Erin's Reviews > The Doll Shop Downstairs

The Doll Shop Downstairs by Yona Zeldis McDonough
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's review
Dec 16, 10

bookshelves: childrens
Read in December, 2010

Absolutely wonderful! I would say this book is perfect for girls ages 7-10-ish. The story is losely based on how the Madame Alexander company began. It's about a Jewish family with 3 young girls living in the lower east side of New York City around the time of the first world war. They own a doll repair shop and live above the shop. When the United State places an embargo on all goods from Germany their father is unable to order any more parts to repair the porcelain, bisque, and china dolls.

I think this would be a great book to read aloud to your girls because there are several interesting talking points about history, religion, war, and making due when times are tight. There is also a glossary, timeline, and author's note at the end of the book that I feel would be better utilized at the front of the book.

This would make a darling gift paired with a Madame Alexander doll. (I've seen them several times at Tuesday Morning for about $25-40.00)

I'm looking forward to giving this book to my girls on book day--January 1.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Book day? Ooooo, tell me more! I want to know about Book Day!

Erin When we were younger my mom noticed that books given for Christmas were usually put aside while the toys and treats were given preference. She wanted books to be something we were excited about so she started book day on January 1. On book day we all gather around the table where my mom has a big bag filled with books. They're not wrapped. She pulls them out one by one and presents them to each of us. Some years we would get 2 or 3 each and some years we got more. By New Years Day we had usually played with all the toys and eaten our candy and were looking for something else to do. After the books were passed out, the rest of the day was quiet with each of us reading our brand new treasures. We always looked forward to book day.

message 3: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki That is brilliant! I'm going to start this!

message 4: by Yona (new)

Yona McDonough Thanks for your lovely comments about my book; warmed my heart. The sequel, THE CATS IN THE DOLL SHOP, is coming out in November. I hope you like that one too!



message 5: by Yona (new)

Yona McDonough P.S. I love the tradition of Book Day. Beautiful.

message 6: by Yona (new)

Yona McDonough Hi Erin,

Thank you for your wonderful review! Means so much to me. I wanted to let you know that there is a sequel coming out on 11/10. Here's a review from Kirkus:

In this companion book to The Doll Shop Downstairs, Anna learns the joys and challenges of adding a same-age cousin to her family.Though the sisters—9-year-old Trudie, 11-year-old Anna and new teenager Sophie—are growing up and taking on new challenges, nothing can really prepare them for the arrival of their cousin Tania from Russia. Tania’s mother has been hired as a maid, and the job does not include lodging for Tania, so Anna’s cousin will live with them for about a year, until her mother can save money for her own passage to New York City. The girls are nervous and excited about Tania’s arrival. How will she learn English? Where will she go to school? Will there be enough room? Besides waiting for their cousin, the three girls worry about the mistreated cats next door. Learning to care for the injured kitten Plucky, even when Papa absolutely will not let it live in the house, allows the girls to better understand the silent and sad Tania and eventually is the key that opens her up to her new family. Filled with references to Jewish traditions and the rich history of tenement life in New York City, these fully realized characters could be best friends with the girls from Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family.
A quiet treasure.

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