153
March 3, 2000

Dolls

Stories of what people are playing at when they play with dolls.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks about the human urge to turn something inanimate into something that's alive, about the moment Pinocchio stops being a concoction of wood and string and becomes a real boy. He chats with Ronn Lucas, a ventriloquist, about moments when his dummies have seemed alive enough to surprise him. (5 minutes)

Thank Heaven For Little Girls — Made Of Plastic

The story of a company trying an experiment at marketing dolls to little girls:A new kind of doll store near Chicago's Magnificent Mile called "American Girl Place." The company has figured out all the ways little girls love dolls and they're trying to sell to nearly every one of those desires. Susan Burton reports that it's as if they've settled into a perch inside little girl's dreams and are selling from there. (14 minutes)

The Boy Who Would Be A Helicopter

Kindergarten teacher and "Genius Grant" recipient Vivian Paley is the author of many books about the stories children invent and the way they play, and what it's about. At a time when schools are cutting back on having a doll corner, she tells the story of a child in her class who was sort of saved by a doll, and the story he told about the doll. For more, read Paley's The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter and Boys and Girls: Superheroes in the Doll Corner. (16 minutes)
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