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The Cats in the Doll Shop

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Overview


When Anna spots a cat in the yard behind her parents' doll shop, she is excited. Then she realizes the cat is about to have kittens--even better! And Anna has something else to look forward to: her cousin Tania is coming from Russia to stay with Anna's family. Anna already has two sisters, but she and Tania are the exact same age--eleven--and she imagines they will get along perfectly. But Tania doesn't respond to Anna's friendly overtures, and her sisters don't seem to like Tania at all. Luckily, Anna finds a ...
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The Cats in the Doll Shop

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Overview


When Anna spots a cat in the yard behind her parents' doll shop, she is excited. Then she realizes the cat is about to have kittens--even better! And Anna has something else to look forward to: her cousin Tania is coming from Russia to stay with Anna's family. Anna already has two sisters, but she and Tania are the exact same age--eleven--and she imagines they will get along perfectly. But Tania doesn't respond to Anna's friendly overtures, and her sisters don't seem to like Tania at all. Luckily, Anna finds a creative way to use her love of dolls and cats to bring everyone together.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Media Connection

"McDonough does a wonderful job of capturing Anna's thoughts and feelings and bringing the reader into her world. Anna's compassion for her cousin and the cats will endear her to readers. Fans of Fancy Nancy and the American Girl series will find this book delightful, and will be clamoring for a sequel."
Bulletin for the Council of Children's Books

"...a charming period piece that capitalizes on the nostalgia for its historical era without losing its emotional resonance with young readers. The black-and-white line illustrations are pleasingly romantic, primarily featuring Anna and her siblings dressed much like a certain American Girl Doll, along with the occasional furry kitty. Between the cats, the dolls, and the cozy family drama, what’s not to love?"
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This companion to The Doll Shop Downstairs (Viking, 2009) features Anna, now 11 years old. She's concerned about a mother cat and her three-legged kitten in need of a home. If only she could convince her father to change his mind about having pets in the shop. She is also worried about her cousin, a shy and skittish girl from Russia. While the doll that Anna makes for her seems to comfort Tania, there is still a lot of sadness in her cousin. Can Anna help her acclimate to her new life, or does the answer to Tania's happiness actually lie in the fate of the cat and kitten? This is a sweet and old-fashioned story, similar in style to Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family (Wilcox & Follett, 1951), set in World War I-era New York. Sensitive readers will relate to Anna's desire to make everything right for her cousin and, because the cat and kitten have a happy ending, the book is a fine choice for animal lovers as well.—Elizabeth Swistock, Jefferson Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In this companion book to The Doll Shop Downstairs (2009), 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. (Historical fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142421987
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/11/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 327,780
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Yona Zeldis McDonough is a longtime doll lover and collector. She is also an award-winning author who has published numerous books for children and adults. She presently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.
Heather Maione loved dolls when she was a child, though not quite as much as she loved to draw. The illustrator of numerous children’s books, she lives on Long Island with her husband and two children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Dvfgfftdhejdbhhdbdvfvryryuuehdurtyyyyr

    Oliver twist

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a great middle school historical

    In New York City, the letter arrives from Russia written in Hebrew informing Mama and Papa that their eleven year old niece Tania is coming to live with them as her Mama obtained a position as a maid but with no children allowed. Whereas eleven years old Anna is exhilarated with a cousin her age for at least a year until her aunt can come too; her nine years old sister Trudy and her smarty pants teenage sibling Sophie are not quite as exuberant with the prospect.

    As they anxiously wait to show their cousin their parents' store Breittlemann's Doll Shop, the three sisters tend to an injured kitten they name Plucky; Papa remains adamant no felines in his house as cats are outdoors in the old country. Tania arrives sad and lonely. Anna soon realizes her belligerent cousin is like Plucky unable to communicate and feeling lost without her Mama.

    The continuation of the early twentieth century New York Lower East Side tenant family drama (see The Doll Shop Downstairs) is a great middle school historical. The timely engaging story line is character driven by the four young girls and the intrepid cat as readers will enjoy a slice of life while learning how much immigrants have brought to this great nation.

    Harriet Klausner

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