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Northern California Children's Book Award Winner


From Elisa:

THE APPLE DOLL grows organically out of my deepest roots.  My mother and grandmother , both masters at animating art materials, brought clay and metal, ink and paint to life in fresh, inventive ways. Like many children, I also liked animating everything around me, from the clay and paper I’d turn into characters to the apples I’d draw faces on and later dry, just like Lizzy does in THE APPLE DOLL.

To see a lovely blog post about THE APPLE DOLL, and get creative tips for how to use the book at home and  school, please click on this link to the web site Kidsbook Friends.

A few jolly, and very old, apple friends, made by my children when they were small. Click here to see directions for making your own apple doll.


Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007

Lizzy loves the big apple tree in her yard. So when the first day of school comes, she picks a beautiful apple, turns it into a makeshift doll she names Susanna, and takes it along to keep her company. But her teacher tells her that dolls aren’t allowed at school. Even worse, her sister says that Susanna won’t last forever. Then Lizzy’s mom shows her a way to turn Susanna into a dried  apple doll. And with the help of Susanna the Apple Doll, Lizzy overcomes her shyness at school and makes plenty of new, human friends to bring home to play in her beloved apple tree. 

Instructions for making an apple doll just like Susanna are included!


“A plot summary does little to recreate the charm of this delightfully well-written picture book. Like the first illustration of the apple tree, where Lizzy lies happily on a branch surrounded by birds, cats, and squirrels, the pictures teem with life and intriguing details, but have at their heart the clear expression of the character’s emotions...”

--Booklist, starred review


“Kleven’s lovely mixed-media collage illustrations, especially those that depect the four seasons and Lizzy’s neighborhood and school, are filled with eye-catching detail and activity. A sweet story about accepting change, working together, and forming new friendships.”

 -- School Library Journal  


"[Kleven's] at her best here..."  

 --Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

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