The Doll People, Book 3 The Runaway Dolls

By Ann Matthews Martin; Laura Godwin; Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
(Disney-Hyperion, Hardcover, 9780786855841, 352pp.)

Publication Date: October 2008

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2009 Kids' List
“This story about a mysterious package and a dangerous adventure has been loved by everyone who has read it.”
-- Rita F. Maggio, BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ


Best friends Annabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft are back, and this time they've got an unexpected visitor, a new doll named Tilly May. She's arrived in a mysterious package from London, but her face looks so familiar... . Could she be Annabelle's long lost baby sister? Annabelle is convinced it absolutely must be so-but her parents refuse to believe her. With time running out before the package is at risk of being sent back to England, Annabelle and Tiffany resort to the only course of action they can think of-running away. But life on the road is fraught with its own pitfalls, from a foreboding wooded park to a close call in a department store. How will Annabelle and Tiffany find their way back home and what's going to happen to Tilly May if and when they do?

In this masterfully plotted third book in the Doll People series, Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, with the help of Brian Selznick's captivating black-and-white illustrations, take the reader on another exhilarating adventure from a doll's-eye view.

About the Author

Ann M. Martin is the author of many books for young readers, including A Corner of the Universe, Belle Teale, and Leo the Magnificat. She is also the co-author, with Paula Danziger, of P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More. Ms. Martin funds such charities as The Lisa Libraries and The Ann M. Martin Foundation. She makes her home in upstate New York.

Laura Godwin, also known as Nola Buck, is the author of many popular picture books for children, including What the Baby Hears, Central Park Serenade, Barnyard Prayers, The Flower Girl, Little White Dog and Christmas in the Manger. Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, she now lives in New York City.

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of the New York Times best-selling The Invention of Hugo Cabret, winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal and a National Book nominee. He has also illustrated many other books for children, including Frindle by Andrew Clements, Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Mu oz Ryan, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which received a 2001 Caldecott Honor. Brian lives in Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.

Praise For The Doll People, Book 3 The Runaway Dolls

"[I]n the pantheon of living toys, the Doll and Funcraft families of Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin's admired Doll People series reign supreme." The New York Times—NYTBR

A fantasy with one foot in reality, this third adventure for the mismatched team of antique porcelain Annabelle Doll and contemporary plastic plaything Tiffany Funcraft (previously encountered in The Doll People and The Meanest Doll in the World) has the daring duo running away from home, accompanied by Annabelle's newfound baby sister and soon joined by their brothers. Regretting their decision, not knowing the way home, they eventually land in the toy department of a large store, where they face new danger-being sold to separate owners. Obeying the Doll Code of Honor, the toys must wait until closing time to spring to life, which complicates their escape. Characters and their exploits are fresh: cowgirl Dakota Jane drives a wind-up truck; Elsipad is thrilled that proceeds from her sale "will be used to fight world hunger." The book opens with a narrative sequence of Selznick's (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) shaded b&w pencil drawings, which lure readers into the story and anticipate the first chapter, "The Mysterious Package." The lush illustrations-full bleeds as well as spot drawings and vignettes throughout -are integral expressions of the novel's spirit. Fast-paced, satisfyingly developed, the book is doubly enjoyable for its foundation in a solidly imagined doll culture.—PW

Fans of the first two Doll People stories will be thrilled with number three. China doll Annabelle and plastic doll Tiffany are ready for an adventure when the human Palmers leave on a two-week vacation, but when a mysterious box arrives, the dolls discover a baby doll is in inside! Annabelle is convinced it's her lost baby sister. The only solution seems to be to take Tilly and run away. Risking "Permanent Doll State" numerous times, the girl dolls and their two brother dolls wind up in a toy store with antique and robotic dolls and the hateful, mean Mimi, returning from book two. How can they overcome their size obstacles and escape in time to get home before the humans return? Selznick's charming, black-and-white scenarios make the doll personalities believable; he adds a number of full-page drawings at the beginning ( la Hugo Cabret) that build the drama, while the action leaves plenty of dollhouse room for future escapades. Hmmm, the dolls visit Dollywood?—Kirkus

Annabelle Doll is thrilled to discover a five-year-old sister doll, Tilly May, in the mysterious package that arrives just as her owners, the Palmers, leave on vacation. This new member of the Doll Family, though, might put Dollkind in jeopardy. Unwilling to part with her newfound sister, Annabelle runs away, taking her friend Tiffany Funcraft and Tilly May with her. This intriguing premise sets up the action in this suspenseful addition to the Doll People series. Selznick's numerous, softly-shaded pencil drawings, some extending across two pages, greatly enlarge the story. This sequel can be read on its own, but fans of the series will welcome the references to earlier adventures and the nail-biting return of Mean Mimi. Gentle humor, believable characters with distinct personalities, and a strong plotline will keep readers coming back for more. Grades 3-6—Booklist

Horn Book Guide Spring 2009. Illustrated by Brian Selznick. This third Doll People book introduces Annabelle's long-lost sister. Upset by the adults' cautious reaction to the baby, the kids run away. After some misadventures, they end up in a department store, where Annabelle solves a mystery and re-encounters (gasp!) Mean Mimi. The fast pace, sharp characterizations, and profusion of Selznick illustrations (including an extended wordless opening) make this a runaway success.—Horn Book

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