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The Christmas Doll: A Repair Shop Story

The Christmas Doll: A Repair Shop Story

Illustrated by Katie Hickey


The Christmas Doll: A Repair Shop Story

About the Book

A little girl in wartime England finds that a simple act of generosity and kindness changes her life forever in this heartfelt holiday book based on a popular British TV show.

Susan is very young when she’s evacuated from London during World War II and sent to live in the countryside with a family she has never met. Uncertain of her new surroundings and desperately missing home, she holds out little hope for the months ahead. Then, on Christmas Day, she receives a doll that she names Lizzy. It is the best present she’s ever had. Only decades later, when Susan and her great-granddaughter Evie bring the precious doll in for repairs—and Susan narrates the tale of her tumultuous childhood—does she realize the true meaning and scope of the gift she received that long-ago Christmas morning. From the bustling endpapers showing the repair team at work restoring a legacy to glowing illustrations evoking nostalgia and warmth, this cozy tale based on an episode of the British TV series The Repair Shop is a festive read-aloud to share at the holidays.

Product Details

On sale: September 26, 2023
Age: 7-9 years
Grade: Grades 2-4
Page count: 32 Pages
ISBN: 9781536231366

Author Bio

Amy Sparkes is the author of The House at the Edge of Magic, The Tower at the End of Time, and the Pirate Blunderbeard series. She lives in the UK.

The Repair Shop is a British television series that airs on Discovery + in the US. Host Jay Blades and some of Britain’s most skilled restoration experts repair broken or damaged family heirlooms brought to their shop by members of the public, who share the personal stories behind the items.

Katie Hickey is the illustrator of Bess the Barn Stands Strong by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia, about which Kirkus Reviews commented that “visual treasures abound in the corners of the art.” Katie Hickey lives in the UK.


In this tale rooted in actual events, a treasured Christmas gift is repaired and ready to be loved by a new owner. . . . Though many children will be drawn in by the holiday theme and the focus on a toy, the narrative will also expose them to a potentially unfamiliar chapter of history. Sue’s love for her doll is evident in the artwork, which also helps immerse readers in the World War II setting. . . . An engaging story full of both intergenerational appeal and Christmas cheer.
—Kirkus Reviews

Inspired by a woman who told her story on the British TV series The Repair Shop, this is the first picture book in The Repair Shop series. The narrative moves along well, and the colorful mixed-media illustrations capture the warmth and joy of the holidays. This picture book honors family affection and memories that last a lifetime.

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. . . A feel-good historical story.
—School Library Journal