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THE MAGIC NESTING DOLL by Jacqueline K. Ogburn


by Jacqueline K. Ogburn & illustrated by Laurel Long

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8037-2414-4
Publisher: Dial Books

This beautifully designed and illustrated book will appeal to all who enjoy lavishly illustrated and well-told fairy tales. Long’s rich oil paintings, with their details of fabric and flowers, black borders and backgrounds, resemble the jewel-like enameled boxes of Russian folk tradition. The tale, too, incorporates traditional folk elements, including a magical matryoshka doll, talking animal helpers (a bear, a wolf and a firebird), and a handsome prince frozen by an evil spell, who is saved by Katya’s courage and her kiss. Katya is a strong heroine who makes her way alone in the world, determined to do what is right. It is only gradually that she falls in love with the Tsarevitch she sets out to save. Ogburn’s prose flows smoothly and rhythmically, making this tale as lovely to read aloud as it is to look at. The details of snow, birds, clothing, plants, and animals, and the lavish designs in the architecture and in the interiors, in combination with the appealing story, simply and economically told, but rich in archetypes, make this a book to be enjoyed over and over again. (author’s note) (Picture book. 8-10)