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Babushka's Doll Paperback – August 1, 1995


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Babushka's Doll + The Keeping Quilt + My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother (Aladdin Picture Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Aladdin Picture Books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Reprint edition (August 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689802552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689802553
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this vibrantly illustrated cautionary tale, a selfish girl becomes "quite nice after all" after learning a valuable lesson from a doll that comes to life. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-- When Natasha wants something, she wants it now --not after her grandmother, Babushka, has finished her chores. Babushka gets tired of this attitude, and finally goes off to the market, leaving Natasha to play with a special doll that she keeps on a high shelf. The doll comes to life and subjects Natasha to the same sort of insistent whining that Natasha used on Babushka. The girl learns her lesson and turns out "to be quite nice after all." This pedantic story is made more acceptable by Polacco's beautiful illustrations. Her expressive, Old World figures, bright colors, and charming details of a house and farm in Russia will delight readers, even if predictability makes the story less enticing than the pictures. --JoAnn Rees, Sunnyvale Public Library, CA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 41 customer reviews
I love the lesson it teaches.
Amazon Customer
My daughter had a teacher in grade school who read to her class and often chose Polacco books.
R. Wilson
The illustrations in the book are fantastic, very detailed, and colorful.
Alexandra

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Children's Books > Literature > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Multicultural"
This book's archetypal story elements (e.g., magic, a moral, intergenerational conflict) are indeed part fairy tale and myth. A young girl, overly demanding of her grandmother ("Babushka"), learns what it's like on the receiving end when her grandmother's doll comes to life and makes demands on the girl. This is not, however, typical Polacco because there's a subtle punitive quality to the doll's incessant demands and misbehavior: "'You didn't do it right," said the doll... Natasha began to cry. "I'm just a little girl," she said between sobs. I wish you were just a doll."'
However, I think that Palocco's evocation of a fairy tale (which often contain gruesome scenes, unlike the mild consequences here), and her warm, very colorful illustrations soften the doll's "vengeance." This is not "Chuckie." And in the end, her grandmother slyly tells her that she must have been dreaming (although we are led to believe that the doll really did come to life), and we are reassured that `Natasha turned out quite nice after all.'
Palocco's large, loopy illustrations are always a treasure, and here, the pencil, pen, and acrylic bring some enchantment and a sense of fun to Natasha's "lesson."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It is a book that is full of surprises. The biggest, most interesting surprise is when Natasha uses her grandmother's doll. It came to life and the doll was mean to Natasha. I loved the drawings. This story could be a lesson for us not to be mean to our mothers...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I like the book because it's not real but it seems like it could have happened in real life. It taught a lesson to Tasha. The lesson was you should realize what you're doing before you do it. Tasha didn't understand why she always had to wait for everything.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Janelle on December 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Babushka's Doll is one of my favorite Patricia Polacco books. As an elementary school teacher, I love to read a loud to the children every day. The children love this book. It is a pedagogical story of a girl who acts impatient and selfish with her grandma, her "Babushka", and the lesson she learns in this dimension. It is a multicultural tale, and it is very easy to be dramatic and use character voices when telling the story. I have read this story hundreds of times. Enjoy it! It is a gem in your home or classroom library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rosina on April 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Polacco's illustrations are vibrant and energetic, a wonderful combination of the organic with the geometric.

It's gorgeous to look at, but really, you must read this story if you have a four year old daughter. You hear a lot about the terrible twos, but nobody tells you about the f***ing fours, when kids often get demanding and try on selfishness for size. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

Sit down with that girl and read Babushka's Doll. Her eyes will be opened.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sue on September 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I taught second grade I would read this book to my students and share the collections of nesting dolls that I had at home. They always loved this story - every year - and I looked forward to reading it to my students. Now I am buying another copy for my little granddaughter and I know she will love it, too. In addition to the beautiful prose, the illustrations are rich and detailed. Don't let your child miss out on a wonderful story that will teach them both virtues and Russian culture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Berrospe on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Babushka's Doll is a very entertaining book because it let's us see how giving and demanding orders makes you feel, aswell as how being at the receiving end of all of these demands can really affect you. My daughters and I enjoyed it very much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
My children love this story, and I enjoy reading it. I particularly like the illustrations. Very accurate portrayal of rural Russia--the windows, the well... I have ordered more of her books, we enjoy this one so much.
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