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The Cats in the Doll Shop Hardcover – November 10, 2011
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"...a sweet and old-fashioned story, similar in style to Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family, set in World War I-era New York. Sensitive readers will relate to Anna's desire to make everything right for her cousin..." — School Library Journal, starred review
"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." — Kirkus
"...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?" — Bulletin for the Council of Children's Books
"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." — Library Media Connection
About 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.
Top customer reviews
A fun historical read.
Charming. Absolutely charming and beautiful storytelling are found within the pages of The Cats in the Doll Shop by Yona Zeldis McDonough. Generally speaking I'm not incredibly fond of historically based novels & books for one reason or another, but this story was written so well that I couldn't help but be taken in by the lovely Anna. Her parents are recent immigrants to the US and have found a way to provide for themselves by creating and selling a line of dolls to companies like FAO Schwartz. For a ten or eleven year old girl I can think of no better place to be than in a family that has a never ending supply of dolls to create and play with, making it the perfect setting for the intended audience.
Obviously Anna's family is frugal though and the story isn't simply about the dolls and the doll shop, but about their cousin Tania and the cats that accompany her arrival. Anna was so welcoming to her cousin and it was wonderful to read about not only her desire to make her feel at home but her thoughts about her two sister's feelings about Tania. It's the perfect message for a young reader, one of welcoming and comforting those who may be in need of a friend. In addition to Tania the compassion Anna shows toward a family of cats is heartwarming and in the end turns out to help not only the cats but Tania as well.
It would be a shame to fail to note the historical and religious aspects of the story in my review because both were handled incredibly well. In both cases they were so well written that they became more a part of the fabric of the story than an over-arching theme making it accessible for all varieties of readers. Anna and her family are of Jewish descent and there is even a short story about the history of Chanukah, but I never felt as though it was a boring history lesson or preachy in any way. Instead the story and the background shared throughout work to enhance Anna's character and her family making it all the more enjoyable.
The Cats in the Doll Shop by Yona Zeldis McDonough is delightful historically based middle grade fiction novel. Not only would educators benefit from sharing it with their students, but young readers will thoroughly fall in love with Anna and her charm. Though it's the second in the series it easily stands alone, but those who haven't read the first will be clamoring to get their hands on Anna's first story as well. The Cats in the Doll Shop is a story about kindness, acceptance, giving and friendship all told through the eyes of one delightful young girl who welcomes all with open arms.
Originally reviewed and copyrighted at my site, There's A Book.
Most recent customer reviews
Yes, I know. Two children's books in a row. Not my usual fare. But bear with me a moment.Read more