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The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll

by Patricia C. McKissack
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Published by Schwartz & Wade, 2007
32 pages
ISBN: 0375837590

Ages 5-8

Podcast featuring this book

Nella dreams of getting a Baby Betty doll for Christmas. Neither of her sister’s believes it will happen; there’s a Depression going on, after all. But when Christmas morning comes, there isn’t just a stocking full of wonderful treats (walnuts, an orange, a peppermint stick and a box of raisins), but a Baby Betty doll for the three girls to share. And that’s when the trouble begins, because Nella has no desire to share Baby Betty. “Okay, chickadees, fix it,” Mama tells them as she interrupts their squabbling. The argument ends with Nella in possession of Baby Betty while her sisters go off to play. She won! Or did she? It turns out Baby Betty isn’t all that fun, at least on her own. She doesn’t laugh at the funny parts of Nella’s stories, or sing harmony on Nella’s songs. Patricia C. McKissack’s lively story about three close-knit African American sisters facing an authentic—and authentically resolved—conflict is told with vivid language that brings both the period and the people into full relief. Jerry Pinkney’s watercolor illustrations provide additional details and a wonderful visual backdrop for the story. Highly Commended, 2008 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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