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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Setting Sail

Being a frequent visitor to my favorite independent bookshop has some excellent benefits, like being greeted by name, noticing new books and displays upon entering the store, and asking and answering the question "What have you liked lately?" Fortuitously, an advance proof of The Doll People Set Sail arrived at the Red Balloon yesterday morning, and the bookseller who shares my name dashed out the door after me, waving the copy and saying she knew I would like to read it first. How fortunate I am!

And so last night I spent time with Annabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft and their families on an adventure across the Atlantic Ocean! I know they are not really alive (at least not when humans are nearby), yet that did not stop my brain from traveling with the families from Kate's room to a box marked ATTIC to a truck for ATC (Allied Transatlantic Charities) to a cargo ship called The Brown Pelican. I gasped I horror when a hole in their box widened, causing a catastrophe. I climbed along the plastic straps of the towers of boxes to get to the floor of their deck. I heard the voices of other dolls in boxes and met the merdolls whose tails miraculously allowed them to walk. 

This fourth book in the series comes almost twenty years after Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin began writing The Doll People and is a fabulous continuation of the Doll and Funcraft saga. Brett Helquist's artwork shows his efforts to continue Brian Selznick's original ideas while adding some of his own style (and still keeping the characters's personalities). Danger lurks behind boxes and on deck. Family members are lost and found. Friendships are made and strengthened. Readers will love this story on the sea.

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