Aug 13, 2015

Edith and Mr. Bear

A Lonely Doll story
by Dare Wright

Picture book story of a little doll who lives with Mr. Bear and Little Bear. Mr. Bear comes home from a trip and brings presents- the younger ones clamor for gifts and then argue about whose is better. But the most wonderful thing is a glass-sided clock Mr. Bear bought for himself. Edith is fascinated by the workings of the clock; Mr. Bear puts it up high out of reach. One day when no-one is around Edith climbs up to see the clock closer, and accidentally breaks it. She hides the evidence, and then lies when Mr. Bear asks who did it. She feels bad about lying, but can't admit it and feeling worse and worse, starts being horrid to her friends and can't even enjoy her own birthday party. She decides to run away, but after wandering through the streets half a day cold and lonely of course she goes home again. Mr. Bear has been frantically looking for her. She is welcomed back and finally confesses what she did, all is better now. Well, at least, she made amends. But the story continues a little and you see that Edith isn't perfect- she still does naughty things, quarrels with Little Bear and likes to brag. But she never again lies to Mr. Bear.
The photographs by Dare Wright (a woman) illustrating this story are just lovely. They're made with a real doll and teddy bears (also a live kitten in a few scenes) posing in different situations with tiny props. Although black and white they're very nice and the vintage look is charming.
There's only one picture that looks awkward to me, where Edith has just come home and is standing ashamed in the doorway. Mr. Bear is holding the door open but it looks like he is going to hit her over the head with his pipe!
Reminds me of a children's book in my daughter's collection called Carmen (black and white photos illustrating a story of a lonely girl in a city apartment). I'd like to find the others in this Lonely Doll series. I found this one at the public library, they have a few more.

Rating: 4/5         58 pages, 1964


Susan Bybee said...

One of the weirdest biographies I ever read was about Dare Wright: "The Secret of the Lonely Doll".

Jeane said...

I had never heard of her until I picked up this book at random. Have since read more reviews and yes, it does sound disturbing. Seems the other "Lonely Doll" stories tend to have disturbing images and very domineering attitude of the Mr. Bear character, too. I don't know if I'll look for any more of these.