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The Wheat Doll Hardcover – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561454567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561454563
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 10.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—Mary Ann is a pioneer girl who lives on a rustic Utah farm with her mother and father. Her best friend is her homemade wheat-filled doll. One day Mary Ann sets Betty on a stump while she pulls carrots in the garden. Suddenly a storm sweeps across the valley, and Mary Ann's parents hurry her into the safety of the cabin. After the storm, the girl searches everywhere but she cannot find her beloved doll. Mary Ann is lonely without it all winter, but in spring she discovers a doll-shaped patch of wheat sprouting from the mud near where the toy was lost. She tends the sprouts and makes a new doll from the grains. This is a sweet story of loss and renewal told with empathy and feeling that is never heavy-handed. There is just the right amount of detail to make the setting seem real without bogging down the narrative. Farnsworth's realistic oil paintings have a warm, soft quality that matches the tone of the text. Like the author, he adds just enough detail to establish the setting without distracting from the main subject. This picture book is a great addition to all collections, but has special appeal to libraries in areas with a pioneer heritage.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Based on events that took place in rural nineteenth-century Utah, this story should resonate with twenty-first-century children who have grown deeply attached to a doll or stuffed animal. In her picture-book debut, Randall tells of Mary Ann, a little girl whose prize companion is a cloth doll filled with wheat; she carries Betty in her apron pocket and talks to her as she goes about her chores. When the doll gets lost outside in a storm, Mary Ann is bereft, calling and hunting, the garden blurred by her tears. The melodrama of these pages may seem overcooked to an adult, but Randall soon rewards young readers with the recovery of the lost friend: during planting season, Mary Ann spots a patch of green shoots sprouting from the mud, harvests the kernels of grain, and restores Betty to her former self. Farnsworth’s oil paintings and the overall book design possess an unhurried, old-fashioned quality; and they complement Randall’s simple, heartfelt story. Grades 1-3. --Abby Nolan

More About the Author

Alison L. Randall is the author of the picture book The Wheat Doll. Her workshops and classroom presentations include A Writer's Life: Based on a True Story; The Amazing Adventures of You: Fun ways for Children to Preserve their own Life Stories; and What If: Turning Truth into Tales. For adults, she offers Raising a Reader. Randall uses examples from her picture book and published short stories throughout her presentations. She lives in Utah with her husband and children. Visit her website at www.alisonlrandall.com

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The illustrations are beautiful.
Christopher R. Kelsey
It is a heartwarming story that many more generations will enjoy.
Beverly Ray
Betty spent most of her time in Mary Ann's apron pocket.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher R. Kelsey on August 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is great for any girl who has ever loved a doll. This is a wonderful story about a pioneer girl who looses her wheat doll only to find a surprise in the spring, left behind by her doll friend. The illustrations are beautiful.
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Format: Hardcover
In the nineteenth-century little girls that lived on farms usually had handmade dolls. Rag dolls stuffed with rags, saw dust, hay or wheat anything that was at hand.

This was the case for Mary Ann she had a lovely little doll stuffed with wheat. Her doll's name was Betty and she had pretty black satin embroidery eyes. Betty spent most of her time in Mary Ann's apron pocket. She would listen to and watch Mary Ann do everything. Like making candles and work in the garden. She went everywhere with Mary Ann because they were best friends and best friends kept secrets. Then one day during a bad storm Betty got separated from Mary Ann. Mary Ann was very sad and never stopped looking for Betty.

Was Mary Ann ever able to be reunited with Betty? I hope you will buy the book to find the answer.

This is a lovely story. The author heard a friend tell about one of their ancestor's real life story of Mary Ann and her wheat doll. That was when the author decided to write the story of THE WHEAT DOLL. What a wonderful thing she did by writing this story so everyone can enjoy the tale of the little girl and her wheat doll.

The illustrator did a beautiful job in capturing Mary Ann and her little wheat doll. You can see the sorrow Mary Ann experienced over being separated from Betty in the illustrations.

This is a story you will want to share with everyone young and old.

I highly recommend this book.

Disclosure
I received a free book from Peachtree Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
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Format: Hardcover
Every little girl needs someone special in their life. Mary Ann did and her special someone was named Betty. Now Betty wasn't the usual type of friend you might expect because she was a doll, but that didn't make her any less special. She was filled with wheat, but also filled with Mary Ann's love. One day, after Mary Ann finished talking to her, she left her on a stump and couldn't fetch her because she was so busy taking freshly harvested carrots into the root cellar for the winter and she had to help her family prepare for a storm. After the storm Mary Ann went out, but "her best friend was gone!"

Winter came and there were always things for little girls to be tending to. Schoolwork, chores, sewing . . . but, things just weren't the same without Betty. When the long winter was over her search would begin anew, but would she find her best friend? Things would never be the same if Mary Ann never heard the swish-shush of Betty's little body again.

This is the wonderfully retold factual story of Mary Ann Winters who lived in the Utah territory during the late 1800s. Bill Farnsworth's illustrations are beautiful and somehow bring the name Wyeth to mind. Of course Mary Ann's special friend Betty reminded me of Charlotte, Laura Ingalls Wilder's special doll. Somehow stories retold through generations can be especially heartwarming and this one is no exception!
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By Catherine W. Hughes on September 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Painterly illustrations evoke a powerful storm. High rain and winds result in the loss of Mary Ann's special companion, Betty, her wheat doll. The seasons pass, but Mary Ann keeps hoping to find her special doll. When spring comes, a special patch of wheat reveals itself to be growing from Betty, in the shape of a doll. Mary Ann tends to the golden wheat and, to her delight, finds her old friend once more. Children ages 5-8 will appreciate this tale of frontier life in Utah.
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