"Children's Books > Literature > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Multicultural"
This book's archetypal story elements (e.g., magic, a moral, intergenerational conflict) are indeed part fairy tale and myth. A young girl, overly demanding of her grandmother ("Babushka"), learns what it's like on the receiving end when her grandmother's doll comes to life and makes demands on the girl. This is not, however, typical Polacco because there's a subtle punitive quality to the doll's incessant demands and misbehavior: "'You didn't do it right," said the doll... Natasha began to cry. "I'm just a little girl," she said between sobs. I wish you were just a doll."'
However, I think that Palocco's evocation of a fairy tale (which often contain gruesome scenes, unlike the mild consequences here), and her warm, very colorful illustrations soften the doll's "vengeance." This is not "Chuckie." And in the end, her grandmother slyly tells her that she must have been dreaming (although we are led to believe that the doll really did come to life), and we are reassured that 'Natasha turned out quite nice after all.'
Palocco's large, loopy illustrations are always a treasure, and here, the pencil, pen, and acrylic bring some enchantment and a sense of fun to Natasha's "lesson."