From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Fanny, who wears eyeglasses, a headband, a tutu, leggings, and sneakers, is no ordinary girl. More than anything, she wants a high-fashion Connie doll. However, her mother does not like the way the doll looks, so Fanny is unlikely to get one. She attempts to resolve this situation by making her own rag doll, which she loves well enough until her friends make fun of it. Fanny persists by bringing it on a playdate. The Connie dolls are dressed as nurses while Annabelle is the surgeon operating on the sick stuffed animals. When the rag doll's proud owner gets home, she makes Annabelle something that every girl needs—her own doll. The soft watercolor illustrations show this protagonist to be an independent thinker as well as a talented seamstress. Sometimes not following the crowd can have unexpectedly wonderful results.—Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH
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When Fanny’s two friends bring their glamorous, sophisticated-looking Connie dolls over to play, she shows them her homemade doll, Annabelle. The girls’ polite silence leads Fanny to look at Annabelle critically and stow her away in a drawer—at least until her friends go home. Then she listens to her heart. The next time the three girls play dolls together, Annabelle takes a prominent, competent role in the girls’ make-believe: she plays the vet, assisted by two willowy nurses. The understated story is nicely nuanced, making its points quietly and leaving children to draw whatever conclusions they will. The beautifully painted scenes that take place in Fanny’s room at night are wonderfully evocative, while some of the illustrations of the characters are more exaggerated and less effective. Still, many children will empathize with Fanny’s strong emotions and appreciate her creative knack for bringing about her own happy ending. Preschool-Grade 3. --Carolyn Phelan
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