I love toys, books, and movies that are mostly intended for children but are also fantastic for adults. When I was a kid, The Muppet Show was one example of that. My mom enjoyed watching it as much as we did. These days, many companies prefer to sanitize their offerings, so it’s harder to find something that appeals to all ages. And sometimes we have to get creative.
Literary Paper Dolls by Kyle Hilton (who also makes Art History Paper Dolls), published by Chronicle Books, is a fun way to play paper dolls with your kids (or, frankly, by yourself) that will amuse and stimulate your more mature sensibilities. Probably designed mostly for grown-ups, it also offers plenty of discussion opportunities with your kids.
Including many classic and some slightly more recent authors, each page has a main doll or dolls (in the case of the Brontës) with clothing and accessory options that will delight. Some also have additional, supporting people. William Shakespeare has an extra head for him to be able to play the female roles (which was customary at the time). F. Scott Fitzgerald’s page includes his wife and a spilt glass of wine. Jack Kerouac’s page has the heads of other beat poets. Edgar Allen Poe’s includes a Tell-Tale Heart. Franz Kafka’s page includes several swap-out heads of him turning into a bug. And, my favorite, Jane Austen’s page includes a full dance card and a change of clothes (and hair) for a ball.
The book includes 16 pages of literary masters and their accoutrements. Whether you cut out all the elements and play with them as intended, peruse the book and chuckle frequently, or decide to frame some of the pages for your wall, Literary Paper Dolls will amuse you and your friends (and hopefully your children). The book even lists the authors in the front as a sort of curriculum. Perhaps a list of classic literature based on the included authors would be a great place to start a high school homeschool literature class.
Note: A copy of the book was provided for review purposes.