4 out of 5 stars
I actually started this on Dec 29th, but read the majority of it in 2011, so it counts! Lol...I'm going to try to keep the first half of my reviews basic information and spoiler free, so you (as if anyone is reading this haha!) can still enjoy it yourself and then I'll add a spoiler alert at the 2nd half for those who've already read it or just like to ruin their reads beforehand. ;)
I found this series when I was buying the last of my BSC books on Amazon and it popped up in my recommended. Being a dolly/toy freak myself, I was intrigued by the cover. (I always judge a book by it's cover!) I ran out of money to buy them, but when we ended up at the library the other day, I remembered to look for them and checked out all 3 in the series!
The illustrations in the book are great; so much detail and they really add a
depth to the book. This picture was right inside the cover and you can see the Doll Family (that's their name, "Doll") inside their antique dollhouse where they've lived for the past 100 years or so with the same human family. I really enjoyed that the humans passed this dollhouse down each generation to their daughters, so the Doll Family has lived with them all that time.
The story focuses on Annabelle Doll, the 8 year old daughter of the family and her boredom from having to remain still and in "Doll State" during the day and only getting to play when the family is asleep. She is also constantly thinking about her Auntie Sarah, who has been missing for nearly 45 years. When a new Doll family moves in next door (for the human sister's birthday), she suddenly has a new BFF! Tiffany Funcraft is everything Annabelle is not: shiny, modern plastic toys with snap-on clothes, a BBQ and microwave in their house and always ready for adventure!
Okay, there's my spoilers alert lol...like him? :)
The Captain, the human family's cat, was one of my favorite characters. He's so intrigued by these dolls that move around at night and he really just wants to play with them! Okay, and maybe chew on their feet a little.
When Annabelle finds her Auntie Sarah's journal in the library (with half real books and half block books lol), she begins to think she might be able to find her and bring her home. I have to say, this was probably my least favorite part of the story. I do NOT like spiders, ugh, and there was one part where Annabelle had to sit still while a spider crawled towards her....ewww!! Auntie Sarah is apparently obsessed with spiders, because there are lots of entries about them and even drawings on some of the pages!
After Tiffany arrives, Annabelle fills her in on the Auntie Sarah mystery and they
decide to go search for her in the big house. They have lots of adventures along the way, including rescuing Papa Doll from The Captain. Eventually, they do find Auntie Sarah in the attic and reunite her with Uncle Doll, who it turns out was too frightened to go out in search of her all those years ago.
I enjoyed this book immensely. The descriptions of the dolls and their houses where great. I loved the dolls-eye view, especially of the cat peaking into their window. I would recommend this book for kids (and adults!) who love toys and dolls and/or who have active imaginations...I can't wait to start the 2nd one! :)