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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book.
I bought this book hot off the presses and sight unseen just because I like matryoshka dolls, and was not disappointed. My five-year-old enjoys it very much also. Both the story and illustrations are high quality. A Russian craftsman makes the nesting doll, then ships it to a toy store America, where the littlest doll is lost. A girl buys the dolls, takes them home,...
Published on August 27, 1999

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Was ok
Published 1 month ago by nancy alvarez


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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book., August 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
I bought this book hot off the presses and sight unseen just because I like matryoshka dolls, and was not disappointed. My five-year-old enjoys it very much also. Both the story and illustrations are high quality. A Russian craftsman makes the nesting doll, then ships it to a toy store America, where the littlest doll is lost. A girl buys the dolls, takes them home, and eventually - accidentally- the littlest doll finds her sisters again in a rather implausible ending. Anyone who has ever loved a matryoshka doll will appreciate the story (those little ones do get lost easily)! The illustrations are brightly colored and realistic. Overall, an appealing book to own or give as a gift.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and fun introduction to Russian nesting dolls, April 29, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
Although the set of coincidences leading to the happy ending is far-fetched enough to raise a toddler's eyebrows, this sweet story extolling the sisterhood bond is a favorite in our home. The matryoshkas, or nesting dolls, have human emotions. They grieve the loss of their littlest sister, the center doll carved from the heart of the wood. Yet their inability to behave as people do leaves them helpless. "They could not lift their painted arms to reach out..." After the littlest matryoshka is reunited with them, the young girl who owns the dolls places them in a circle so that each can look at her sisters' faces and rejoice. Only then do the dolls' painted smiles really mean something.
Each of the dolls is given a name. Several times throughout the story, their stacking order is chanted. "Nina inside Nadia, and Nadia inside Vanda," and so on. This repetition helps make the story a fun read-aloud book for young children.
Kathryn Brown's watercolor illustrations are not only cute, they also teach the reader something about matryoshka costuming. When we first meet the toy maker crafting the matryoshka set, each doll's outfit is being decorated slightly more elaborately than the previously painted doll. Similarly, their faces are drawn with progressively more detail. Though the difference between any two consecutive dolls is hardly remarkable, the cumulative effect of adding increasingly more decorations is apparent when they are lined up next to each other. Reading this book just once helps the novice gain new appreciation for the subtleties involved with this old Russian folk art tradition.
In summary, this is a delightful book that will be appreciated by children and adults alike.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a Sweet Little Story, February 23, 2007
By 
Amy Aldrich (Scottsdale, AZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
This is a very simple story which details the creation of a set of Matroyshka dolls in a quaint Russian village by a wood carver. Just before they begin their journey to, the doll maker says: "you are six sisters" "keep your sisters safe inside you and may you find a happy home...and so the biggest doll does, all the way to a new shop in America. The sister are: Nina, Nadia, Vanda, Varka, Olda, Anna (from littlest to biggest). The dolls are lined up in the store for display, unfortunately one day Nina is knocked from the shelf and is swept out of the store into the snow. From there, the remaining dolls are sold at discount to a young girl and we follow the progress of Nina as she is plowed away by a truck, found and discarded by a squirrel, falls into a river, is carried away by a bird and finally tumbles down a rain pipe...conveniently at the home of her sisters new owner where they are all happily reunited.

It's a cute story, if a little contrived. It would make a fine read aloud for younger children (birth to about 3 years), I don't think kids much older than 5 will really find this story all that engaging. Fans of Matryoshka dolls will adore the illustrations here as they are rich, vibrant and very well done! Overall, I give four stars, is a sweet little story that is fine for young children and collectors of these dolls and their images will also appreciate the sweetness of the story, as it matches the sweetness of the dolls.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So sweet!, August 9, 2005
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This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
This is a lovely tale about the connection of a family. For families formed through Russian adoption this is an enormously poignant story - the ending, where the littlest matroyshka doll is reunited with her sisters, serves as a metaphor for how we find each other, even though oceans previously divided us.

I agree that the ending is far-fetched, but it's also very satisfying!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book to read to your grandchildren, January 20, 2007
By 
This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
I read this book to my grandchildren during Christmas week. I have the set of dolls and each one held a doll and actually took part in the story. This is a heartwarming story for young and old to enjoy. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great "longer picture book" for kids 3-6, January 18, 2010
By 
Gentle Reader (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
My daughter resisted reading this one when we got it from a book club -- the title put her off because she didn't know what matryoshka was. But once we read it together, she asked for it over and over. Something about the idea of the little one returning safely home really got her, I guess. I love the way the prose is "nested" and repetitive, just like the dolls. And the illustrations are high quality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story!, January 15, 2007
By 
This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful story. I used it as an activity for teaching Russia during our third grade Christmas Around the World day and the children loved it!! I even liked it after reading it 6 times that day. The toughest part was figuring out how to pronounce "Matryoshka." I finally decided to say it ma*truh*yo*shka. Hopefully that was correct :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Cute Book, January 9, 2007
By 
J.Williams (Quakertown, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
This is a darling book. The story is just so sweet. I enjoy reading it to my boys. Wasn't sure how interested in reading a book about "dolls" would be, but they enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, December 4, 2012
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This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
I bought this for my nieces for Christmas with the set of Russian matryoshkas they have available here on Amazon. Read the book when it got here and it made me cry. A wonderful little story of family, the helplessness of losing a loved one you couldn't protect, and the sheer joy of finding them again. Is it far-fetched? Sure, aren't most kids' stories? I mean we're talking about toys that think and have feelings. Compared to that, people have a problem with the series of complete coincidences that bring the little doll home? Fantasy is a staple of childhood literature, and isn't life richer for it? Well, I think so, anyway! :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book - Ordered Russian Nesting Dolls Too, March 8, 2011
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This review is from: The Littlest Matryoshka (Hardcover)
We love this book! I bought this with some handpainted nesting dolls from Russia from Amazon. My 7 year old daughter loved this book so much! We read it several times and can't wait for the dolls to arrive. I highly recommend this beautiful story!
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The Littlest Matryoshka
The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas (Hardcover - February 7, 2036)
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