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Book Review: The Cat in the Doll Shop by Yona Zeldis McDonough, and Heather Maione (Illustrator)

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The Cat in the Doll Shop by Yona Zeldis McDonough is a fictional book aimed at the younger crowd. This book is a sequel to The Doll Shop Downstairs.

Anna, whose family owns a doll shop, discovered a cat in the yard behind the store. What made it even more exciting is that the cat is about to have kittens.

Meanwhile, the whole family is looking forward to meeting their cousin, Tania, who is coming from Russia while her mother stays behind to work. Anna is excited because Tania is the same age – but the new cousin doesn’t respond to the warm welcome the way Anna imagined.

The Cat in the Doll Shop is an interesting book which manages to capture the lives of a Jewish family of immigrants vividly and colorfully, bringing them to life. The time period, post-World War I, is also captured with the same attention to detail in which the story is told.

This is a simple and honest book exploring issues which might seem too grownup, but it’s a fascinating and important book for kids and parents to explore together. What better way there is to explore complex subjects with children than fiction?

I liked The Cat in the Doll Shop but I’m not the target audience so I read it to my daughter (7) to see how she likes it. I’m glad to say she loved the book (the rating is hers as well as mine). She even agreed to help me out with questions for Ms. McDonough for the Author Q&A for which the author generously provided answers.

The Cat in the Doll Shop was not only a book I enjoyed reading, but that my daughter enjoyed listening to – and times like those, my friends, are priceless.

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