The Paper Dolls

Fearless and fun is the world we initially inhabit in Julia Donaldson's engaging story. With ease and charm these delightful dolls journey through the house and garden out-stripping many of the dangers that threaten to befall them. They jump, dance and sing themselves from adventure to adventure until their charmed existence is shattered by the very real appearance of a pair of scissors. However, these brave dolls manage to evade ultimate destruction by transforming themselves from the fertile and inventive inner world of a little girl's imagination into the elusive and abstract world of memory. A place where they can exist timelessly, at least until they may be called on again. 

With immense delicacy Donaldson creates a vivid and life-affirming story which mirrors the world of the four-year-old, where play can suddenly turn sinister and threaten to overwhelm. This story is punctuated with very real danger and loss, and yet somehow the repetition and rhyme and sheer joyful lyricism of the dolls' refrain, which trips off the tongue, feels very uplifting. Beautifully complemented by Rebecca Cobb's colourful and spirited crayon illustrations that capture the pure energy and motion of the dolls and the various worlds they move through and also adds a sense of nostalgia to the book.

This is a very sweet and subtle story, something for both adults and children to enjoy, with just enough rhyme to keep the younger ones interested, vivid illustrations and a slightly surprising ending for the adults to ponder.