Share this moving story of steadfast devotion and hope with someone you love.
It is the late 1800s. Mary Ann lives with her family in the rugged Utah territory, where she tends the vegetable garden, dips candles, and braids rags into rugs. Mary Ann has a busy life, and a special friend to share it with: her beloved homemade doll, Betty.
Betty’s wheat-filled body sits straight and tall. Her embroidered eyes never blink. Still, Mary Ann knows that Betty is always paying attention, and listening to her secrets.
But one afternoon, a sudden, fierce storm forces Mary Ann and her family into their cabin before the young girl can retrieve her doll from the garden. By the time the wild wind and rain subside, Betty is gone. Heartbroken, Mary Ann refuses to give up searching for her best friend. Then one day, when winter turns to spring, Mary Ann spies a familiar shape growing as a patch of slender grass near the bottom of a hill...
An afterword by the author reveals the story of the real-life Mary Ann and her doll, the inspiration for The Wheat Doll.
Where to buy: Amazon, Barnes&Noble
When I was nine, I grabbed a stack of type paper (that's what it was called back then), stapled it three times down the edge, and told my brother, "I'm going to write a book." This first attempt was called, "The Hidden Doll Mystery" and featured a pretty dumb thief who left clues behind as to where he'd stashed the goods. I've been writing one thing or another ever since.
Writing isn't the only thing I love. I enjoy doing things with my hands like knitting and sewing. I wish there were enough time in life that I could learn all the old crafts like glass blowing, weaving and spinning. I have a bachelor's degree in French. And if I were ever transported back to the Middle Ages, I would want to work on the stained glass for the rosace window in the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
My biggest joys in life, though, are my family and my faith. I have a husband, three children and a cat named Indy, who's a mighty hunger of voles.
As a 1980 graduate of The Ringling School of Art and Design, Bill Farnsworth has spent the last thirty years creating paintings for magazines, advertisements, children’s books, and fine art commissions of portraits and landscapes.
Born in Norwalk Connecticut in 1958, Bill spent most of his life in New Milford Connecticut painting landscapes of the rural area, while supporting himself and family with his growing illustration career.
A Signature member of The Oil Painters of America and The American Society of Marine Artists, Farnsworth’s paintings have appeared in many national shows and private collections throughout the United States.
A nationally known illustrator, Bill has illustrated more than fifty books for Children, and many have won awards as well as starred reviews in Publishers Weekly.
A prolific Gallery painter, Bill has seamlessly moved into the Fine Art field where he has garnered awards of excellence from the Oil Painters of America 2006, 2007, 2011 Eastern Regional shows and the 2007 National show.
He won first place in the Fifth Biennial National Show in Punta Gorda, and won two awards for Narrative Excellence from The National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society.
Bill won Best in Show in the 2010 Cashiers paint out.
In 2010 Bill was awarded Signature Status from The American Society of Marine Artists. In 2011 he was awarded Signature Status from The Oil Painters of America.“My goal with my work is to paint what I love and convey that honestly so the viewer can feel that as well".
Bill currently lives with his wife Debbie in Venice, Florida.
In the nineteenth-century little girls that lived on farms usually had handmade dolls. Rag dolls stuffed with rags, saw dust, hay or wheat anything that was at hand.
This was the case for Mary Ann she had a lovely little doll stuffed with wheat. Her doll's name was Betty and she had pretty black satin embroidery eyes. Betty spent most of her time in Mary Ann's apron pocket. She would listen to and watch Mary Ann do everything. Like making candles and work in the garden. She went everywhere with Mary Ann because they were best friends and best friends kept secrets. Then one day during a bad storm Betty got separated from Mary Ann. Mary Ann was very sad and never stopped looking for Betty.
Was Mary Ann ever able to be reunited with Betty? I hope you will buy the book to find the answer.
This is a lovely story. The author heard a friend tell about one of their ancestor's real life story of Mary Ann and her wheat doll. That was when the author decided to write the story of THE WHEAT DOLL. What a wonderful thing she did by writing this story so everyone can enjoy the tale of the little girl and her wheat doll.
The illustrator did a beautiful job in capturing Mary Ann and her little wheat doll. You can see the sorrow Mary Ann experienced over being separated from Betty in the illustrations.
This is a story you will want to share with everyone young and old.
I highly recommend this book.
I rated this book 5 out of 5.
I received a free book from Peachtree Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
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