Doll houses are cute, right? WRONG. Do a quick search for doll house stories, and you are bound to come up with one of the scariest books (of my childhood, at least): The Dollhouse Murders, by Betty Ren Wright. Amy and her sister Louann move to an old farmhouse with their aunt Clare, where the inhabitants of a dusty dollhouse in the attic start to move around at night, revealing clues about a grisly family secret.
Doll Bones, by Holly Black, is about three friends, Zach, Poppy and Alice, who are on the verge of leaving their doll-playing years behind. They are drawn together for a midnight mission involving a creepy China doll with a strange pull and the crushed bones of a dead girl who yearns to be laid to rest.
However, for every Chucky there is a Tottie, as in Tottie Plantagenet, from Rumer Godden's classic The Doll's House. A doll who is not cruel or twisted, but well-rounded and caring. Three of my favourite more cheerful doll tales are The Doll People, by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, brilliantly illustrated by Brian Selznick (pre-Hugo Cabret), The Doll Shop Downstairs, by Yona Zeldis McDonough, and The Paper Dolls, by Julia Donaldson.
So, what do you think? Do doll houses make you go, "Aaaaarrrgh!" or "Awwwww"? If you can't decide, drop by Lillian H. Smith branch to see the Osborne Collection's new doll house. Do you think these dolls move around at night after all of the library patrons have gone home?
I certainly don't want to stay around to find out . . .