“The Runaway Dolls,” by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin

“The Runaway Dolls,” by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin is the third book in a delightful series about two families of dolls who have a secret life of their own.
Book Cover Art for The Runaway Dolls by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
Annabelle Doll is a one hundred year old china doll who belongs to Kate Palmer. Tiffany Funcraft is a new plastic doll that belongs to Kate’s little sister Nora. Little do Kate and Nora Palmer realize, but every night their dolls come out to play. During the day they can’t move or talk without putting dollkind in jeopardy, but at night they are free to do just about anything they want.

When the entire Palmer family leaves on a two week vacation, it is the ultimate chance for Annabelle and Tiffany to explore the house. Soon after the Palmer’s departure Annabelle and Tiffany sneak downstairs and find that a small package has been delivered. The package looks very old, and when Annabelle and Tiffany examine it closer they hear a voice coming from inside!

There is another doll inside the strange package. Soon Annabelle Doll becomes convinced that the doll inside the package is the Doll family’s long lost baby. A hundred years ago when the Doll family was sold they were accidently delivered with a baby from a different doll set. The Doll family loves their adopted baby, but they have always wondered what happened to their real baby.

When Annabelle and Tiffany rush upstairs and tell Mama and Papa Doll that they want to open the package Annabelle’s parents refuse to let her do so. They are afraid that opening the package would put the dolls in danger when the Palmer family returned and found the empty, opened package. On the other hand Annabelle is afraid that the Palmers will return the package because it is not addressed to them.

First Annabelle and Tiffany covertly open the package just to see if the doll inside is really Annabelle’s little sister. The doll they find says that her name is Tilly, and that she is three doll years old. She looks just like the rest of the Doll family, and it is quite clear that she must be the Doll family’s long lost baby. Annabelle and Tiffany decide to run away to hide Tilly from both the Palmers, who might send her back, and their parents who would want to put her back in the package before the Palmers returned.

But when Annabelle, Tiffany, and Tilly finally find themselves outside the Palmer house, lost in the middle of a nearby park, they realize that they have only two weeks to get back home. If the Palmers return and discover their absence it could expose the dolls’ secret life. And what’s more Annabelle and Tiffany’s parents must be terribly worried about them. But how will they ever find their way back?

“The Runaway Dolls” is a great continuation of this heartwarming series. The characters are just as fresh and lively as before. The plot is well designed, leaving plenty of room for all manner of innovative occurrences. One of my favorite scenes is when the dolls end up in the toy area of a department store, and Tiffany Funcraft and her brother get mixed in with hundreds of other dolls that are exactly the same. And for those readers who have read “The Meanest Doll in the World,” Mean Mimi makes a brief return that really made me laugh.

Brian Selznick’s amazing illustrations add extra depth to the story. Just as in his book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” Brian Selznick uses a series of pictures to show the way the baby doll Tilly was packaged, and then lost for a hundred years before she was finally discovered and sent on her way. In addition, I really liked the way he drew illustrations for the page borders during the time that the dolls were outside in the park. The lush plants, leaves and other vegetation drawn around the edges of the pages adds a whole new aspect to the story.

“The Runaway Dolls” is a great story that young readers will surely enjoy reading.

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Inkweaver Review 2009-06-10T17:09:00-05:00

12 replies so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I read the first and the second book but,i have not read the third book.At first i was trying to find if you had a responding.And then we found this book.I hope you write a fourth book.If you need this information then here it is.Im 9 years old,my name is juliana,i love your first and second and,i hope you write moore doll house books. Sincerely,Juliana MacAdams

NathanKP said...

Thanks for commenting Juliana.

However, I would not recommend that you leave your full name in a comment on a public website such as Inkweaver Review.

I'm sure that you will enjoy "The Runaway Dolls" just as much as you enjoyed the first books of the series.

Anonymous said...

Is there going to be a fourth book in the series?

Shoeless Paw said...

I have read The Doll People, I am only starting The Meanest Doll in the World. And I don't even have The Runaway Dolls. I only got the two others from the Library at my school. And yes, I do have to return them :(

You don't need to know. said...

Shoeless Paw, do you like these books? I do so much I just wish they NEVER EVER, EVER end!!!

Shoeless Paw said...

I love them. And yes, I agree. THEY SHALL NEVER EVER, EVER END!!!!!

Shoeless Paw said...

Yeah, Juliana, people could see your name and actually contact you and might even kill you. I am very caring, and I would hate to hear that happen.

Anonymous said...

How do they get back home

Anonymous said...

How do they arrive home? I kinda left my book at school and have a book report due in 3 days!

Anonymous said...

What book r u talking about if it's the third then they follow the wagon track left from Jonah and William then they walk across a log to cross the creek that's all I got up to :)

Anonymous said...

what is the first and second book called???

Anonymous said...

Ayee people what is the setting of this book