Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goldie the Dollmaker

M.B. Goffstein published Goldie the Dollmaker in 1969. I discovered her work about ten years later in the course of shopping for children's books for my daughter.

Goldie the Dollmaker is currently out of print. Maybe it is my favorite children's book of all time. I just rediscovered my daughter's copy, now located in my granddaughter's library.

It tells the story of a dollmaker who inherited the craft from her parents.

Each doll she makes is like no other doll. She searches the forests for pieces of wood that hold the promise of good dolls.

She walks to the village and sees friends there. On the way home she stops at the curio shop of a final friend, and impulsively buys a fragile Chinese lamp from him, simply because it is so beautiful.

Her friend at home good-naturedly tells her that the purchase of the expensive lamp was foolishness. This makes her sad.

At home she dreams that the Chinese man who made the lamp is speaking to her with assurances that she is exactly the person for whom he made it, because she was the person who could understand and love it.

This makes her feel happy. Because the way he feels about his lamp is the way she also feels about the dolls she makes and then sends out into the world.

The plot is much more complicated and much better told in the real book.