Benji’s Doll

NubeOcho. Oct. 2021. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9788418133404.
K-Gr 2–Charlotte Zolotow’s illustrious William’s Doll first took on the then-uncomfortable notion that boys could be loving and nurturing, too, and might want dolls. It was a quiet, sweet book. This is the comedy version! Benji, white with brown hair, loves playing with Jenny, who has brown skin and a black bob; he shares his truck when she shares her doll. Then his parents give him his own red-haired doll. She starts out with two green eyes, but when Pablo, who also has brown skin and black hair, squeezes her too hard, one eye pops out. This is a shock to all, including Pablo. He turns up the next day to make amends, giving Benji an eye patch. All is well, and the friends now have a new game, called “Pirate Dolls.” This is laugh-out-loud funny, and just the right ending.
VERDICT With highly comic illustrations, children with good hearts, and a happy ending, this is not just another doll story.

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