The Doll Shop Downstairs by Yona Zeldis McDonough and Heather Maione

This was a fun, easy and educational read about a sweet family that lives above the doll-repair shop that they own. As immigrants, the family has adapted china repair skills they learned in their native country to fixing china dolls in America. The 3 Jewish sisters, enjoy playing with the ‘unfixable’ abandoned dolls who have not been claimed by their owners. When WWI begins, things become tense and difficult as doll parts are no longer available from Germany. Anna, the middle daughter decides she must find a way to help her family, and proposes the idea to make their own dolls. Nurse Nora, ‘born’ after some trial and error is a big success and allows the Breittlemanns to survive the difficult economic times.

I really liked that this book is loosely based on the advent of Madame Alexander dolls, which I loved to play with and look at as a child. Any lover or former lover of dolls will find this story a fun addition to the fascinating world of dolls.

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