The Magic Nesting Doll
by Jacqueline K. Ogburn
Illustrated by Laurel Long
This book was one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have seen ever. The oil paintings are so beautiful. Man, I wish I could paint half that good. This is sad, what I'm about to say next. The story was good too, but the paintings: exquisite.
Now let me praise the words. Like most fairy tales, you have a fairly good idea about what will happen. To me this was a Snow White in reverse. Instead of the wicked stepmother envying a young maiden for her beauty; there's a young Tsarevitch whose uncle envies him for his power. You can figure out the rest.
Katya lives most of her life with her grandmother. Before her grandmother passes she leaves Katya with one final gift, a little matryoshka, nesting doll, with the ability to help her three times. Naturally she leaves. She learns from an innkeeper about a curse that the Tsarevitch had been placed under causing him to be living ice and resulting in winter without thaw, night without moon, and dark without dawn. Katya makes out in her mind that she can break the spell. While setting out to do this she encounters some obstacles, but doesn't quit.
A snippet of one of the books pictures.
Note: If I ever write a children's book, I want Laurel Long to paint it.