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The Doll Shop Downstairs Hardcover – September 3, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The start of World War I brought an enormous interruption to their business, since almost all the doll parts they used were imported from Germany and the United States placed an embargo on trade with Germany. When Mama started taking in sewing jobs in order to generate badly needed cash, Anna became determined to get a job and help her family. Along the way the Breittlemanns learned that taking a chance with an interesting idea could lead to some surprising outcomes.
This tender story, with its plot based on actual events, is loaded with substance. Economic themes, especially the impact of war-time scarcities on production and consumption, are delicately woven into a tale of Jewish culture, social class, and children's play. The book's subtle blend of these rich themes works well to broaden the appeal to more than just doll lovers.
All of a Kind Family, author Yona Zeldis Mcdonough gives us wholly original story about three doll loving Jewish sisters in New York City's Lower East Side. Mama and Papa run Breittlemann's Doll Repair Shop, whose sign states, "All Kinds of Dolls Lovingly Restored and Mended, Est. 1904". The story is told by middle sister, Anna, stuck between smart and grown up Sophie, age 11, and cute baby Trudy, who tries whining and crying to get her way. In a mere 107 magical pages, we are transported to the Breittleman's home and business, just before the outbreak of World War I. Dolls and doll parts, a resourceful Mama and Papa, and an appealing heroine and her sisters, are deftly drawn. Arguments among the siblings, hurt feelings, and lack of money are some of the problems that beset the family. When World War I breaks out, and an embargo is placed on importing German goods, economic problems loom; the doll repair business is in trouble. With resourcefulness, Anna surprises herself and her family by coming up with a possible solution. More than dolls are mended in this story. Anna, with the help of her encouraging mama, her pocket notebook diary and the comfort she finds in writing, mends her own heart, and finds her place in the family. Sketchy line drawings by Heather Maione convey the old fashioned ambience of the doll shop, and the active sisters in pinafores. Reading level, typeface, spacing and book length are perfect for young readers. This reviewer predicts that The Doll Shop Downstairs will become a classic. Jewish observance and values are a positive and matter of fact part of this very American story. For readers from 8-12 and as a read aloud for classrooms and families. Naomi Morse
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A charming read. Perhaps a bit predictable but entirely appropriate for the target age group. Sweet and well written.Published 3 months ago by W. Perucci
Well written page turner for all ages. An interesting look back into history, as well.Published 4 months ago by Sherri Nichols
I liked it. my favorite part was when Anna got her doll back. I am 8 years old.Published 4 months ago by gowashtheirfeet
This charming story, and its recent sequel "Cats in the Doll Shop" are sure to charm all little girls who love dolls. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Fern Amper
Perfect just as stated couldnt have been better thank you priscillaPublished 15 months ago by Priscilla
In the middle-grade historical fiction chapter book The Doll Shop Downstairs, we meet the Breittlemann family of New York City. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Janet Ruth Heller
I checked this out from the library but plan to purchase it. My 7yo daughter and I love this book; it is one of the best we have read. Read morePublished 19 months ago by landeaahcc