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Monday, January 9, 2017

Minnie Saves the Day

Minnie Saves the Day by Melodye Benson Rosales (Little, Brown, 2001). 

One day recently when I was walking around my neighborhood, I came across a Little Free Library.  

The rules stated were simple: take a book and either return it or replace it with a different book.  Looking through, an illustrated children's book stood out to me. I knew the author/illustrator from her other books, including the original three Addy books for American Girl. I decided to borrow it and I'm glad I did.


Taking place in Chicago during the Great Depression, it's about an African-American girl named Hester who receives a rag doll made by her grandmother.  She's excited because it's the first doll she owns that looks like her. She names her Minnie. We soon learn that all toys come to life when people aren't around.  When Hester's mother thinks her butter pound cake for an upcoming party is ruined, Minnie decides to help save the day. 

The book it set up as part one of a series, "The Adventures of Minnie," although unfortunately it doesn't appear that there were any other stories published. It's formatted similarly to American Girl in that it's historical fiction with a family tree of the characters in the front and some true historical facts in the back, as well as a recipe for the butter pound cake featured in the book. It's a shame there aren't more books in the series.

For more information on black dolls, read this wonderful article titled "Black is Beautiful: Why Black Dolls Matter."


  1. What an absolutely wonderful book! We loved the Addy books. It is so true that little girls need to be able to see themselves in their dolls and books. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, representation is very important! I loved all the American Girl books when I was a kid and this book reminded me of them a lot. It's a great way to learn history. I still remember historical details of the stories!