The Doll Shop Downstairs

The Doll Shop Downstairs

5.0 12
by Yona Zeldis McDonough
     
 

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Nine year old Anna and her sisters like helping out in their parents' doll repair shop, because once their chores are done, the fun can begin. The girls are allowed to play carefully with the dolls until they're fixed and ready to be returned to their owners. But when World War I begins, and an embargo on German-made goods threatens to put the shop out of business, it

Overview

Nine year old Anna and her sisters like helping out in their parents' doll repair shop, because once their chores are done, the fun can begin. The girls are allowed to play carefully with the dolls until they're fixed and ready to be returned to their owners. But when World War I begins, and an embargo on German-made goods threatens to put the shop out of business, it's up to Anna to come up with an idea to save the day.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
-Mix one part Rumer Godden+s The Story of Holly and Ivy and many parts Sydney Taylor+s All-of-a-Kind Family and you create a standout family-and-doll story.+-Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Publishers Weekly
Taking loose inspiration from the true-life story of the late Madame Alexander, whose New York–based company has been producing dolls since 1923, McDonough (The Doll with the Yellow Star) fashions a wholesome tale of a Russian-Jewish immigrant family on New York's Lower East Side in the early 1900s. The Breittlemanns live above their doll repair shop, where Papa restores porcelain dolls, Mama repaints the faces, and sisters Sophie, Anna and Trudie help however they can, taking special pleasure in playing with unclaimed broken dolls. When WWI begins and needed doll parts can no longer be had from Germany, middle daughter Anna comes up with the idea of making cloth dolls. McDonough tells the story in nine-year-old Anna's straightforward, sympathetic voice, accurately presenting relevant historical details as well as the emotional complexities of sibling relationships. Reminiscent of the All-of-a-Kind Family series, the book distinguishes itself both by its foundation in doll history and its authentic depictions of imaginative play. Maione's (Princess Bess Gets Dressed) lighthearted line drawings only vaguely suggest the era, and the characters' cartoonish features do little to illuminate their personalities, but the lively illustrations have little-girl appeal. Ages 7–11. (Sept.)
Booklist
This short, appealing chapter book is reminiscent of Taylor's classic All-of-a-Kind Family series
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
What is it like to live in a doll shop? Anna and her family live in a doll hospital. Anna's father, who repairs dolls, orders new doll parts from Germany. When World War I strikes, it is no longer possible to order these parts from the factory in Germany. How will the family survive now? Anna, age nine, comes up with the brilliant idea of making and selling dolls. The Breittlemanns sell Nurse Nora, a doll that is reminiscent of women serving overseas. The doll is picked up by FAO Schwartz, one of the most famous toy stores in the world, and orders quickly pour in. Soon the family has a booming business making and selling dolls. This story is loosely based on the childhood of Beatrice Alexander, the founder of the world famous Madame Alexander Doll Company. Young readers will enjoy this well-written, charming tale which takes place in New York City, circa 1915. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Anna's father repairs dolls for a living with parts he special orders from Germany. Their family lives above the shop and the nine-year-old and her sisters help with chores. In their spare time, they make up games to play with the dolls waiting to be repaired. Of course, each girl has a favorite. When war breaks out (an author's note says it is World War I and describes the embargo), Anna's father can no longer get his parts and the shop begins to suffer. He starts returning the dolls he can't repair, and soon there are only six left. Then Anna comes up with the idea to create new ones, and her Nurse Nora is a success. With business looking better, the only thing the girls have left to worry about is whether or not the owners of their favorite broken dolls will return to claim them. This slow but sweet tale has an old-fashioned feel and is based on a true story. Readers who stick with it will be happy with the ending.—Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Mix one part Rumer Godden's The Story of Holly and Ivy and many parts Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family and you create a standout family-and-doll story. It's 1914 New York City, and Anna, the middle daughter of a doll repairman, helps her parents save their business and helps her sisters become better sisters, too. The war makes it impossible to find the German-made supplies needed to repair the dolls in the Breittlemanns' shop, so Anna suggests they create new dolls, resulting in Nurse Nora. When the doll buyer from F.A.O. Schwartz discovers Nurse Nora, a new family business is born. Fascinating historical details of life on the Lower East Side mesh with the day-to-day routines of these Jewish sisters as they learn to get along with each other through work and play. Maione's charming black-and-white illustrations reflect the nostalgic tone and make the book manageable for new readers. A fascinating author's note lets readers in on a little secret-the birth of the Madame Alexander dolls was the inspiration for this story. (Historical fiction. 7-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142416914
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
08/04/2011
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
698,310
Product dimensions:
4.84(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

-Mix one part Rumer Godden+s The Story of Holly and Ivy and many parts Sydney Taylor+s All-of-a-Kind Family and you create a standout family-and-doll story.+-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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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The Doll Shop Downstairs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! It's the perfect book for young girls and old girls and all inbetween girls! It is sooo well written! Please buy this book for yourseelves and enjoy a good read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please write a story on greek mytholgy and title the post SCALET LETTER!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Help us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sad and sweet story about children. The cover was decieving and not attractive to the real work between the pages. This is a well written, strong book about values and family. I enjoyed it very much. Another book that I would highly reccommend for a women's book club.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it so adorable .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is perfect for ANY doll lovers (like myself).so cute and so well written. I recommend this book for everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it Mrinalini.s w
Paul Nourbash More than 1 year ago
This looks like about the cutest book ever I want this book to read to my little sister (but also for my self) Im nine i love to read trust me get this book so cute Reccomended for ages 4-12 - book club reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
marciaruth More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for our grandchildren but also for myself. I like dolls. I grew up in New York which is where the story takes place. We've all enjoyed the book immensely. The story is delightful. We all liked the family, the doll hospital which was the first in America, the activities the girls joined in, the picnic in Central Park and the visit to FAO Schwarz especially. We liked finding out after we read it, that it was almost a true story. The illustrations are particularly delightful and not the usual sort.