only wanted one thing, Baby Betty. Her sisters would tell her she was not going to get it because they were in the Depression. Well, Christmas came and Nellie actually gets her gift (it was a sibling compromise). There was only one gift for the girls to share because the family was poor. Because Nellie was the one who really w ...more
Nov 10, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb-same-artist
McKissacks illustrations are very detailed, with many colors. The illustrations show that this story is from years ago, by the setting and props. The faces on the characters portray a very realistic approach. Their emotions are seen.

The text consists of some slang vocabulary. I thought it was fun to read because we do not talk like that.

I think girls will like this book because it features a story about 3 sisters. I think girls will be able to relate to this story.

Ages 5-10

L.A. ~ Have student’s
Dec 10, 2014 Bethe rated it liked it
Predictable holiday plot nicely illustrated by always reliable Pinkney. McKissack adds author note on the verso for the inspiration of this story.
Kimberly OutspokenMom
Apr 14, 2013 Kimberly OutspokenMom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
The book tells the story of a young, poor family and a meager Christmas. The book offers plenty of starting points for discussions of important life morals: money doesn't buy happiness, the value of sharing, the importance of family, the spirit of generosity, and more. And at the same time, the story is engaging for young readers
Dec 08, 2009 Kirsten rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Another great and touching children's book about poor family and a little girl who wants nothing more for Christmas than a doll she saw one day. When she gets the doll, what is meant to be shared between herself and her sisters, is snatched up by her and along the way she finds out what Christmas is really about.
Dec 26, 2012 Shelli rated it liked it
A good book to read during the Christmas holidays to remind your little ones how lucky they are; some children are not able to get presents every year and when they do it’s not often how they envisioned it would be. Also, a lovely moral about the importance of family.
Dec 22, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Lovely story with a fresh take on a familiar theme--that is, toys are nice but the best gifts of Christmas are love and family. Set in the South during the Great Depression.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 16, 2016 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, christmas
The family is oh-so poor, but it’s Christmas and the three girls desperately want a Baby Betty doll. Best part: Sharing is more fun than hoarding. Ages 6-10.
Dec 30, 2012 Debby rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story of the importance of people over gifts. Set in the Depression; generated good discussion among the 2nd graders.
One of the best children's Christmas books I've ever read.
Nov 11, 2007 Stef rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
The same thing happened to me with Hungry Hungry Hippos!
Mar 31, 2009 Kermit rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
From Booklists Best Picture Books of 2008
Mar 16, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2012-new
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