Thursday, September 16, 2010
When I heard Francesca Lia Block wrote a middle grade/juvenile book I immediately wanted to read it. Her magic-realism LA punk fairy contemporary fantasies don't have wide appeal, but those of us who get it sure do love it.
House of Dolls is an honest to goodness sweet little book. Barbara McClintock's fabulous illustrations are a welcome and wonderful bonus. There's a whimsical French feel to her drawings which adds to the fashion fabulousity of Block's living doll house tale. The book design is enough of a reason to pick the title up and give it a whirl and the page count barely reaches 61.
Madison Blackberry is a young girl who has everything but friends and affection from her parents. She inherited a fantastic doll house that belonged to her grandmother complete with a real bonsai tree, a lake (made from an old mirror), and trunkfulls of exquisite clothes for the 3 doll inhabitants. Madison is an unhappy girl and she reflects this unhappiness on her dolls. There's happiness in the end when the adults finally take notice of our Madison (with help from the dolls and grandma) and she in turn returns that happiness back to the dolls.
Block's usual themes of unconditional love and acceptance fill the story. Young girls who would rather take fashion advice from Tavi than what the Disney Channel churns out would make likely candidates for this book.
source: checked out from my library