Babushka's Doll

by Patricia Polacco

Paperback, 1995



Call number




Scholastic (1995)


A little girl gets a doll that turns out to be twice as rambunctious as her owner.

User reviews

LibraryThing member rosinalippi
Polacco's very engaging illustrations, brightly colored, are a wonderful combination of the organic with the geometric. But really, you read this story if you have a four year old daughter. You hear a lot about the terrible twos, but nobody tells you about the f***ing fours, when kids often get
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demanding and try on selfishness for size. Not that I'm speaking from experience, or anything.

Sit down with that girl and read Babushka's Doll. Her eyes will be opened.
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LibraryThing member szanes
A sweet story of a child who learns manners from a very special doll of her grandmother's. It might be important to note to parents and teachers that there is a strong fantasy element with the doll, that can be interpreted as a dream. A good old-fashioned type of story with a moral and beautiful
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cultural images throughout.
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LibraryThing member wendyfincher
Natasha has a very hard life lesson to learn. She is a little girl who wants her way immediately. Her grandmother lets her play with a special doll. When the grandmother leaves the doll comes to life and works Natasha until she is exhausted. Natasha learns that treating people that way is not nice
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at all. She learns her lesson and becomes nicer.
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LibraryThing member slrice
The story is of a very impatient young girl named Natasha. While Natasha is at her grandmother's she begins making demands. Grandmother "Babushka" politely tried to explain to Natasha that household chores must be done before play. Babushka even offered Natasha to help her, yet Natasha refuses to
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help and continues to plead with her babushka. Babushka then gives Natasha a doll to play with while she's at the store. The doll turns out to be twice as bad as Natasha and teaches her a lesson she won't soon forget.
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LibraryThing member mrsarey
This is a cute little story about what happens when a little girl's doll teaches her a lesson.
LibraryThing member clapkj01
This would be appropriate for ages 4-8. It has some life lesson in it, and I think the children would really enjoy the pictures
LibraryThing member kerriwilliams
Another great story from Polacco about walking a mile in someone elses shoes. She does a wonderful job of teaching children how to treat others the way that you would like to be treated. I would use this story in a character counts lesson to talk about how we should treat each other.
LibraryThing member rebecca401
Natasha is an impatient child. She wants her babushka to play with her right now, even when she is busy. Her babushka tells her not to be selfish. Babushka gives her her doll to play with--the doll she herself played with only once. The doll is even more selfish than Natasha! She makes continual
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demands on Natasha to do all kinds of things for her. She wears Natasha out, and Natasha realizes that being selfish isn't that fun after all.
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LibraryThing member mmwrigh3
Natasha is very demanding of her Babushka. She wants her Babushka to do want she wants to do and when she wants to do it. Natasha isn't nice about it either, no please and no thank you. Natasha learns her lesson the hard way and soon understands where her grandmother is coming from. I always love
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Polacco's books, from the stories to the illustrations, this is an incredible book.
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LibraryThing member givingtree1
Good fable teaching the lesson of the importance of not being selfish and treating others with kindness.
LibraryThing member Jill.Barrington
A young girl is quite rude and impatient to her Babushka, or grandmother. Her Babushka gives her a doll to play with while she leaves to run to the store. When the girl's Babushka leaves, the doll comes to life and behaves just as badly, if not, worse than they girl behaved. The girl definitely
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learned her lesson by the time her Babushka returned.

The book would be a wonderful way to talk about thinking of others and being selfless.
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LibraryThing member brittneydufrene
I really like Patricia Ploacco books. They are all heart warming and have meaning to them. This is a story about a little girl who plays with her grandmothers doll. The little doll came to life and the doll was mean to the little girl, Natasha. It taught Natasha that she had to be patient and
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considerate to others, and to treat people like you would want to be treated. A great lesson and book for children to read.
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LibraryThing member klsulliv
Who would have thought a doll could come to life? In this story Natasha is a very active girl who wants her grandmother to play with her. She wants her grandmother to do what she wants to do when she wants her grandmother to do it. What Natasha does not know is that her grandmother has a doll she
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only played with once when she was a child like Natasha. When Natasha spots the doll, she immediately wants to hold it. The grandmother tells her she can play with the doll until she gets back. Natasha soon gets a dose of her own medicine with all of the demanding and selfishness from the doll. Natasha soon realizes that it is not good to hound anyone because she does not like it, and now knows how it feels. This story has a lesson that teaches children everyone needs rest, so with patience will come good things. Patience is a virtue!
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LibraryThing member shellybjorklund
Age: Primary/Intermediate
Genre: Fantasy
Review: Though most of this book is realistic, with a young girl living with her Russian grandmother and wanting to play and all, dolls do not come to life, which makes this book a fantasy.
Media: Water color
LibraryThing member haldemac
A doll teaches a young girl a lesson about love, caring, looking beyond one's own needs.
LibraryThing member emleonard
Natasha is a little girl that is very demanding to her Babushka. She wants things done right then and there and doesn't want to wait. But, then when she see's Babushka's doll she wants to play with it. So, Babushka gives Natasha the doll and Babushka leaves to go to the grocery store. The doll
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comes to life and demands things from Natasha just like she did to Babushka. What a great story to read at home or in school about not to be so demanding and to be nice.
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LibraryThing member alyssabuzbee
Natasha is a headstrong girl who wants what she wants when she wants it. Through her grandmother's doll, she learns that it is not good to be so demanding.
LibraryThing member clstone
"Babushka's Doll" by Patricia Polacco is a wonderful book to teach students about selfishness. Babushka, which is Russian for grandmother, sets out to teach her granddaughter a lesson. Natasha is constantly thinking only of herself and complaining that Babushka is not doing what she wants to do.
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Natasha sees a doll on Babushka's shelf and asks to play with it one day. Babushka tells Natasha that she only played with the doll once as a child. Babushka makes her way to the grocery and the doll comes to life with Natasha. The doll acts selfish and causes Natasha to cry by the end of the story. Babushka comes back from the store and consoles Natasha without mentioning the lesson learned. This book would be great to read to a class that is having trouble sharing with others or just learning to share. I would read this book to first through third graders.
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LibraryThing member anita.west
Babushka’s Doll is a modern fantasy story about a naughty little girl named Natasha. Natasha is very bossy and demanding. She constantly barks orders at her Babushka (which means grandmother is Russian.) Natasha wants what she wants and she wants it now! One day Natasha discovers a doll sitting
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up on a shelf, a doll she had never noticed before. She asks her Babushka if she can play with the doll and her Babushka decides that it would be all right. In fact the time was just right for Natasha to play with the doll. Upon holding doll, the doll came to life. The doll was a reflection of Natasha and perhaps was even more bossy and more demanding than Natasha had ever been. The naughty attitude of the doll was more than Natasha could handle. Natasha told her Babushka about her horrible experience and remarked that she never wanted to play with the doll again. In the end, the doll taught Natasha about being patient and Natasha turned out to be a good little girl after all.

This is one of the first stories I had read that was written by Patricia Polacco. Since reading this story, I have been introduced to several of her other books and just love the way she writes. I thought this was a very neat story and perhaps one that I might decide to use as a teaching story should the need arise – that is, if I come across a Natasha one day. This little girl reminds me of Nellie Olsen from Little House on the Prairie.

I would definitely use this book in the classroom as part of an author study on Patricia Polacco. I would also use this book as part of a teaching/learning unit about character. I would want to find good and bad examples of what being a good citizen/character means and would incorporate this book in with that lesson.
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LibraryThing member mozella1970
Genre: Fantasy
"Spare the rod, spoil the child"... "Or do unto others as you would have them do unto you"...The Bible This book "Babushka's Doll shares a great lesson on selfishness, disrespect, rudeness, being inpatient and being kind to the elderly. The illustrations are of great inference; the
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facial expressions of little spoiled Natasha sets the mood of the text.. The message also is you can't always get what you want when you want it. There are words called "wait", "not now", and "respect". A message needed for today's society of children.
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LibraryThing member caitlin.wester
Babushka's Doll showcases the day a young girl goes through with a doll. Natasha is sometimes rude to her Grandmother constantly asking her to do things for her and to drop everything she is doing to play with her. Her Grandmother than lets her play with a doll while she is out. The doll comes to
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life and in return becomes demanding and rude to Natasha making her cry. It's as if she is getting a taste of her own medicine. This story is a great eye opener for children to teach them about their own behavior. In the end you treat others the way you would like to be treated.
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LibraryThing member Brittany_Leimer
This book would be great for teaching kids that they need to appreciate the adults in their life and all that they do for them on a daily basis. I think that the children seeing how hard it would be for them to do all of that for someone is going to make them appreciate who is in their lives.
LibraryThing member DannieN
This multicultural tale by Patricia Polacco teaches a great lesson to reader. The Russian grandmother, Babushka, and her granddaughter, Natasha are spending the day together when Natasha starts acting out. Natasha becomes demanding, impatient, and selfish with her grandmother. Babushka leaves
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Natasha alone for the afternoon with a doll that comes to life mimicking the same misbehaviors that Natasha was being like. Natasha quickly learns that the tasks the doll is demanding is just too much. When the grandmother returns, Natasha changes her actions towards her grandmother. This story will teach all children about being patient, being kind, and respecting your elders. The way Polacco is able to teach this lesson through a doll that comes to life will have children engaged throughout the whole story. As I was reading, I was imagining myself reading this aloud to my students, easily being able to convey the demanding tone of Natasha's words to her grandmother. As children see the illustrations of the doll misbehaving, they will be amused as well as be able to pick up on what the doll is trying to teach Natasha.
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LibraryThing member raizel
Although the cover of this Scholastic reprint is shiny, the paper inside isn't and the pictures feel washed out and dull. They are also too hurried for my taste. But my primary complaint is with the blatant lesson that Natasha learns when a doll comes to life and behaves the way Natasha has. I
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don't mind subtle measure for measure, but I ended up feeling sorry for Natasha and I don't think I was supposed to.
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LibraryThing member HaleyAnger
"Babushka's Doll" is about a little girl who constantly wants her grandmother to drop everything she's doing and play with her or do things for her. The little girl comes across as very selfish and whiney. The little girl finds one of her grandmother's dolls and asks if she can play with it.
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Grandmother says yes and then says that she'll be back because she has some things to take care of. When the grandmother leaves the doll comes to life and terrorizes the little girl. She acts just as the little girl acted toward her grandmother and by the end of the day the little girl just cries. Her grandmother comes back and asks what's wrong and the little girl tells her that she cannot do all the things the doll wanted her to do because she was just a little girl. The grandma thanks the doll and puts her back on the shelf.

I would use this book in my classroom because it is a good lesson in manners but it is played off in a very interesting way. Toys and things coming to life are very relatable for children as they have active imaginations.

Recommended age group: 4-7 years
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Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards (Silver Medal — Juvenile — 1990)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 1992)


Original publication date



0590622056 / 9780590622059
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