Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Friendship Doll

Around the time Ancestor Hitty was discovered in an antique shop,
and became the subject of her own story by Rachel Field and Dorothy Lathrop,
another type of travel doll was discovering America.

In 1927, 58 dolls were sent to America
as ambassadors of friendship.
This was in response to over 12,000 blue-eyed dolls
being sent as gifts of friendship by the children of America
for the children of Japan. 

 The dolls were 33 inches tall; about the size of a 4 or 5 year old,
were dressed in beautiful kimonos, and came with many accessories!

The dolls toured the country before retiring to museums throughout the U.S.
During World War II,
this gift from Japan fell out of favor and many dolls were stored away,
sold, or lost when removed from display.

Since the mid-1980's, a search to document the location
of each doll has returned information on 46 of the 58 dolls.

The Friendship Doll is historical fiction by Kirby Larson,
focusing on the adventures of Miss Kanagawa.
Miss Japan, who resides at the Smithsonian
in Washington D.C., is also noted in this story.

Miss Kanagawa

Larson's capture of this historical event is well written
and informative. I would highly recommend this chapter book
to anyone who loves well written doll books like
Hitty: Her Next Hundred Years.

I happened to find a copy at my school's Scholastic Book Fair.
It has the cover shown above, and was only $2.50 (list price $6.99).
It is also available through Amazon as a paperback or as a Kindle e-book, 
but if you have children or grandchildren, you may be able to find it through
Scholastic (Book Fairs or book orders forms).

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