The Magic Nesting Doll

Jacqueline K. Ogburn, Author, Toby Sherry, Editor, Laurel Long, Illustrator Dial Books $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2414-3
Opulent oil paintings, as lushly colored and intricately detailed as a Russian lacquer box, set the stage for this original folktale. As Katya's grandmother lies dying, she bequeaths Katya a magic matryoshka, or Russian nesting doll, and tells her that she may open it three times in an hour of need. The girl sets out to make her way in the world and soon arrives in a city under a wicked spell: ""It is always winter without thaw, night without moon, and dark without dawn,"" an innkeeper explains. Worse, the handsome young Tsarevitch has been turned into living ice. With the help of her nesting doll, which releases first a bear, then a wolf and finally a firebird, Katya is able to break the enchantment, give the conniving Grand Vizier a taste of his own frosty medicine, and find true love. Ogburn's (The Jukebox Man) assured storytelling memorably joins together classic fairy-tale elements with Slavic imagery; her tale reads like one already tested by time. Long (The Mightiest Heart) weaves a kind of visual magic in a series of darkly lavish scenes. Her paintings simultaneously recall ornate tapestries, Russian icon art and the romantic elegance of Trina Schart Hyman. All ages. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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FORMATS
Library Binding - 978-0-8037-2428-0
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-14-250065-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-28258-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-67460-7
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