The Doll People, Book 1

by Ann M. Martin

Other authorsBrian Selznick (Illustrator), Laura Godwin (Author)
Paperback, 2002



Local notes

PB Mar





Disney-Hyperion (2002), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages. $7.99.


A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor.



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

288 p.; 6 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member cyderry
How many of us, as children, believed that our toys, dolls or stuffed animals, came to life at night when we were asleep or out of the house? The Doll People takes that childish faith and breathes life into the Doll Family and Funcraft family in this delightful tale.

For over 100 years the Doll
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Family has resided in the antique doll house and been playmates for four generations of young girls. When the family isn't at home or are asleep, the Dolls come to life and experience the same activities over and over. They have sing-along's at the old wooden piano and wonder around their own house. They cannot be caught moving or out of position because if they are, their punishment is 24 hrs of doll state - that's being unable to move. If there is a major offense they could end up in a permanent Doll state, OH NO!
Annabelle Doll, 8 years old, has not seen her Auntie Sarah doll in 45 years (these dolls don't age - we should all be so lucky). She finds her aunt's journal one day when she is in the library of the doll house and after reading it decides that Auntie Sarah must be somewhere "blending".
She decides that she wants to go looking for Auntie Sarah. Persuading her Uncle Doll to go with her, they sneak out in the night and discover that a new family is moving next door. The story of the two families - one antique dolls and one modern dolls and the cultural differences is just perfect to make the reader smile with delight. The adventures that they get into are truly amusing - just what a child would dream up for their dolls.

I have to thank Whisper1 for the recommendation of this book. After the chunky reads I've done this month, I needed something light and playful and this fit the bill perfectly. This story was uniquely imaginative and thoroughly creative for everyone who as a child always imagined that their toys really were alive and had spirit. I still believe that my Teddy Bear talks to me even with the threat of a permanent stuffed state.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
If you are looking for something in depth and intellectual, this isn't the book for you, but if you are weary, tired and simply wanting something smooth, delightfully creative, imaginative and unique, then by all means, take a journey through doll land where magic occurs.

A porcelain family of dolls
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have inhabited an antique doll house for four generations. They come alive during the day when the house is empty and at night when the house is quiet.

There are funny adventures, both inside the doll house where the 100 year old family bangs away at a old fashioned wooden piano singing Aretha Franklin's Respect sockittome. sockitome, sockitome and outside the doll house where they hesitantly wander down the dark halls, sneaking under the sofa, hiding from the family cat who is ever lurking to catch them.

The book is uniquely illustrated by Brian Selznick and would not be as wondrous without the stunning creative art work.

When the young daughter of the real life people family receives a gift, the 100 year old doll family meet a brand new, modern, adventurous plastic bunch of characters who are not as rigid, up tight or breakable.

The author delightfully intertwines the personalities and the cultural differences of the older and modern doll family members.

I liked this book for many reasons, primarily for the imaginative wonderment of it all.
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LibraryThing member julieh8
This book is not for people who dislike kids books. The Doll People is about dolls who come to life. They have to battle every little thing because they are so small. I was bored at some points but it got better as i read on.
LibraryThing member SaraH5
The book is the best book I ever read. The book is about a family of dolls living in a doll house. This is the best book EEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR!
LibraryThing member francescadefreitas
The first paragraph of this book grabbed me and held me: It had been forty-five years since Annabelle Doll had last seen Auntie Sarah. And forty-five years is a very long time, especially for an eight-year-old girl.
The story is a hilarious and charming look at how Annabelle searches to find her
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missing aunt, and how her antique family copes with the arrival of plastic neighbours.
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LibraryThing member spartyliblover
Annabell Doll, a china doll, finds her lost Aunt's journal and sets out with her new friend Tiffany Funcraft, a plastic doll, to find Auntie Sarah. The story has doll characters that are well developed and easy to imagine and human characters who are left to the reader to decide exactly what they
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are like. The plot is full of adventure and surprises along the way with a happy and complete ending. The setting takes place mostly in a doll house built in the late 1800s as well as the human house that is home to the doll house, when the dolls leave the house the enormity of human things is apparent and helps the reader to feel what Annabell and the other dolls are experiencing. The women that reads the audio book is wonderful and helps to bring the story to life. Overall this is a great book for a public library.
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LibraryThing member raizel
A chapter book with illustrations by Brain Selznick co-written by the author of the Baby-sitters Club series (which (I haven't read). Dolls can live active lives as long as no people are around to see them moving. Auntie Sarah Doll disappeared 45 years ago; when Annabelle, a child doll, finds
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Sarah's journal and a new family of dolls moves into their owners' home, adventures ensue.

The gray illustrations are well done and capture the emotions of dolls.

It finally occurs to Annabelle to worry about why her family never searched for Aunt Sarah and what they would do if Annabelle were to disappear. Her mother reassures her that the circumstances would be different and they would try to find her. The book is fine, but except for a brief discussion about Annabelle's fear of abandonment, not life-changing. Then again, not every book needs to be.
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LibraryThing member Cottonwood.School
A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for 100 years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor.
LibraryThing member jordicouturexo3
The Doll People by Ann M. Martin is a wonderful read for ages 10 and up. This book is easily enjoyed by the younger and older readers. It combines the fantasy of a child's imagination with the real "lives" of the dolls. The dolls are motion and lifeless when any human is around, as soon as the
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humans are no longer there, they become alive, and go on journeys throughout their homes. Annabel Doll, the porcelain doll, who has lived in her doll house for 100 years, life is shook up when a family of new plastic dolls (The Funhouses) move into the real human house that Annabel's doll house lives in. The plastic dolls do not live the same lifestyle as the proper porcelain doll family lives. They grow to become friends, especially Annabel Doll and Tiffany Funhouse. The two dolls go on a mission together, to find Annabel Dolls' missing Auntie Sarah, after they uncover Auntie Sarah's missing journal. The Doll People ends with the two doll families living happily in peace.
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LibraryThing member susanbevans
Ann M. Martin's The Doll People is a great book. Annabelle Doll is eight-years old - has been since she was made, over 100 years ago. Part of a family of eight, Annabelle spends her days being played with, avoiding "The Captain" (her owner's cat), and most of all, avoiding being seen as alive by
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any human beings.

When Annabelle discovers the journal of Auntie Sarah, who has been missing for the last 45 years, she decides to find out what happened to her. The fantastic adventures of Annabelle and her new friend Tiffany Funcraft are unique and humorous. The story is imaginative and delightful, and I really enjoyed reading it.
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LibraryThing member MarthaL
This seems like a very worth while book to read. Just as I get interested in it, there are call from the book club people requesting it.
LibraryThing member prkcs
A family of porcelin dolls that comes to life when their owners are not present are content with their lives these past 100 years--xcept for Annabelle Doll, who finds the diary of her missing aunt and decides to search for her. Her desire only deepens when she meets the Funcraft family, a plastic
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and modern contrast to the delicate and gentle Doll family.
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LibraryThing member geb890
Fun story about dolls! Read it over and over agoin.
LibraryThing member catz
This book was pretty cool because I was in a dolls point of view. But it didn't really catch my attention.
LibraryThing member gabriella_26
The Doll People was a book I would read over and over again. It sure did get my attention.
LibraryThing member jeemra
This is a lovely concept and very well written. Because so many children play with dolls, this book allows children to relate and become involved in the story. The mystery aspect to it also enhances this book as well. I think that this book is an especially good book to introduce children to
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chapter books and to get uninterested readers reading. I highly recommend this book! I would read it again even today! It was wonderful.
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LibraryThing member Leann_Thompson
A fanciful story about the secret life of dolls. The story is centered around a doll house with a 100 year old family of porcelain dolls, and one member who has been missing for the last 45 years! A new modern plastic family is introduced into the house at 26 Wetherby Lane and a few conflicts arise
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when the new family doesn't seem to follow the "Doll Code".

There are adventures to follow when the two girls of the doll families decide they are going to solve the mystery of the missing doll, Auntie Sarah.

This is a fun story to read, with lots of adventure and a little bit of history sprinkled in.
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LibraryThing member ergreenb
When I was much younger, I remember loving this book the first time I read it. The thought of my dolls coming alive when I wasn't watching was really interesting to me. The dynamic of the Doll family is really nice to read about and very heartwarming how close they are. The adventure to find
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Annabelle's missing aunt is really fun and as a child, kept me on the edge of my seat. I definitely enjoyed it more in elementary school than I did as a college student, but I'd recommend it to any younger kids looking for a fun read. It is a chapter book, but with fairly big type and images on almost every page so it is a good transition book for kids who may not be into reading long novels or are not yet at that reading level.
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LibraryThing member 68papyrus
Adorable story about the unlikely friendship between a one hundred year old china doll family and the more modern Funcrafts. Annabelle and Tiffany become friends and help solve a mystery. A fun story for all ages.
LibraryThing member frozenplums
This was such a cute story I can't begin to gush adequately about it. It follows Toy Story's concept of toys secretly being alive, but adds Night at the Museum's idea that any animated toy that is seen by a human loses its ability to reanimate.

Definitely a fun read for younger kids!
LibraryThing member mstanley33
The Doll People by Ann Martin is a fantasy novel written for younger children. Annabelle Doll is eight years old and she has been for over one hundred years! Her family has lived in the same house with the same family. Not much has changed in the Doll Family except for the disappearance of Auntie
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Sarah, forty-five years ago. Annabelle becomes curious as to where her Auntie Sarah is and starts a quest to search for her. In the midst of her search Annabelle stumbles upon a new doll family, the FunCrafts. The FunCrafts and the Doll People are very different from one another but they put their differences aside to search for their lost aunt.

This would be a great book for a child in third-fifth grade who loves fastasy! The illustrations by Brain Selnick are an excellent aid for your imagination. This book reminded me of Toy Story when the toys come alive at night when the children go to sleep. I would use this in my classroom as an independent reading book.
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LibraryThing member jsanfi1
This story is extremely engaging and fun. It really enhances the reader’s imagination. I like how this book has a creative plot. I also like how the characters are set up. For example one doll family is new and plastic, and the other one is old and breakable. This leads the reader open to make
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comparisons on the doll’s different lifestyles and personalities. Overall this story demonstrates what family means, and to be brave and go with your gut feeling.
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LibraryThing member Helen.Broecker
The doll people is all about Annabelle doll and her search to find her long lost Aunt Sarah. However, in the dollhouse there are rules about moving around and talking, Annabelle has to figure out a way to find her aunt and not get caught. She does eventually find Sarah but it wouldn't have been
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possible without her new friend Tiffany.
I chose this book because it was one of my favorites as third grader. I loved that there was an alternative world outside my own. I would like to use it my teaching to show that stories can be about any subject, even about a dollhouse.
This book is appropriate for students in third to fifth grade. It could be used to show the affect of friendship and teamwork because of the special bond formed between Tiffany and Annabelle.
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LibraryThing member Sluper1
This book is full of symbols and motifs. For example, on of the symbols that caught my attention while reading was the Christmas tree. It represents a festive object meant to serve a decorative purpose, symbolizes Nora’s position in her household as a plaything who is pleasing to look at and adds
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charm to the home. There are several parallels drawn between Nora and the Christmas tree in the play. Just as Nora instructs the maid that the children cannot see the tree until it has been decorated, she tells Torvald that no one can see her in her dress until the evening of the dance. Also, at the beginning of the second act, after Nora’s psychological condition has begun to erode, the stage directions indicate that the Christmas tree is correspondingly “dishevelled.” I would definitely recommend this chapter book to my students.
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LibraryThing member alaina.loescher
I think that this is a great book to get young girls interested in reading. I love the mystery and the way the anticipation to know what happened to auntie doll builds throughout the book. Also, the characters of Annabelle and Tiffany are complimentary in ways that really makes you want to root for
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them in their ventures. I also thought the choice of having Captain the cat being the villain of the story was a very fun choice. The artwork throughout the book is also really well done as it captures the feel of the events described. While this book has many admirable qualities, I just find parts of it to be really boring and anticlimactic every time I read it. Also, I do not feel that the word choice or descriptions are anything special.
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