The Doll Shop Downstairs, Doll Shop #1 by Yona Zeldis McDonough

The Doll Shop Downstairs - Yona Zeldis McDonough, Heather Maione

A sweet story about three girls growing up above their father's Doll Repair shop just before and during World War I. According to the author she used elements of the life of dollmaker Mme. Alexander to inform this story of a young girl helping her parents when war disrupts their business.


Anna is the middle child between the superior Sophie and the fussy Trudy. When they finish their daily chores they're allowed to go downstairs and play with "their" dolls. They can't afford store-bought dolls of their own, so they are allowed to choose one of the dolls waiting for repair as long as they're careful and don't take them outside. The doll they choose is "theirs" until it is fixed and goes home. War is announced in Germany and soon the parts their father needs to import from Germany to fix the dolls in the shop are unavailable. Many of the dolls are returned un-mended, except the girls current favorites. Anna has an idea of what the family can do to make a living, but will it work and can she keep her beloved doll?


This is an early chapter book with plenty of illustrations so this is good reader for a child who isn't quite ready for 'All-of-a-Kind Family' or similar historic fiction. 


Doll Shop


Next: 'The Cats in the Doll Shop'