The Fairy Doll and Other Tales From The Dolls' House by Rumer Godden

This satisfyingly hefty pink hardback gathers together seven magical stories, all of which were previously published as much-treasured separate volumes. It is so good to see them all available again here. Rumer Godden writes with an intensity and simplicity that is totally beguiling.

Dolls, like children, wish for things passionately, but they are dependent on those they live with to make their dreams real. In ‘The Dolls’ House’, for instance, a doll family dwelling in a shoebox long for a real house, just like the one Tottie, the little wooden doll, used to know. In ‘Miss Happiness and Miss Flower’, two little Japanese dolls, lost and anxious in a strange land, meet a young girl who’s recently arrived at the home of her cousins, and who just might empathise with and understand their wishes.

Other stories include ‘Little Plum’, ‘The Fairy Doll’, ‘Candy Floss’ and ‘Impunity Jane’. My all-time favourite is ‘The Story of Holly and Ivy’, about a toyshop doll named Holly, an orphan called Ivy, and a policeman and his wife, Mr and Mrs Jones.

Perfect to read aloud to girls around age 5, or for girls aged 7 to 9 to read to themselves.


Kathy Kozlowski is a Children’s Book Specialist who has worked in kid’s books for over 40 years. Positively retro! She is now pleased to have grandchildren whose literary tastes to indulge.