"The Story of Babushka"
What Mrs Canning Thought:
Every once in a while a book comes along that stops you in your tracks and forces you to think. For me, The Story of Babushka is that book.
On first appearance, this book is absolutely not my 'type' of story. There's no fast-paced action, no cliff-hanging moments and not even a clear central character for me to grow to love. And yet, there's something magical within those pages: there was something beautiful in its simplicity. And this magic held me from beginning to end.
The Story of Babushka tells the tale of the five bodies which make up a Babushka - a Russian nesting doll. Each of the five bodies has a different admirable feature or quality and the story relates to each body's individual quest to find the meaning of life.
It very much has the feel of a fairy tale in its almost lyrical use of language. The story is simple. The illustrations are simple. The words are simple. The message, however, is anything but simple. The Story of Babushka serves as a powerful reminder that no one is lost forever and that we stand stronger united than we do divided. The book feels full of hope and reminds us of the strength and power of love.
This would be a beautiful book to study with Key Stage 2 pupils. Thank you to Catherine Flores for sending us an ARC copy for the Year 5 children to review. There is also an interactive website to match: https://thestoryofbabushka.com/
What the Children Thought:
Cheldane: "This is an interesting story. Five different people make up one person. I liked it and it changed my emotions - it made me feel happy, very sad and then happy again. I learned that you can be different people at the same time."
Charlie: "It's unique. I've never read anything like this kind of book before. I would buy it when it was published, if I knew where to get it from. I felt uplifted when I finished it. It taught me not to undervalue myself. One part of you is as important as the rest."
Solianna: "It was really good. It was an emotional roller-coaster! I learned that we are stronger together than apart."