The author of Uncle Vova's Tree (1989) returns again to her heritage: life in the Midwest with her Russian immigrant grandparents. Here, importunate Natasha can't understand why her "Babushka" can't stop working and play with her. As a special treat, Babushka lets Natasha play with her old doll Coming alarmingly to life, the doll is even more demanding than Natasha herself--who, since she isn't "a truly naughty child," takes the lesson with good grace. The lively story is told with more affection than didacticism, while Polacco's illustrations continue to grow in strength here as she combines collagelike patterns, generous sweeps of white space, and sensitivity to character in her vigorous compositions. An attractive book that will be fun to share.