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The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll Hardcover – September 11, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; First Edition edition (September 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375837590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375837593
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Starred Review, Booklist, September 15, 2007:
"Parents looking for books on sharing will find this an appealing exploration of the subject, teachers seeking picture books set during the Depression will find many details that bring the period to life. A gentle lesson that plays into the spirit of the holiday."
-Carolyn Phelan

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2007:
“Full of humorous dialogue and scenes of realistic family life showing the close bonds within the family. Pinkney’s watercolor illustrations are masterful, as always…” - Kirkus Review

Review, The New York Times Book Review, December 2, 2007:
"An evocative book with a universal message."

About the Author

PATRICIA MCKISSACK is one of the most acclaimed authors writing for children today. She has written many award-winning books, including Never Forgotten, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book; Porch Lies, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book; The Dark Thirty, a Newbery Honor Book; Let My People Go, recipient of the NAACP Image Award; and Mirandy and Brother Wind, a Caldecott Honor Book. Her other books include The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll, Goin' Someplace Special, and Precious and the Boo Hag. Patricia and her husband, Frederick McKissack, are the recipients of the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

JERRY PINKNEY is the illustrator of five Caldecott Honor Books, including Mirandy and Brother Wind. He has won the Coretta Scott King Award five times. He lives in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kemie Nix on November 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The three Pearson sisters receive small Christmas treats, but Santy Claus only comes once in a while.After all, this is the rural south during the Depression. Nella, however, has seen an advertisement for a store -bought "Baby Betty" doll, the color of chocolate. Despite the scorn of her sisters, Nella writes a letter to Santy Claus assuring him that Baby Betty is all she'll ever want. Santy Claus comes through, setting the three sisters to fighting over the beautiful doll. Nella wins - or does she?

With pencil and watercolor illustrations, the artist depicts the three sisters exquisitely. His faces seem real, and he paints them large in expressive moments, shouting, singing, laughing. Despite poverty, this is a touching story of rich familial love.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By The Well-Read Child on December 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book resonates with me because of the lessons it teaches, but the great thing is that Patricia C. McKissack gets these lessons across so well that kids who read it won't feel like they're being "preached" at. Three of the most important lessons I got from the book are:

1. People are more important than things
First, McKissack does a beautiful job of demonstrating through a bit of humor that people are indeed more important than things. When Nella first claims Baby Betty as her own, she has a great time playing all alone with her...for a while. Then Nella gets increasingly frustrated when Baby Betty doesn't respond to her stories or songs until she finally sees her sisters in the other room having a great time playing together and feels sad and lonely. It's not until she invites her sisters to join her and Baby Betty for tea that she truly has a good time. In fact EVERYONE has a good time, and Nella is finally able to say it was the best Christmas ever.

2. Be thankful for what you have
The second lesson the book teaches us it to be thankful for what you have. The Pearson's have to fill the cracks and line the walls with newspaper to keep the cold out. They are in the Great Depression, and money (and work and food and toys) is hard to come by. Yet, when the girls receive their bags of raisins and nuts for Christmas, they are very pleased because it's the most they've ever received. And when they get the Baby Betty doll, they are excited beyond belief. Children who are used to receiving tons and tons of gifts may be horrified at the meager gifts the girls receive, and it's a perfect opportunity to let them know that are many kids out there who are less fortunate than them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Fennelly on December 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my two daughters, age 5 and 7. The book tells the story of a young, poor family and a meager Christmas. The book offers plenty of starting points for discussions of important life morals: money doesn't buy happiness, the value of sharing, the importance of family, the spirit of generosity, and more. And at the same time, the story is engaging for young readers. My seven year old read it as soon as it came, and was eager to re-read it with me and her 5 year old sister. This book has fast become a holiday favorite and I'm sure it will hold that place as we bring it back out every year with other holiday favorites we have enjoyed for years.
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