Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Babushka's Doll by Patricia Polacco

Almost everyone has met a little girl who is overly demanding, impatient, and often inconsiderate of others feelings. I wish there was a way to show these children how their behavior is affecting others without telling them directly to knock it off. Well, Babushka's Doll by Patricia Polacco does just that.
Natasha, the main character, is spending time with her grandmother and is not being the ideal granddaughter. While her Babushka (grandmother) is trying to do some chores and take care of the animals on her farm, Natasha whines and complains demanding that Babushka stop at once and do something for her. Whatever it is, it simply cannot wait. It does not matter if Babushka is tired or busy because Natasha does not care. Sounds like someone needs to be taught a lesson. Luckily, Babushka has a way to do just that. When Natasha asks to play with one of her old dolls, she happily obliges and then steps out to run some errands.
In the next part of the book this doll comes to life and behaves just as badly, if not worse, than Natasha did previously. However, this time Natasha is in her grandmothers position. She is bossed around and the doll makes her tired and upset. Although this is a little predictable, I liked it. In the end, Natasha sees the error in her ways and tells Babushka how horrible the doll was.
This book clearly shows a role reversal and allows the character to see herself from a different perspective. This is something that children often times need to do. Therefore, I think this book would be an excellent choice to read to children or have them read. It teaches a lesson while at the same time it is entertaining.
As well as having a good story line, the illustrations are done in a fairly life-like way. There is a lot of white space, but the colors seem to pop. It looks are though a lot of consideration was used in regard to the facial expressions of the characters, and I really enjoyed looking at the illustrations.
I have no had many negative remarks regarding my picture book blogs this week because they have been some of my favorites. However, if I was to make a suggestion for this book, I would recommend showing the grandmothers perspective a little bit more.

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