The book our daughter chose to take to school this year was Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden, a story of a motherless little girl, Nona, and two Japanese dolls – all three lonely, miserable, displaced and searching for home. In lovingly creating a Japanese dolls house for the two dolls, Nona finds belonging and acceptance among family and friends in her own new home.
There is something deeply satisfying about making a house for a doll, (however simple!). Perhaps it is the making of a whole other world, or a way of discovering an ideal and practising creating the one true home we search for from our earliest days.
If you are lucky enough to find the 1961 edition of Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, as well as the wonderful illustrations by Jean Primrose you will get plans for the dolls house at the back – so you can make your own! The latest edition unfortunately omits the plans, but it is a wonderful story nonetheless. The sequel, where the dolls meet another little Japanese doll and another little girl is cheered up, is Little Plum.