“Every piece of writing... starts from what I call a grit... a sight or sound, a sentence or happening that does not pass away... but quite inexplicably lodges in the mind.” Rumer Godden
More than once in my life, when asked my favorite book, I've cheerfully talked way too much about a little masterpiece entitled Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, published in 1961, written for children [does this mean that you have to be a kid to read it? certainly not] by the great Rumer Godden (10 Dec. 1907~8 Nov 1998.) Ms. Godden wrote many a fine book for adults, including In This House of Brede (set in a cloistered nunnery) & Black Narcissus.
Miss H. & Miss F. is about a shy, homesick little girl, newly come to live in London with her cousins. Her empathy for "two little Japanese dolls, only about five inches high" and her determination to create a house for them draw her out of her loneliness. As if this delightful story weren't enough, there's a bunch of great info about traditional Japanese culture at the back of the book and instructions and plans for a proper Japanese doll house. Need I say more? no.