Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale

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9780823408542: Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale

When a terrible witch vows to eat her for supper, a little girl escapes with the help of a towel and comb given to her by the witch's cat.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3-- Recalling a story from his grandmother, Kimmel spins a tale reminiscent of Vasilissa the Beautiful , incorporating several new twists. Marina is a beautiful young girl whose only flaw is the horn growing from her forehead. Her stepmother and stepsister despise her, and while her father is away , they exact their revenge. She is ordered to fetch a needle and thread from "Auntie-in-the-Forest"--none other than Baba Yaga. Along the way, Marina befriends a frog who tells her how to outwit the evil witch, and its advice saves her from becoming Baba Yaga's dinner. She flees home and, hearing how his daughter was treated, her father banishes his wife and stepdaughter. Ironically, the stepsister goes to Baba Yaga, asking to be made like Marina; she is given Marina's horn. The elements new to this version--the horn, the frog, and a pot with a hole--seem to be drawn from Germanic and Gaelic folklore, but often have a jarring effect upon the story. Thus, Kimmel's version ultimately lacks the elemental power of other Baba Yaga stories. Nowhere is this more evident than in Lloyd's pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons. Rather than a menacing force, Lloyd dilutes her witch until she becomes merely a nasty old woman. Even Baba Yaga's house and gruesome fence of skeleton bones have been trivialized to the point of ineffectiveness. The proportions of the human characters are awkward, and the illustrations lack an animate quality. Although the use of color is pleasing, only the barest sense of place is suggested. This offering may have use in comparative folklore but, taken as a whole, it does not do justice to Baba Yaga. --Denise Anton Wright, Library Book Selection Service, Inc., Bloomington, IL
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Kimmel's ( Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins ) waggish, well-turned retelling of this popular legend contains the requisite elements of classic folktales. A good merchant has lost his wife and lives alone with his loving, virtuous daughter--"who would have been exceptionally beautiful as well were it not for a great ugly horn growing out of the middle of her forehead." He remarries; his new wife is a shrew with a selfish, lazy daughter, and the man departs. The wicked stepmother proceeds to rule the roost, and sends the sweet girl into the clutches of Baba Yaga, the dreaded local witch with the pseudonym Auntie-in-the-Forest. This engrossing story is both fanciful and suspenseful. Lloyd's ( How We Learned the Earth Is Round ) burnished, somewhat cartoony illustrations of the rural scene--with such enticing details as a witch's cabin resting on chicken feet--are just right. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Kimmel, Eric A.
Published by Holiday House (1991)
ISBN 10: 082340854X ISBN 13: 9780823408542
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Book Description Holiday House, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11082340854X

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Eric A. Kimmel, Megan Lloyd (Illustrator)
Published by Holiday House (1991)
ISBN 10: 082340854X ISBN 13: 9780823408542
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