Sunday, September 20, 2009

We wanted to start a new tradition.

It involves making books come alive.

Jill started this great tradition by giving me a book.

Let's see if we did a good job of making this book come to life.

I hope it has a good ending!

William wanted a doll.

He wanted to hug it and cradle it in his arms.

and give it a bottle

and take it to the park

and push it in the swing.

and bring it back home

and undress it
and put it to bed.

"How would you like a basketball?" his father said.

But William wanted a doll.

It would have blue eyes

and curly eyelashes

and a long white dress
and a bonnet
and when the eyes closed

they would make a little click.

His father brought him an electric train.

They set it up on the floor

and made an eight out of the tracks

and brought in twigs from outside

and set them in clay

so they looked like trees.

One day his grandmother came to visit.
They went for a walk together

and William said,

"but you know what I really want

is a doll."

"Wonderful," said his grandmother.

"No," William said.

"My brother says it will make me a creep

and the boy next door says I'm a sissy

and my father brings me other things instead."

"Nonsense," said his grandmother.

She went to the store and chose a baby doll
with curly eyelashes

and a long white dress
and a bonnet.
The doll had blue eyes

and when they closed they made a clicking sound

and William loved it right away.

But his father was upset.

"He's a boy!" he said to Williams grandmother.

"He has a basketball and an electric train

and a workbench to build things with.

Why does he need a doll?"

William's grandmother smiled.

"He needs it," she said,

"to hug

and to cradle

and to take to the park

so that when he's a father

like you,

he'll know how to

take care of his baby

and feed him

and love him

and bring him

the things he wants,

like a doll

so that he can

practice being a father."
--Charlotte Zolotow, "William's Doll," published 1972

Meet Bill and Jill's doll!