The Cats in the Doll Shop by Yona Zeldis McDonough

This was a sequel to the absolutely charming The Doll Shop Downstairs. It’s a children’s chapter book, so I feel slightly guilty including it in my annual total of books read, but not too much.  It’s set in 1917 in New York and after the first book Papa and Mama have turned to making their own dolls in the doll shop (and selling them to FAO Schwartz!) The happy family has two bits of drama in this story. First, their cousin Tania comes over from Russia to live with them. Tania is frightened and doesn’t speak English.  Second, the girls find a cat that has kittens and want to take care of them and have them be pets.  Unfortunately, Papa doesn’t believe in animals in the house, because that’s the way it was in the old country.  Over time both of these plots have happy endings.
I thought this was just as charming as the first book.  I love the historical details of immigrant life, a Jewish family that makes any reader of The All of a Kind Family feel right at home, the playing with dolls, and the nice family.


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