Oh boy. The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson makes me want to cry. It’s good – but it’s a proper lump in the throat kind of book. H loves it – she doesn’t quite get it yet, so it’s currently a magical book where she’ll try to spot the butterfly hairslide on each page, and where a little boy ‘isn’t very nice’.
The book starts with a child who makes paper dolls with her mother. The paper dolls have adventures with the child and a happy time – but then something bad happens. But, as with all good memories, they don’t go away, even if they don’t exist in a physical form any more, and are passed on through the years.
That’s the bit that gets me. Every time. As a parent who will one day have to explain about my dad dying before H was born, I think this is a good book to explain if something isn’t there any more the good memories are – which is why this gets me every time. On a simpler level, a child losing a loved toy would also get it at this level.
We borrowed this book from the library, and I suspect we’ll be owning our own copy very soon. I had no idea a book, especially one for children, could make me well up like this. Highly recommended!
The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson is also illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, published by MacMillan Books, ISBN 0-230-74108-9