Stuve-Bodeen, Stephanie. Elizabeti’s Doll. Illustrated by Christy Hale. Lee & Low, 1998. ISBN 1-880000-70-9. $15.95. 32 pp. All PB Reviewed by Gabi Kupitz Elizabeti, a little Tanzanian girl, has a new baby brother, Obedi. As she watches her mother care for the newest member of the family, Elizabeti wants her own baby to hold and to hug. Because she doesn’t have a doll or the means to acquire one, Elizabeti eventually settles on a round rock which she names Eva. With Eva, Elizabeti mimics her mother, who bathes, washes, burps, and diapers Obedi. Elizabeti’s doll evokes a friend’s ridicule, but even the friend is inspired to find a rock and claim it as her own doll. After taking care of her chores, Elizabeti is distraught when Eva can’t be found. She searches among various rocks, and well-meaning relatives present her with Eva replacements, but these rocks are just rocks. Just before dinner, while putting the rice pot on stones that surround the fire pit, Elizabeti realizes that one of the stones isn’t a stone it’s Eva! After a bit of polishing to remove the dirt, Eva is as good as new and Elizabeti is reunited with the doll she loves to hold and to hug. A simple story of loving family ties and the imagination of children, this book features mixed media illustrations that are true to the text, but could stand on their own. A delightful and charming look at the Tanzanian culture and emotions common to the entire human family.
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