This week's selection is the story of a girl and her doll, told in the earnest black and white photography that was a hallmark of the most terrifying examples of Nixon-era children's literature. I believe this book was published as part of a campaign by the Porcelain Doll Manufacturers Association to combat the prevailing belief that there is nothing more terrifying than a China Doll staring at you from across the room.

After their weekly visit to the zoetrope, Amy stuck her nose on the glass at C. N. Mackie's Magical Toy Depot while her mother inspected the crinoline cage she'd had repaired next door at Douglas and Sherwood's House of Hoops. "I simply must have a talking doll, Mother," Amy insisted.

"I'm truly sorry, Ma'am," the Victorian shopkeeper said. "But they won't make talking dolls for at least another fifty years or so."

"If my daughter desires a talking doll," Amy's mother said, "Then you will sell us a talking doll."

"Let me go in the back and see what I can find."

"Well Miss, they say this one talks, but from the looks of things her last guv'ness didn't like what she had to say."

"I don't care," Amy snorted. "Repair her at once."

"Yes, Miss."
"My name is Talky Tina, and I love you very much," the doll said. Children are meant to be seen and not heard, Amy grinned, lightly spanking its bottom as she walked away.

"This doll is indecent," Amy's mother said to the shopkeeper. "Dress her respectfully, something with leg of mutton sleeves, perhaps. And a cashmere shawl."

"Yes, ma'am."
"My name is Talky Tina," the doll said. "Will you play with me?"

"I'll play with you, alright," Amy whispered deviously as she left the store.

"My name is Talky Tina, and this is making me really uncomfortable, Amy."

When she tired of the game herself, Amy let the neighbor boy lift up Talky Tina's petticoats in exchange for half a pack of Beeman's chewing gum

"My name is Talky Tina. Please don't bury me under the rock cairn again."

"My name is Talky Tina and I'm afraid of heights. Please don't stick me in that tree with Silent Sam."

"My name is Talky Tina and I don't like this one bit!"

Amy just laughed.

"My name is Talky Tina, will you be my friends?"

"Silence!" Amy shouted at Tina. "Can't you see the adults are having a conversation?"

"My name is Talky Tina and I don't like figgy pudding."

"Well, you'll eat it even if I have to tie you to your bed and force it down your throat!"

In time, Amy stopped playing with her talking doll. "My name is Talky Tina, and I am lonely," she said.

Whenever she tried to speak, Amy throttled her good.

"My name is Talky Tina, and I love you," Talky Tina said to Amy on the swing.

"You're boring!" Amy shouted, and threw her in the bushes.

Talky Tina wept while Amy's former cat Mr. Fritz consoled her. "She used to put laxative powder in my tuna fish," he said while peeking his head under her petticoats.

"My name is Talky Tina and I will survive on the streets by selling matchsticks and picking the occasional pocket until I get my revenge."

One day, Talky Tina returned to Amy's house [cue creepy music box]. Now things were different. During her absence, Amy had begun treating Little Lulu the same way she had treated Talky Tina.

"My name is Talky Tina, and I am going to hurt you."

"That's right, Amy. Step right over to the edge, and just lean forward, just a little. . ."