Cover image for Daisy and the doll
Daisy and the doll
Medearis, Michael.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Middlebury, Vt. : Vermont Folklife Center ; Chicago, IL : Distributed by Independent Publishers Group, [2000]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 21 x 27 cm.
Daisy, an eight-year-old black girl living in rural Vermont in the 1890s, is given a black doll by her teacher and becomes uncomfortable that her skin is a different color from that of her classmates, until she finds the courage to speak from her heart.
General Note:
Series from cover.

"A family heritage book from the Vermont Folklife Center."
Reading Level:
450 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.5 0.5 55705.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 24995 Guided reading level: M.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Little Books

On Order



Boldness and a gift for improvising verse enable eight-year-old African American Daisy Turner to triumph over an incident of discrimination in her nineteenth century rural Vermont school. Told in Daisy's voice, the book's themes of identity and self-affirmation offer a powerful lesson to today's youngsters who face similar situations of prejudice and stereotyping in twenty-first century classrooms. Suggestions on the concluding page provide creative ways for young readers to develop their own storytelling style in verse. Ages 6-10

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. Daisy's brave story offers painful truths about the role of skin color as it relates to self-esteem, and how the standard for beauty is often defined by the dominant culture. Eight-year-old Daisy must participate in an end-of-the-school-year program celebrating different countries and nationalities from around the world. Each girl in the class is given a doll to hold as she recites a poem written by the teacher. Daisy is given a "coal black" doll, causing her classmates to snicker. But helped by her father's quiet wisdom and her natural resolve, Daisy learns to appreciate her dark beauty and recites a stirring poem of her own. Although this is a fictionalized account of a true story that happened 100 years ago, it is a scene that could be played out in any American classroom today. The honest text, coupled with affecting paintings by Larry Johnson, will give children a deeper sense of what real beauty means. --Denia Hester

Publisher's Weekly Review

"The husband-and-wife authors adopt the crisp and amiable voice of eight-year-old Daisy Turner, a former slave's daughter who was born in Vermont in 1883, to relate a story based on a true incident" said PW. "Johnson's spare representational paintings capture the narrative's emotion-charged tenor." Ages 6-10. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Based on the real Daisy Turner's family stories archived in the Vermont Folklife Center, this book, set in the 1890s, is about an eight-year-old African-American girl's awakening racial awareness. For the end-of-school program featuring poems about different nations of the world, Daisy's teacher announces that a prize will be given for the best speaker. Each girl receives a doll to carry and a poem to memorize for the occasion. Daisy gets "a rag doll with a coal black face" and her poem makes her angry. When she confides in her father, he reassures her that to him she is the prettiest girl in their town. When she stands on the stage with her white classmates in her shabby school dress, for the first time Daisy feels "-ashamed of the way I looked." Instead of the poem her teacher had written, the child makes up a new one on the spot-a proud, defiant poem that startles the audience but earns her first prize for "the most original and honest presentation." Though the storytelling suffers from a didactic tone, the book is a historically accurate period piece. The composition and execution of the impressionistic paintings seem disappointingly uneven at times. Still, pair this unique tale with Alan Govenar's Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper's Daughter (Jump at the Sun, 2000) for an authentic, child-centered look at the black experience around the turn of the 20th century.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.