By Author / Illustrator
Amy Sparkes, illus Katie Hickey
Family & Home
Walker Books Ltd
Step into The Repair Shop in this magical Christmas children's tale about a very special doll. When little Susan is evacuated from wartime London and sent to live with a family in the countryside, she doesn't hold much hope for the months ahead. Then, on Christmas morning, she is given a doll and Susan thinks this must be the best present she has ever had. Yet standing here in The Repair Shop, thinking back on her childhood, she realizes that in fact the greatest gift was the kindness bestowed upon her and her ability to remember it always as she holds her precious doll close to her.
See also: The Repair Shop Stories: The Toy Bus
A lovely book telling the story of why an old toy is so special. The Christmas Doll describes how an old toy is taken to The Repair Shop to be fixed. The lady in the story then goes on to explain how she got the doll and why it is so important to her.
My daughter and I loved reading about how Susan was given her doll by the family she stayed with when she had been evacuated. My daughter had heard other stories of children being evacuated so this really captured her imagination. We talked at length about what it would feel like to be put on a train and not see your family for months. We have read the book several times as a bedtime story.
This book would also work well in a primary school classroom. Many Key Stage 1 children study old toys as a history unit and this story would help children understand how precious toys were. I loved the illustrations by Katie Hickey and will be looking for more books with drawings by this talented artist. A brilliant book for children ages five and up.
Picture book / Reviewed by Jennifer Bevan, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+