Betsy has received an invitation to a birthday party that will give prizes to the oldest, best-dressed, and most talented dolls. Betsy has four dolls and three fit all those categories but she chooses to bring the fourth doll, Jennifer, with taped cheeks, a cracked nose, and tattered dress. She knows she won't win any prizes but takes her anyway because she loves her the most out of her dolls. She never says this out loud, but cleans the doll up and brings her with to the party. She watches three girls win a prizeand unemotionally thinks about her dolls at home that would have won the prize. Her reactions of kissing Jennifer and looking at Jennifer's "smile" show a child that is content with her choice. Betsy reveals she is not a show-off and her actions toward her doll show character traits of loyalty and friendship, something she can transfer in social situations as she grows older and develops her sense of self.
The mother hosting the party recognizes Betsy's well-loved doll and makes a medal that she pins to its dress. The other girls start to talk about their dolls at home that look like Jennifer, but that they obviously didn't bring. Betsy responds by kissing her doll. The black and white illustrations have a splash of pink on pages that give it a timeless feel. They remind me a little of the Madeline illustrations by Ludwig Bemelmans. The book was first published in 1962 and is 64 pages. It is a quick read. Good for ages 5-8.