Kid Canon

dare wright

I’m obsessed with kids’ books that use photography rather than illustration. Someone turned me on to the Lonely Doll series by Dare Wright, which creates poignant narratives using teddy bears and dolls. Needless to say I quickly picked up the three books, which are re-issues from the 60s. I can’t get over how Dare, who shot and wrote the books, was able to create such mood and emotion in these pictures. I mean, look at Edith–the guilt on her face is so palpable!

dare wright edith cover

dare wright teddy bear

dare wright edith on chair

dare wright edith runs away

Recently I was at a flea market, and saw this original Take Me Home, and snatched it up. I think I paid 50 cents for it, and then when I looked online, I saw it for upwards of $40. If you see a cheap Dare Wright book in hard-back, buy it!

Dare wright take me home book

dare wright take me home crow and doll

dare wright take me home

Here are some covers from some of her other books. Now some say they find these images a little creepy, and actually, there was a period when my daughter wasn’t into them. But now that she’s almost 8, she really likes them, and tries to copy the style, taking her own pictures with her own dolls and animals.

dare wright book covers

dare wright book covers


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Comments (2)


  1. I was OBSSESSED with The Lonely Doll when I was in kindergarten! But I didn’t own the book – I had to get it from the library. And I didn’t know I could ask a librarian to find it for me. So each visit, I went on this fervent search, combing all the shelves for those haunting photos. So glad to see you unearthing it!

  2. I was so happy when the Lonely Doll was reissued (my eldest, now 15, was maybe 2 or 3). But the spanking! I was so upset! How did I not remember that?

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