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The Magic Nesting Doll

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  253 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Katya's grandmother took a little matryoshka, a nesting doll, out of a small box. "If your need is great, open the doll and help will come. But you may only do so three times. After that the magic will be gone." A wicked spell has changed a handsome young prince to a pale glassy figure made of "living ice," and his kingdom to a frozen landscape of night without moon, darkn ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Dial Books
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The Magic Nesting Doll by Jacqueline K. OgburnThe Twelve Dancing Princesses by Ruth SandersonSleeping Beauty by Mahlon F. CraftCinderella by K.Y. CraftRapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
Gorgeously illustrated fairy tales
1st out of 62 books — 5 voters
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery WilliamsThe Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamilloThe Magic City by E. NesbitThe Doll People by Ann M. MartinThe Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Magical Toys
52nd out of 94 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 683)
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Beautifully detailed Russian-inspired illustrations really make this book special. They are in a style that will appeal to fans of Hyman or Craft, although I don't think they are quite as top notch (or Long's best work). I did find the use of a limited color palette (primarily blue and red, with supporting greens and yellows with transitional brown) very interesting and artistic, especially the way they shift in dominance as the heroine prevails over the cursed winter.

The story, which combines
Lisa Vegan
Sep 06, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn & Chandra & Miriam
This might be my new favorite fairy tale, and it’s enhanced by lush and gorgeous illustrations. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite recently not being in the mood to read fairy or folk tales. This book is an amazing gem.

I love the strong and kind and giving woman protagonist, Katya, and though her grandmother is in only a short part of the story, I liked her too. I love the animals, including a good, vs. more commonly evil, fairy tale wolf character. How refreshing!

There is one character, the main
Aug 12, 2011 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Chandra--thank you!
Don't you just love it when life hands you a sweet, unexpected gift!? As I wearily set about entering a new stack of books into our database for the high school ESL program, I could hardly believe my eyes when I pulled out "The Magic Nesting Doll"! I've been wanting to read this for ages and the county library doesn't have a copy. I never would have thought it would fall into my hands at the high school, but I'm ever so glad. It's a treasure!

Ogburn's gorgeously told original folktale has all the
Jenni Arndt
My daughter has become pretty well-known at her school for picking out the most elusive, odd looking library books that other kids never take a second glance at. While the other kids are bring home The Magic School Bus, Dr. Seuss, and Dora The Explorer, Sloane always brings home more artsy titles, and I have to admit I am pretty proud of that. But in the case of The Magic Nesting Doll it meant that I had to read it to her, word for word, and there are a lot of words! Here is an example of a page ...more
Logan Williams
Personal Reaction:
This was a great Russian inspired folktale that I found to be very similar to the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty, but the lady, Katya, rescues the prince and saves him from a frozen figure of living ice. I really appreciated this tale because of the heightened role that the female character took and that it isn't a sexist story. The story also showed a specific distinction between good and evil. Overall, the tale was beautifully written and was accompanied with outstanding Russia
What she said, including "I'm just here for the pick-chers."
Linda Lipko
This is a reverse tale of Sleeping Beauty wherein the lady rescues the prince and saves him from an frozen figure of living ice.

Set in Russian, the wicked Tsar has placed a spell on his successor. Before she dies, Katya's grandmother gave her a set of nesting dolls instructing her to open them only when she is in peril and needs assistance.

Using the nesting dolls to assist the prince, she is able to break the spell of doom gradually with each successive doll. In the end, it is her kiss that fre
I loved the story and the pictures are BEAUTIFUL. I think Laurel Long is one of my favorite illustrators. Okay, I admit the illustrations in picture books are always more important to me than the story itself, but I really liked the story too.
Mary Catelli
Combines a number of fairy tale motifs -- the nesting doll perhaps from Vasilisa the Beautiful, but it only gives her three magical helpers -- in our peasant girl rescuing the prince and the land. Works well. Striking illustrations
This was a fun Russian Fairy Tale that I shared with Lucia's class for Right to Read week. It is almost a reverse version of Sleeping Beauty, but it also had powerful beasts (bear, wolf, and firebird) to keep it an exciting adventure.
I was very surprised and happy to receive my copy today of The Magic Nesting Doll by Jacqueline K. Ogburn. I was not disappointed at all with the book. Filled with beautiful artwork and excellent writing, I was instantly swept away by the adventures of a hardworking, virtuous young girl named Katya - who is determined to save her Prince Charming and her country from a wicked spell. As the Magic Nesting Doll is a Russian tale, Laurel Long (the illustrator) has done a wonderful job of depicting a ...more
This is the story of a Russian girl who receives a magic nesting doll that helps her save the young tsar's life and find true love. The story is straightforward and well written. And the illustrations are what makes this an absolute must read.

OK, so our family has connections to Russia that make this even more magical, but I think that if you didn't you should still run out and buy this book. Now. Go ahead...I'll wait.

In the style of the beautiful black lacquer boxes and matrioshka dolls with v
Beautiful illustrations and the folk tale is a classic of Russia I believe.
Lisa Howard
Wonderful Russian fairy tale with gorgeous illustrations!
Savannah Goldstein
Lovely... In every since of the word
Sleeping Beauty revised with the boy asleep.
Angie Taylor
I'm giving this book five stars for the art work. The writing wasn't the best, but the story was interesting. The illustrations though, were fantastic. The artist uses a Renaissance medieval look, with the stunning details. I kept looking at the material the characters were wearing and wondering if I could make that outfit, or find material like what I was seeing. Very fun Russian children's fairytale where a regular village girl is the heroine/princess in shining armour.
Another interesting fairy tale I've never heard before in which the princess saves the prince (although I can't remember whether she's actually a princess in the beginning). I picked it up because my parents have a matroyshka doll that my sweet niece loves to play with, and I think she'd like this story as well.
Like most fairy tales, you have a fairly good idea about what will happen. To me this was a Snow White in reverse. The story is good, but the paintings: exquisite.

I wouldn't go as far as to say in depth, but I have a lengthy review on my blog:
Nov 04, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2011, childrens, russia
This is a wonderful tale about a Russian girl who uses the magic in her matryoshka (nesting doll) to save a prince. I love the fact that it's the prince being rescued by the girl! The story is magical and the illustrations are marvelous - so enchanting. We really enjoyed reading this story together.
Doing research on fairytales, and I felt the illustrations were absolutely gorgeous, and very intricate.
Didn't really have a good moral lesson for children, but the story was well crafted, and had common fairy tale ideas like to break a spell...usually come's in three's.
We read this as we studied Russia this year and it was enchanting. The illustrations made me feel like I was walking through a market just filled with thousands of matroshki and the story featured some truly Russian symbols - the bear, the wolf and the firebird. We loved it!
The illustrations by Laurel Long are magnificent and magical. I plan to read it later, but the cover just enchanted me! The illustrations feel so Russian to me - ornate and traditional. And who doesn't love matryoshki?
Alyssa (The Shady Glade)
Wonderful story, not sure if it's a retelling of an old fairy tale or an original one, but it had the flavor of the old to it. But I loved, loved, LOVED the illustrations. Beautiful! This one is definitely a keeper for me.
Summary: After her grandmother dies, Katya finds herself in a kingdom where the Tsarevitch has been turned into living ice, and she uses the magic nesting dolls her grandmother had given her to try to break the curse.
This is a lovely story of a courageous girl with love and magic on her side, and very beautiful illustrations on every page. I highly recommend this picture book!
Amazing story, even better illustrations. Similar to Snow White in that there is a prince asleep under the spell, but this time it's the gal who does the waking.
My all time favorite. The story of the power of love passed from a grandmother, the quest of the young girl, and the gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous illustrations....
Jayla Johnson
Gorgeous drawings and the story is like Sleeping Beauty, only reversed with the 'sleeping beauty' being the guy, and the girl awakening him with a kiss.
Ah. a reverse of Sleeping Beauty, as the Russian princess saves the frozen prince. Illustrations are like tapastries.
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