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The Paper Dolls

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  767 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Embark on a fantastical adventure with a little Female and her string of paper dolls. The dolls step into the garden and try to escape the claws of a toy dinosaur and the snapping oven-glove crocodile but see if they can escape a pair of scissors! Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, this wonderful picture book is filled with sweet pictures and featu ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published June 6th 2013 by Pan Macmillan (first published October 1st 2012)
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4.32  · 
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 ·  767 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Sophia Triad
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Absolutely fantastic book. You may know the book "Gruffalo" by the same author.

This is the story of a girl who likes making paper dolls with her mother. The dolls become her friends and the characters of her fantasy journeys.
[A nice game is to look for the stars (the ceiling decoration), the tiger (her slippers) and the lost butterfly (her hairslide) in every page of the book.]

One day a cruel boy snips the girl’s favorite paper dolls and the girl is NOT sad:

…the pieces all joined together,
Truth be told until the little girl's paper dolls were cut into many little pieces by that nasty boy and his scissors (and all she had left of them were fond memories), I had been very much enjoying and smiling at Julia Donaldson's The Paper Dolls (especially because the little girls' adventures playing with her paper dolls nostalgically reminded me of multiple sets of paper dolls from my own childhood and that indeed, the adventures and escapades I pretended to have with them were very much aki ...more
L.H. Johnson
Julia Donaldson's one of the big names of picture books, and I was excited to see The Paper Dolls where she teams up with the estimable Rebecca Cobb. If you don't know Cobb's work, it's lovely. I'm a big fan of her style and I'm a bit of a Cobb kick at the moment following the perfect pain of Missing Mummy.

It's a simple, rhythmic book with a beautiful aural texture to it. This is a book that demands to be read out loud, to be heard and savoured. Stylistically it reminded me a lot of John Burning
Jesi Rose
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We had this book from the library for a few weeks and I read it almost nightly to my 2 year old. She loved it every time, and I think I managed to get through it without crying only once. The connection between mothers and daughters, and the role of memories in building who we are as families is so beautifully captured in this sweet story. The drawings were engaging, intimate, and showed the innocence of children's way of seeing. It's also a ton of fun to read aloud with the repeating section be ...more
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exquisite children's book! This is a book to kindle a child's imagination. Paper dolls that come to life and handle all sorts of adversity. The illustrations go with the text PERFECTLY and the language and the enthusiasm of the story is infectious.
Carys O'Neill
Whilst there was some repetition and a lovely story line, I did find the story slightly boring and think some children may lose interest.
Chloe Richardson
Julia Donaldson as fantastic as always! A wonderful ending. A great moral that as long as you remember to keep your memories in your heart, you will never truly lose them.
Claudia G-D
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Really nice illustrations. Throughout the story the message is that sometimes we need to stick together like the paper dolls to get through things. EYFS/KS1
Jules (Never enough time to read)
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: c-books
A beautiful book and story. One that has inspired us to make our own paper dolls and add to our fun together.

It is one of the shorter Julia Donaldson stories but a favourite.
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful story about a young girl who makes five paper dolls, and goes on imaginative adventures with them. The girl and the dolls go on a bus, to a farmyard and even have a close encounter with a crocodile (played by her mother). All the while the dolls shout “We're holding hands and won't let go” throughout the story. Until a boy a boy comes along and snips the dolls into pieces. Sending the dolls flying into the girls mind where her grandma and favourite toys live. The girl then gr ...more
I must admit that I only picked up this book because it is written by Julia Donaldson and I do like her books such as The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child.

The book is ok to me - did not impress not bore me. I love the illustrations - I think it's lovely and the paper dolls were drawn exactly to the rhyme/repetition lines, found in the book. I would think it makes for a great read aloud book with your child(ren) as the rhymes are quite apt and beautiful.

Well, the book is simply about a young gi
Melissa Macfarlane
The Paper Dolls is a very special book that tackles the delicate subject of loss. It uses the idea of a fragile toy, a paper chain of dolls that becomes a favorite toy to a little girl, and explores what happens to something important to us after it is broken or leaves us forever. This could be a difficult subject to approach or explain with a young child and this book may be a good way to try. Whenever I read this book to early years children it always provokes intense discussion afterwords. I ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readwithlils
Kids easily get drawn to the detailed illustration and rhythmic track of this book. Not to mention, the suspense part - The eagerness to know on what happened to the Paper Dolls. Also, this book provides you the answer on how kids observe every minute details. Like, the color of the scissors used to make the ‘Paper Dolls’ and which snipped those; the exploration activity of butterfly hairslide in each page etc. This book will equally hook the kid/s and you till the end.
Limau Nipis
Beautifully illustrated and full of imagination. The book was stamped with Shortlisted for the Ciup Kate Greenaway Medal. Julia Donaldson books has never been a let down to me.

A story of a little girl with her paper dolls, and how the story does not end there. Full of imagination and perfect for late night reading.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My great niece and grandchildren all thoroughly enjoyed this book: we made a few strings of paper dolls afterwards (had to fold paper in three and do boy/girl for it!) and they painted them up and named them.
Katie Lindsey
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved reading this book. In my opinion, the paper dolls were a metaphor for friendship, and every time something tried to destroy them it represented the challenges that all friendships go through. I think the book would work well in a year three or four class, especially during circle times or things like that when discussing friendships. It provides the idea that as long as you have people who are there for you, you can survive the hardest times. I also think the book very delicat ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stand out book. I read it for myself before reading it to my son (because he is a boy's boy and I wondered if he would be interested in a paper doll theme), I enjoyed it so much by reading it myself that it put a smile on my face.
And yes, then I read it to my oldest son (4 years old) and he LOVES it too, he's asked for it several times since. It is such a creative, memorable book! My son sings out the rhymes "They were Ticky and Tacky, and Jackie the Backie..." when he's playing on the playgro
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is all about childhood games and memories associated with them and our attempt to pass these things on to our children. The story begins with a child’s imagination running wild with the paper dolls she makes with the help of her mom. Eventually there are multiple attempts to destroy the paper doll but they survive it all with unity holding each other’s hand to only be ripped apart by a naughty kid. But they move on to the child’s memories and when the child grows up to be a mother, she ...more
Ellie Labbett
Donaldson and Cobb draw an interesting connection between real and imaginary worlds in this story of a little girl’s play with her paper dolls. With the play landscapes and obstacles mirrored and brought to life in the paper doll world, this is a lovely example of something small representing much more. This story has real potential in discussing the permanence of imagined worlds, particularly through the paper dolls living on through the memory- regardless of no longer being physical.
Laura's Book Addiction
A lovely children's book about making memories and remembering them after they've happened. Very relatable to kids and the illustrations are perfect. With each Julia Donaldson book I read my daughter I love them even more...
Rory Wise
While I understand books such as this has its place in the classroom, I find the storyline quite idealistic and cliche. Particularly after reading books with challenging story lines, I struggled to connect with this one in particular.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful! Has really helped me to teach my children about memory and dealing with loss...xx
Library book for Marcus
Alison Ferhi
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-kids-books
My daughter loves this book and so do i. Brings a tear to my eye. Simply beautiful
Lumi / Otso
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a lovely book with a lovely rhythm.
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful story. Just prefer her books that have more of a rhyming pattern.
Zara Pemberton
loved the part where the daughter becomes a mum and copies a memory from her childhood
Shining Tan
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to my girl since she was 1.5yo. She loves this book very much.
Warm, endearing, beautifully written and illustrated. A book to hug.
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Growing up
I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us. A wind-up gramophone wafted out Cho