Reflections on dolls and books featuring dolls

I love dolls and I have always loved dolls. As a little girl I adored my First Love doll and my Sindy dolls (for those of you who don’t know, the Sindy doll were very popular during the 1980’s before Barbie became so big and took over the dolly scene) and now, as a bigger girl [smile], I still love dolls but my tastes have moved on to vintage and antique dolls. As you know, I also love books, books and more books and my tastes in books have also moved on to classic and antique collectibles but I still love children’s books and read the odd contemporary and other modern fiction book. I also read a lot of non-fiction books but that is for another day. Today, I thought I would share a bit about my doll collection and also about my favourite books featuring dolls.

Armand Marseille doll

Victoria is an Armand Marseille doll. Armand Marseille was from Sonneberg and Koppelsdorf, Thuringia, Germany and was one of the worlds largest and best known bisque doll head manufacturers in the period between 1885 and 1950. Victoria is dated as being from 1890 and I found her in a lovely little antique shop in Kalk Bay, Cape Town.


I have paired Victoria with Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In this amazing book, Laura initially only has a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief to serve as a doll. The corncob doll’s name is Susan. Later on in the book, Laura receives a rag doll for Christmas which she calls Charlotte. In the book, Laura describes Charlotte as being ” a beautiful doll. She had a face of white cloth with black button eyes. A black pencil had made her eyebrows, and her cheeks and her mouth were red with the ink made from pokeberries. Her hair was black yarn that had been knit and ravelled, so that it was curly.”

You can find my book review of Little house in the big woods here

Antique baby doll

Ruby is an antique baby doll. She is my favourite out of my collection and “lives” with the other valuable antique dolls in a beautiful antique wooden display case.


I have paired Ruby with The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter. This is my favourite of her books (except for maybe The Tale of Mrs Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies and the Tale of Peter Rabbit – Oh dear, I love them all and can’t really decide on a favourite!). The Tale of Two Bad Mice is a story about Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, two very naughty mice, who break into the dolls house and become very frustrated with the plaster food on display. My favourite extract is “Then Tom Thumb lost his tempter. He put the ham in the middle of the floor, and hit it with the tongs and with the shovel – bang, bang, smash, smash! The ham flew all into pieces, for underneath the shiny paint it was made of nothing but plaster!”

1980’s poppet porcelain doll

Next up is my favourite “poppet” porcelain doll from the 1980’s. She has a china head and a soft body made from cloth. A poppet is based on an elf or fairy and has pointed ears and a porcelain cap.


I have paired my cute poppet with My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards. My naughty little sister is a delightful collection of short stories, told through the eyes of the older sister. This first book in the series describes how my naughty little sister receives a doll that she particularly admires from Father Christmas and how, instead of thanking him, she takes fright and bites his finger. The doll, called Rosy Primrose, goes on to feature on numerous occasions throughout the series. My own personal favourite story in this book is about the fairy-doll. The fairy-doll is a really beautiful doll that belongs to my naughty little sister’s older sister. The fairy-doll was a beautiful doll that never got played with; she lived in a box, wrapped up in white paper, in a draw in her Mother’s wardrobe. My naughty little sister gets hold of this beautiful doll and in a fit of temper, throws her out of the window as follows: “She did something even more dreadful to my fairy-doll. She threw it out of the window, that lovely beautiful doll with the golden wings and the shiny crown and the sticking-out dress with golden stars on.”

Happy holidays

There ends some of my thoughts on dolls that feature in a few of my favourite children’s books. Of course, I could go on and on but I think that is enough for today. Wishing everyone in the blogging community happy holidays and, if you celebrate Christmas, a very merry one filled with love, laughter and lots and lots of books.

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