A Labor Of Love: Harriet And The Little French Doll


The treasured story of Harriet and the Little French Doll has been passed down from my grandmother Harriet to my mother Shirley and finally to me. The events in the story, which take place over three Christmases, really happened to my grandmother when she was a young girl in the early 1900s.

In 1944, she typed the story, drew and painted illustrations for it, and handmade her own little book, complete with a cloth cover, and gave it to her daughter Shirley for her seventh birthday. Today, I’m proud to be the current keeper of the original book. The first half of the story introduces readers to all eighteen members of Harriet’s doll family (she loved dolls!), and the second half features the very special little French doll.

With an eye toward making the story available to others, I decided to recreate it using Amazon’s Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. I designed the book in Microsoft Publisher, with some minor text edits, and the addition of a foreword and an About the Author page. I included all of the original art, which I had snapped photos of and transferred to my computer. Surprisingly, the art required very little touching up. Then I converted the document to PDF and uploaded it into the Kids’ Book Creator, which saved it as a file on my computer.

After that, I opened Kindle Direct Publishing and followed the instructions to complete the book. This was my first time using Kindle Direct Publishing and I discovered there is a bit of a learning curve. But I sorted everything out, and now I’m pleased to report that a Kindle version and a paperback version of Harriet and the Little French Doll are now available on Amazon.

My grandmother was a special person. She lived with my family since before I was born and helped to raise my five siblings and me. I have many fond memories of time spent with Gramma. And I remember, too, that she was always writing, either with typewriter or pen.

She was very talented, both artistically and as an author. She was a self-taught poet who wrote her first poem at the age of 11. She went on to write hundreds of poems over her lifetime. Many appeared regularly in magazines and newspapers, including Ideals, which, to this day, often still publishes her poetry in its special Christmas issue. I know without a doubt that I inherited the writer’s gene from her.

Image19_Harriet (Age 11)

My grandmother Harriet at age 11 with the little French doll (on the right)

My purpose for recreating my grandmother’s story, Harriet and the Little French Doll, is to share a tiny bit of her life and talent with the world.

17 thoughts on “A Labor Of Love: Harriet And The Little French Doll

    • Thanks so much, Rosie! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I look back now on the time I spent with my grandmother. How I took it for granted then. Funny how we can appreciate people and things more after we’ve grown up and they’ve gone. I sure wish I could talk to her now and find out more stories about her life.

      I had dolls growing up too, but I admit I loved my plush animals just a bit more than the dolls. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you about taking that time for granted. Yes, so many times I wished I would of asked those questions. When you’re young, you don’t think of these things though.
        You are keeping your grandmother’s memory alive by making this special story and book. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Oh My Gosh! Lauri! This is a priceless gem of a story. I just bought the Kindle version and I’m going to order the print copy to share with my 4-year old granddaughter. Your grandmother was a gifted writer and artist…I am so happy you brought this book to life for all of us to enjoy!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Vivian! I have always felt that the story was worth sharing, but never had the means to do so until now. I love that the story resonates with you. I truly hope your little granddaughter likes it too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely story about a family heirloom to treasure. How wonderful you are now able to publish your grandmother’s story. Like Vivian, I have purchased my Kindle copy and am looking forward to reading it as soon as it is finished downloading. Thank you for sharing and enriching our lives.
    Thank you also for sharing the process of publishing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pamela Love says:

    I just bought and read this book today, and I think it’s so sweet. It reminds me a little of the story of Corduroy. I was so pleased you had a photo of Harriet and “Evelyn” at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

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