When we were in Maine, we all had great fun rediscovering some of our old favorite children's books. Not only are many of my own childhood books still on my parents' bookshelves, but many books from my oldest's early childhood have made their way there as well. I deliberately brought very few of our books with us, knowing the kids would appreciate the variety.
I was charmed all over again by the original Little Golden Books. One I had forgotten was the sweet story of Kitty's New Doll. (We read the version with the original illustrations, but the new edition available now seems equally charming, and the story is unchanged.) In it, Kitty surprises her mother by declining a doll with all the latest features, and instead selects a simple rag doll, preferring to use her own imagination to animate her new friend. Lovely.
And so my five-year-old started talking about making a rag doll. She made it very clear that a) she had to be a cat (like Kitty's), and b) her face and clothes had to be painted on, just like the rag doll in the story.
She drew the pattern on paper, I cut it out and machine sewed it, and she stuffed it and painted it.
Her very own simple, imagination-powered doll. Like Kitty's, but even better.