The Lost Doll Part I

Painting 'The Lost Doll'

‘The Lost Doll’ painted by Tom Lovell

“My child is inconsolable. Please can you help me?” About once a month we get these desperate calls. A child has lost a beloved doll.

Or like this email from just after Christmas:

“You guys are life savers. My daughter had one of your cloth dolls that was left in a rental car. She has cried for 4 days. Continue with the business of doll making. Your dolls are so darling. I am certain that she will cherish this new one forever.”

We had the right African American rag doll in our store; order placed and doll delivered… Happy Ending.

But not all lost baby doll stories have happy endings, unfortunately, throughout our years in the doll industry, we’ve heard lots of sad stories about ‘The Lost Doll.’

‘Little lost dolly’ is not a new phenomena, here’s a somewhat famous poem called ‘The Lost Doll’ written by the English poet Charles Kingsley over a hundred years ago:

I once had a sweet little doll, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world;
Her cheeks were so red and white, dears,
And her hair was so charmingly curled.
But I lost my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day;
And I cried for her more than a week, dears,
But I never could find where she lay.

I found my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day;
Folks say she is terribly changed, dears,
For her paint is all washed away,
And her arms trodden off by the cows, dears,
And her hair not the least bit curled;
Yet for old sakes’ sake, she is still, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world.

Next week in part two, we’ll offer some advice on what to do if your child loses a her favorite doll.

The Lost Doll Part III – Edward Tulane

In my previous posts I talked about one of the very few downsides of being in the doll business… the fact that children love their dolls so passionately, and the sad fact that occasionally they get lost, and that very often we can do nothing to alleviate the child’s pain.

In today’s post, however, I would like to introduce you to our favorite ‘lost doll story:’  the wonderful book written by Kate DiCamillo, with the beautiful illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Edward Tulane

the china rabbit doll known as Edward Tulane

If you are not familiar with the story, Edward is a China Rabbit doll, who is accidentally lost at sea, eventually resurfaces, and his many miraculous adventures as he passes from hand to hand over the next twenty years. It is an enchanting story, and one of our favorite ‘Dolls in Literature’ books ever, for the story is told from the point of view of the doll.