Jason's Reviews > The Doll People

The Doll People by Ann M. Martin
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Aug 10, 12

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Aww, I wish my kids liked this more than they did. I mean they did like it, definitely, but they didn’t like like it, you know? And this review is going to have to reflect their reaction to it, not mine, because personally I think this book is cute. But evidently they have different tastes than I do, and who am I to judge? (Just for the record, though, those little jerks wouldn’t know a good book if it bit ’em in the ass.)

The Doll People is the story of a bunch of anthropomorphic dolls who’ve lived with the same real-people family for several generations. The premise of this is adorable—for freaking real, if it were my house those dolls would have been put to curbside the minute my kids had outgrown them. Who the hell keeps dolls around that long?? So the dolls have taken a sort of oath to keep secret the fact that they are alive, and if they fail in that endeavor then they enter a frozen state of lifelessness called, appropriately, Doll State. The main doll character Annabelle has to solve the mystery of her aunt’s disappearance without getting caught in Doll State, or without being discovered and carried off by the household cat.

I think what ruined it for my kids, though, was my boring monotonous voice. If I could have put a little life into the reading it might have been improved for them, but I don’t enjoy reading aloud and I couldn’t always muster the vocal enthusiasm. I’m sorry kids but it’s all about me. This has been a miserably hot summer and Daddy is a little bitch when he overheats. Anyway, they can read it again when they get older if they want to. They are 5 and 7 now, and this book is probably targeted at a 7 to 9 year-old reading level. It is 250 pages intermittently dispersed with small black-and-white sketches, so most of the page is text, but it is of a large enough font that it should not be too intimidating for this age group. Personally, I wouldn’t take the advice of my kids. See what yours think.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Madeleine (last edited Aug 10, 2012 07:57AM) (new)

Madeleine Oh God, this reminds me of Jim Henson's "The Christmas Toy," which scarred my conscience for life as a child (leading me to come up with a system for making sure that I slept with a different stuffed animal every night so none of them felt neglected) and reduces me to tears every holiday season as an adult. The toys in that suffer an affliction similar to "doll state" if people see them in action, though I'm pretty sure it's something more akin to toy death. I think. I'm usually lost in a box of tissues halfway through that movie.

Ann M. Martin wrote things that aren't The Babysitter's Club? I need to check this out. Even if the only doll I ever owned was summarily dismembered and flushed because dolls scared the crap out of me as a kid. Stuffed animals were where it's at.

Ace review, man. You almost have me wanting to make kids of my own. Almost.


Jason Hahah, you'd make well adjusted kids, I bet. In this book, though, Doll State seems usually only temporary. Even tough the threat of Permanent Doll State lingers, I think it is mostly a ruse to keep the little buggers in check.


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve "Just for the record, though, those little bastards wouldn’t know a good book if it hit them in the ass."

I think I know what you mean. When I tried reading Othello to my daughter at a similar age, she stared at me vacantly and squirmed like she was bored. The philistine. But then my Desdemona voice might not have been the best. Sounds like we're both doubting ourselves, maybe in part to protect them. It's kind of noble of us in a way.


Jason Hahah, Steve! You are freaking hilarious.


message 5: by Miriam (new)

Miriam On the other hand, if you read too well, like my mother, you get to the part with Ring Wraiths and give your children nightmares.

What books did your kids like better?


Jason That's a good question. This is actually the first chapter book I've read to them. Until now we've been reading mostly books like this and this. But tommie sent us a bunch of new books (!!) for the kids to read, so they are excited about that. This was one of them. Isn't that amazing??

I also want the boy to try getting into the Magic Tree House series, which I've heard loads about, once he's more comfortable reading full chapter books on his own. He's gettin' there...


message 7: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Tommie is great at sending books. I think there is a books-to-read-to-kids group around. It was mentioned in a thread of Brad's (you know Brad, right?). I think his kids are close in age to yours.


Jason Tommie Tomato is a Peachy Pumpkin.


Jason (yes, I know Brad.)


message 10: by mark (new)

mark monday i tried the same thing with my nephews for The 13 Clocks, to the same tepid reaction. i think it had less to do with my voice and more to do with their desire to get back to icarly.


Jason omigod, i know! my kids are obsessed with iCarly. meanwhile i want to punch her face...


message 12: by Brad (new) - added it

Brad This book sounds creepy cool, Jason. I think Bronte would love it, so thanks for the tip.

I'm a bitch too when it gets crazy hot. I feel your pain, man.


Jason Let us know what she thinks of it, Brad!


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