The Christmas Doll: A Repair Shop Story

Candlewick. Sept. 2023. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536231366.
Gr 2-4–The first in “The Repair Shop” picture book series, which explores the stories of real toys that get fixed after being well-loved. Susie has to evacuate WWII London to live with the Russell family in the country. On Christmas morning, Susie wakes up to a beautiful doll that she names Lizzie. The doll the Russells give Susie becomes her constant companion and most cherished toy. Wanting to pass Lizzie on to the next generation, Susie needs help getting the doll repaired. Sparkes’s story builds on the wholesome idea that a beloved toy can bring comfort and joy to multiple generations. The mixed-media artwork is colorful, realistic, and historically appropriate, filling the entire pages with each scene design. The story may be a little cumbersome for younger readers due to the length of the paragraphs; it is more of a read-aloud tale. Back matter includes the true story of the Christmas doll and information about The Repair Shop British TV show.
VERDICT A feel-good historical story to pair with Wendy Meddour’s Lubna and Pebble and Mary Eisenhart’s A Place to Hang the Moon.

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