Saturday, February 9, 2008

Picture Books: Dahlia

McClintock, Barbara. 2002. Dahlia. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN: 0374316783

When tomboy Charlotte receives a prim and proper doll dressed in lace from her aunt she wasn’t sure what to do. She doesn’t like dolls. After laying down the rules of “we like digging in dirt and climbing tress” and that the doll Dahlia will “just have to get use to the way we do things” Charlotte, her teddy bear Bruno, and Dahlia begin they day-long fun of making mud cakes and stick and leaf boats, fishing, wagon racing against a group of boys and playing Bruno’s favorite toss-up-in-the-air-and-land-in-a-heap. All the while Dahlia grows dirtier and dirtier yet healthier looking and Charlotte’s attitude changes. By the end of the day, and after healing the doll from a nasty fall from a tree branch, Charlotte exclaims much to the delight of her aunt that, “Bruno and I – like her very much. She has become our best friend.” McClintock’s pen and ink drawings are beautifully detailed and express every single emotion of Charlotte, Bruno and Dahlia. In soft hues of pink, green, blue, cream, and brown the watercolor coloring truly captures a time-gone-by era to create a charming book of making new friends.

Read more of Barbara McClintock books like: The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle, Adèle & Simon, and Molly and the Magic Wishbone.

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