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Barbara McClintock
Word Play: Picture this
Word Play: Picture this

Francesca Lia Block's quintessentially Los Angeles spirit animates her fictional worlds, where incongruous things coexist and love bridges the most impossible chasms. Pearls and mosh pits. Fairies and soldiers. "House of Dolls" (HarperCollins: $15.99, ages 9-12) is, appropriately for a story named for a girl's plaything, a miniaturized version of Block's novels. (Note the age level designation, 9-12; although the story is accompanied by Barbara McClintock's drawings, "House of Dolls" is not a picture book for little girls.) In a Victorian dollhouse belonging to a girl named Madison Blackberry live three dolls. Wildflower, an elegant creature with real...

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