While researching dolls online, I ran across the name Hitty. My curiosity was peaked and I started researching Hitty dolls. Sometimes you just have to chase a rabbit or two, because you never know what treasure you might find. :) I found out that the original Hitty doll was the main character of a book called Hitty: Her First Hundred Years. The book was actually written in 1929 by Rachel Field, and illustrated by Dorothy Lathrop, and it is still being published today. In 1930, the book won the John Newberry Medal for the "most distinguished contribution to American Literature for Children". Rachel Field was the first woman to ever win the Newberry Medal.
Rachel Field wrote the book about an actual doll she purchased in an antique store in the 1920's, when Mehitable, nicknamed Hitty, was already over 100 years old. Wait... this book is about a one hundred year old doll's life, before being purchased in an antique store... no question, I HAD to read it! I found a copy on the Newberry shelf at my local library, and started reading it with my girls.
|Our Library Book|
The book is written as if Hitty were writing her memoirs, so Hitty is telling the story of her life and adventures as a little wooden doll. The book is a wonderful read for both young and old alike. If you like dolls, you will love this book. I am ordering my own copy to keep, because I want to be able to read it again and again, and I want to read it to my grandchildren someday when I have some! With four kids between the ages of 8 and 24, it's only a matter of time hopefully, right?
The book has 17 chapters with 207 pages. The illustrations by Dorothy Lathrop sprinkled throught the pages are just precious!
|Hitty in the woods.|
|Hitty at her writing desk.|
|Hitty with her trunk.|
I also found a dollhouse scale verson of the Hitty book, and since I'm working on a dollhouse, I had to have that version too. It is a pre-printed kit, and I'm really looking forward to putting it together when it arrives. You can see the miniature Hitty book kit at PaperMinis.com.
The original Hitty doll is a 6.25" tall peg-jointed wooden doll, who was carved from White Mountain Ash wood. No one knows who the wood carver was who actually carved her in the 1800's. After Rachel Field purchased the original Hitty doll in an antique store in the 1920's, she lived with the author in California until her death in 1942. At that time, she was sent to live with the illustrator, Dorothy Lathrop in Albany, NY. When she passed away in 1988, her family donated the Hitty doll to the Stockbridge Library Museum in Stockbridge, MA, where Rachel Field was from. If you are ever in Massachusetts, you can visit the original Hitty doll at the Library.
Once I started reading the Hitty book, and researching Hitty online, I just fell in love and wanted my own Hitty doll. But where does one get a Hitty doll? Hitty dolls are actually still being made today by various artists in a variety of different mediums including wood, resin, cloth, clay and more. Check out Pinterest to see some of the variety of different Hitty dolls being made by artists.
I'm happy to announce that I am excitedly awaiting the arrival of my Hitty. She is a hand carved wooden, jointed Hitty by Robert Raikes. She's not new, but that's ok, neither was the original Hitty. From what I've read online, Robert Raikes made Hitty dolls in 2002 and in 2005. I found her online, and she should arrive next week. Until then, I just have her picture, so here she is:
Have you ever read Hitty: Her First Hundred Years? I would definitely recommend reading this lovely book. Check it out at your local library. Libraries usually stock all of the Newberry Award winning books, so they should have a copy on the Newberry shelf. Or look inside Hitty: Her First Hundred Years on Amazon. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book and Hitty dolls.