Congratulations to author Melissa Mikel and illustrator Elena Kingsbury for telling this important story from the point of view of survivor Faigie Libman. Young people will be able to relate and explore important concepts related to racism, discrimination and exclusion, all themes experienced by victims of the Holocaust. Children will love reading and hearing the true story and teachers will enjoy sharing this well written and appropriately illustrated children's book. Enjoy!
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION,
REGINA CATHOLIC SCHOOL DIVISION
A Shirley Temple doll makes life bearable for seven-year-old Faigie Libman as she endures the struggles of life in the Kaunas ghetto in Lithuania during the Second World War and the Holocaust. Faigie's story is an important one in the compendium of true stories about the Holocaust, geared to young readers. The photographs and detailed history at the back of the book add even more context to this account. And there's a surprise and tender ending that will uplift all readers, young, and not so young.
AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN'S AUTHOR
The Doll – A Child’s Survival of the Holocaust is a sensitive introduction to a difficult subject. Mikel, with the help of beautifully illustrated pages by Elena Kingsbury, expertly tells an illustrated story of hate, discrimination and tragedy.
The Doll is a powerful lesson that will stay with a young mind and open the door for critical discussion and education related to the Holocaust and World War II.
AUTHOR of HIDDEN GOLD– A TRUE STORY OF THE HOLOCAUST
Melissa Mikel grew up on a dairy farm in Consecon, a small community in Southern Ontario’s Prince Edward County. She learned about World War II through family stories of two great-uncles who fought in Italy: one died in the Battle of Ortona, the other survived. Melissa also had a fantastic librarian in Grade 6 who suggested she read a book called The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss – a fictional story about two Jewish girls who hid from the Nazis in an attic. She devoured this book, along with every other book she could find about the Holocaust after that . . . which led her to teaching about the Holocaust . . . which led her to studying about the Holocaust for her Masters degree . . . which led her to meeting Faigie! Melissa’s mom is the dollmaker that made a new Shirley Temple doll for Faigie. Inscribed on the doll are the words, “Love lives here.”
Elena Kingsbury grew up in Maitland, a small community in Eastern Ontario where she developed a love for illustration. Her school notebooks were always filled with strange beasts and fantastical monsters. Elena is also extremely passionate about history. The Holocaust is a topic with great personal significance as her maternal grandparents both survived the Holocaust as young teenagers from Prague. This personal connection started Elena on an academic path that would lead her to Montreal where she completed her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts in History at McGill University. Elena has spent the last 4 years living in Toronto with her partner, Gaelan. By day, she teaches workshops on the Holocaust and other human rights topics to students across Ontario. At night, she draws!