Surprise, Surprise


Joined November 2010

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Canon EOS 600D

Featured in
- Russian Speaking Art – March 2013

Russian nesting dolls
Saw them at a vendor’s in Moscow.

The Littlest Matryoshka (Corinne Demas)

In a small shop in a snowy village in Russia, Nikolai the doll maker was carving his last illustration of Nikolaimatryoshka. From one piece of soft wood he shaped six nesting dolls, each one fitting inside the other. They all opened in the middle and were hollow inside, except for the littlest. She was the size of a bumblebee and she was made of the heart of the sweet-smelling wood.

Nikolai lines up the dolls from biggest to smallest, and names each one: Anna, Olga, Varka, Vanda, Nadia, and Nina. He tucks them one inside the other. Before he sends them off to a toy shop in America, he kisses Anna goodbye and tells her: “Keep your sisters safe inside you and may you find a happy home.”

The matryoshka sisters have a safe journey across the sea. The toy shop owner lines them up on the shelf, but Nina, the littlest, is too close to the edge. While her sisters watch helplessly, Nina is knocked off the shelf, kicked outside into the street, and buried in snow. What will become of her?

A little girl named Jessie buys the matryoshka at half price and brings it home. At night she put a little ball of cotton inside Nadia, so she wouldn’t feel empty inside. Meanwhile, Nina starts off on an adventure-filled, perilous journey. She’s carried off in a truck, swept along a stream, and caught in a waterfall. How will she ever be reunited with her sisters?

Taken from:
The Littlest Matryoshka
Illustrated by Kathryn Brown
Published by Hyperion Books for Children
September, 1999

Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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