I’m delighted to be taking part in the blogtour for Babushka today. Thanks to Love books Tours for having me and arranging a review copy of the book. I would like to start by saying just what a gorgeous physical book it is. It’s a hardback but has a lovely soft feel to the cover. Inside, the illustrations by Ana Beatriz Marques are simple, colourful and beautiful.
A babushka, also known as a matryoshka, is one of those Russian dolls which has lots of smaller dolls inside. I have a few of them and still find them fascinating. Some have identical but smaller versions of the main doll inside, others are on a theme. So straightaway, we get the idea that there are many different versions of each person all hidden beneath what you see on the outside. I think this is something that children will be able to relate to.
The first half of the book reads rather like a good old-fashioned fairy tale, with the various bodies of Babushka making their way into the world to either help others, seek happiness or use their talents in the best way they could. The second half was somewhat darker. The smallest Babushka body, the heart and love, missing all those other parts which made her whole goes off to see how they are all doing. I don’t want to give too much away but all is not well. I think that younger children will find some of the concepts in this part harder to understand, such as being bound by an unfair contract or exploitation of workers. However, it could spark some interesting discussions and will no doubt be enjoyed by younger readers at their own level of understanding.
The blurb says this is a book which children and tweens will love. This is true but I think it’s a book that has something which will speak to readers of all ages with its messages about friendship, love and the important things in life.
From the back of the book
A beautifully illustrated book, with a magnificent story that children and tweens will love.
Babushka wants to find out the meaning of life so she sends her bodies out of the forest and into the world to search for answers.
WHAT IS A BABUSHKA?
The babushka doll, also known as a matryoshka or Russian nesting doll, is a traditional Russian toy first made over 100 years ago. The doll has come to symbolise Russian folk culture, as well as the complex and beautiful layers of women. There are some babushka dolls with as many as fifty dolls nested inside. This is the story of one very special babushka doll and her five bodies. There was the outermost body, Antonia. She was pure beauty. Everyone who saw her admired her good looks. Beneath that body of beauty hid Loretta, who was richly adorned. She wore gold ornaments, and her green robe was decorated with many different gems that glittered like the ocean on a sunny day. Hidden within the rich body was Paula, the body that held all Babushka’s talents. Whatever Paula did, she was sure to succeed. She knew how to work and always did so with joy and determination. Within the talented body was Viola, the body of wisdom. Viola knew a lot about the world and learned very quickly. She was always full of brilliant ideas and had clever solutions for every problem. The last body, the smallest of all, was Mary, the embodiment of love. Mary had a warm and compassionate heart and was very helpful. She could dry tears and mend broken hearts. Together, these bodies formed the complete Babushka.
Reading this book, you will learn about:
– The value of friendship and love.
– That financial wealth alone cannot make someone happy.
– Not to judge outer appearance.
– To recognize a person’s value and much more
About the Author
Since quitting her full-time job at a branding communication agency in Zurich, Catherine has gone on to become a successful freelance designer and a children’s author. She spends most of her time on the small island of Madeira with her family, spending her time growing vegetables in her garden and working for clients from around the world.
She is currently working on the follow up to the 2020 release of “The Story Of Babushka”