The Dollmaker of Krakow

Publisher: Walker Books

Review

Karolina enjoys her life as a seamstress in the Land of the Dolls, sewing wishes into her customers' clothing – at least, that is, until the Rats invade and threaten her peaceful existence.

Saved by a mysterious wind and transported to Poland, she forms a strong bond with a man known as the Dollmaker – only for the pair's lives to be turned upside down as World War II begins.

R. M. Romero's unique tale already feels like it could be a future children's classic, blending folklore and fairytale with the real horrors of war. And don't expect the story's magical elements to gloss over the cruelty and despair of 1940s Poland, either – in fact, The Dollmaker of Krakow is often brutal, desperate and utterly heartbreaking. It's an unusual mixture which serves to highlight the harrowing reality of the Holocaust.

Delicately written and complemented by stunning, timeless illustrations from Lisa Perrin, The Dollmaker of Krakow is an astonishing debut novel that will have a lasting impact on everyone who reads it.

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