Sunday, March 3, 2013

Meet Skye

Meet Skye

Meet Skye Penderwick: the newest doll to join our family and a character in our current favorite series of chapter books, The Penderwicks.  Since Skye was finished yesterday morning, she has not left Ellen's side.  We started her last weekend, using this pattern from Hillary Lang's shop.  I find it quite humorous to look back at the lovely pictures in Hillary's pattern, because our Skye looks so very different from Hillary's dolls . . . but I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let me explain.  

Skye Penn

It started with the Penderwicks.  We listened to the first book as an audio CD from our library, and we were hooked.  The second book was quickly checked out and consumed.  Now we are on the third book.  We are trying to savor this one because although the author, Jeanne Birdsall, assures readers that there are two more Penderwick books to come, the next one won't be out until 2014.  

I don't remember Amabel begging me to "read a chapter!" of any book as often as she does of the Penderwicks.  When we had friends over last night, Amabel suggested that we tell them the whole story of the Penderwicks during dinner so that we could all read the next chapter together afterward.  I love the way that these books have come to life in Amabel's consciousness; she talks about the characters as if they are close friends.  And I'm surprised how much Ellen absorbs as well.  Just when I think she isn't paying attention, she'll pipe up with a curious question.  Honestly, I'm not sure what we're going to read when we've finished the third book.  (What are your favorite children's books for the younger set?  Any suggestions?)

A true testament to a good book, in my opinion, is when Amabel and Ellen start naming dolls and animals after characters in the story.  Last weekend we were all set and ready to begin making a doll—pattern traced, all materials on hand—when I realized that we didn't have quite enough of the body fabric I'd planned to use.  But the girls (and I) were too excited to wait for the "right fabric," so we rummaged around in our box of felted sweaters and found a large, soft cashmere cardigan.  Would it work?  We decided to experiment.  And then when the doll looked just like a giant peanut (limbs yet to be attached), the girls started calling it Skye Penderwick.  Well, we couldn't possibly abandon her after that.  

As we worked on the doll over the past week, Amabel did a fair amount of cutting, stitching, and stuffing.  She also set up a beauty parlor for necessary hair trimming—the very last step, which she completed on her own.  Even though the final result is a bit more lumpy and fuzzy than I'd envisioned, Ellen loves her doll, and that is what matters.  Only now, of course, we have to make Rosalind.  And Jane.  And Batty.  (The three other Penderwick sisters.)  Oh, and don't forget Hound, their dog.  But maybe I can convince Harry to play that part?

E Laughs

Harry Arrives

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