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The Magic Nesting Doll

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  340 Ratings  ·  61 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 29, 2011 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
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 it was amazing
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 it was amazing
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
Jan 28, 2013 Jenni Arndt rated it liked it
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
Apr 03, 2016 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
This is an original fairy tale based on Russian folktales, and a Russian toy, and it is adorable. It reminds me a lot of the Little Goose Girl, and I don't know how, but it feels authentic and old.

Library copy
May 17, 2011 Magda rated it liked it
What she said, including "I'm just here for the pick-chers."
Oct 15, 2009 Natalie rated it it was amazing
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.
This book is visually stunning and the story is very sweet. I'd love to read a longer version of it. It reminded me of a sort of genderswapped Sleeping Beauty.
Sep 17, 2016 Susanne rated it liked it
I was excited for a fairy tale involving nesting dolls, but this tale disappointed. On one level, the story was unusual and interesting in that it was the prince under a powerful magic curse and it was the heroine who used magic and the power of her own heart to save him. On another level, the storyline was predictable throughout and even ended with a kiss. I guess I'm just through with fairy tale romance.
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
So, so, so gorgeous. I loved these illustrations so much. They sucked me in while I read The Magic Nesting Doll to a small class; I just wanted to gaze at them.

I love the classicness of this fairy tale despite my never having heard of it before. And the kids were enchanted. They were perhaps a little too happy when Katya kissed the prince at the end (I feel like they thought they were getting away with something; we don't read many stories with romantic themes at school!), but I loved seeing how
May 15, 2013 Roxanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 30, 2012 Jayne rated it it was amazing
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
Linda Lipko
Dec 08, 2014 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing
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
Angie Taylor
Feb 08, 2013 Angie Taylor rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 11, 2009 Kay rated it it was amazing
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:
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.
Nov 04, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, russia, 2011
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.
Jul 06, 2014 Kami rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Nov 06, 2012 Tessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-book
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!
Mary Catelli
Sep 06, 2014 Mary Catelli rated it really liked it
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
Nov 08, 2009 Shayla rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 17, 2008 Winnie rated it it was ok
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.
Oct 09, 2008 Muz rated it it was amazing
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)
Mar 08, 2012 Alyssa (The Shady Glade) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.
Feb 12, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gr. 2 - 4
Romantic fairy tale with beautiful illustrations. A reverse Sleeping Beauty because the girl saves the boy.
Jul 28, 2012 Janet rated it liked it
Ah. a reverse of Sleeping Beauty, as the Russian princess saves the frozen prince. Illustrations are like tapastries.
Oct 20, 2015 Bradie rated it it was amazing
"This is an awesome book and everybody should read it! It's so magical and different and the illustrations are amazing!"
Bradie- Age 7
Mom: l couldn't have said it better myself.
Jayla Johnson
Sep 23, 2014 Jayla Johnson rated it liked it
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.
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