We’re reading: The Paper Dolls


We’re big fans of Julia Donaldson in this house. Perhaps best known for The Gruffalo, the former Children’s Laureate has written so many wonderful books for toddlers that, just as we think we have read them all, we are still discovering new titles.

Our latest find at the library is The Paper Dolls. Both ToddlerGirl and I adore this book. A little girl makes a chain of quirky paper dolls with her mum and then has lots of fun playing with them. They escape from dinosaurs and tigers and visit desert islands, singing their catchy song: “You can’t catch us. Oh no no no! We’re holding hands and we won’t let go.”

The Paper Dolls

ToddlerGirl loves to ask me the names of the paper dolls and giggles when it’s time to sing their song each time. The dolls and their adventures are brought to life by the lovely illustrations by Rebecca Cobb which have a childlike quality that really complements the story.

And then, into this happy tale, comes a little boy with a pair of scissors. Oh no! He snips the paper dolls into tiny pieces, seemingly putting a stop to their adventures. But the story doesn’t end there, as the dolls reform, holding hands tightly once more, in the little girls memory, where they find all sorts of other items (and a kind granny) that have been lost to this world but not forgotten. Fast forward some years and the little girl is now a mum herself and digs out the memory of her paper dolls to make some with her own daughter.

In my super hormonal pregnant state, I cannot read this book without wanting to bawl. It is so moving and beautiful. I have tears in my eyes just writing about it!

ToddlerGirl obviously isn’t as affected emotionally as I am… We pause to comment what a mean thing the little boy does when he snips the dolls but she is happy to move along from this and enjoy the rest of the story.

If you can find a copy, I highly recommend The Paper Dolls. Neither of us want to return it to the library!

(NB: Post contains affiliate links.)


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