Almost all toys, but dolls and soft animals in particular, have a very strong emotional tug for children. They may be somebody to relate to, take out their frustrations on or comfort them as 'worry eaters'. Children are usually less concerned than adults about the realism of a doll and are happy with something approaching the outline of a real body. They do not need an object to have well-formed facial features to accept it as a doll and companion.
As a social worker in the field of paediatric oncology, Amy Jandrisevits came across many children with physical disabilities. She wondered to herself whether a child that had lost hair due to chemotherapy might not prefer to cuddle up with a doll without hair too.