This die-cut board book inspired by the Russian matryoshka has doll-shaped cardboard pages, with each page turning downward to present the next, slightly larger “nesting” sibling.
The five sisters have similar faces, each with a sweet smile and a shawl on her head, and each one has distinctly colored hair, eyes, and body, though all are white. The single sentence of text set on each sister names her and her hobby or personality—“Larissa is the performer”; “Masha is the collector”—and retro-styled illustrations on the fronts and backs of their bodies echo their passions. Olya the chef is depicted with pots, pans, spoons, measuring cups, and whisks, while nature-loving Galya is depicted with various fauna and flora. Young children will be delighted to discover that the pages don’t turn the traditional way, but the illustrations at the back of each sister show upside down, which could be difficult for younger kids. Although the cardboard pages are sturdy and they are held together with reinforced binding tape, whether this book as a whole is tough enough for repeated use is not clear, but it is of obvious interest to those with Russian heritage.
Along with a set of nesting dolls, this sweet book would be a wonderful gift for a special child. (Novelty board book. 1-3)