After years of contributing masterpieces to the YA genre, Francesca Lia Block published a children's book in 2010 entitled House of Dolls, which was illustrated by Barbara McClintock. House of Dolls tells the story of Madison Blackberry and her beautiful doll collection that has been passed down to her by her grandmother. For the dolls, life is "small but good," but for Madison, life is empty (p.15). Her mother and father are constantly busy with their jobs and social engagements, so they've barely even noticed their daughter's loneliness. She doesn't get along with her brother, and her grandmother is more concerned about the dolls than she is about Madison. When Madison notices that the dolls are living happier, more fulfilled lives than her own, she makes a few devastating changes in the doll house.
But all Madison needs is a little love in her life to undo the terrible pain that she has caused amongst the dolls, and luckily for Madison, her grandmother has been paying more attention than she realized and knows exactly what her neglected granddaughter needs to make things right again.
House of Dolls is a "small but good" story about love and redemption that is perfectly paired with Barbara McClintock's stunning illustrations of the dolls, their majestic house, and their magnificent clothing. This book is a children's book, but I think it would be appropriate for anyone who needs to be reminded that love, compassion, and forgiveness have the power to correct our mistakes. Don't we all need to be reminded of that from time to time?