Patricia Polacco knows how to create picture books full of energy and excitement. Some focus on love and cultures while others take imagination to the next level with brilliant eggs, flying kids, or in the case of this tale, a toy that comes to life and serves a little girl a lesson she never expected when she took the toy off the shelf!
Babushka’s Doll brings readers Babushka and her granddaughter, Natasha. Natasha is a very demanding girl. She wants to have everything and do everything right now. She does not want to wait. While her grandmother feeds the goats, Natasha wants to eat her soup. While grandmother hangs the wash, Natasha wants to play on her swing. Natasha can be exhausting to deal with, but her grandmother loves her all the same.
One day, her grandmother has to go out of the house for a little bit and Natasha must stay home. That’s when Natasha sees a doll sitting on a shelf. According to her grandmother, the doll was only played with once before it ended up on the shelf. Natasha does not understand why a perfectly good doll should sit alone on the shelf. So when grandmother goes out, she takes the doll and plays with it – except the toy comes alive! Suddenly Natasha realizes just how tiring it can be to take care of something so demanding! The toy wants to do all sorts of things and it’s all Natasha can do to keep up with it.
No wonder her grandmother only played with it once.
Babushka’s Doll is a fun romp that ends with a little lesson that kids might notice, but even if they don’t, they’ll be entertained for a while, delighting in the magical story as well as Polacco’s brilliant pictures. The details and colors created with pencil,
watercolors, and markers is carefully crafted and well-placed, showing all the excitement in the room when the doll comes alive and the exasperation on Natasha’s face when she deals with the rambunctious toy. Kids ages 4 to 7 will have a grand time imagining their own toys coming to life – though hopefully not quite as demanding as Natasha’s!