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Babushka Baba Yaga [Paperback]

Patricia Polacco
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 11 2002
Baba Yaga is a witch famous throughout Russia for eating children, but this Babushka Baba Yaga is a lonely old woman who just wants a grandchild?to love. "Kids will respond to the joyful story of the outsider who gets to join in, and Polacco's richly patterned paintings of Russian peasant life on the edge of the woods are full of light and color." -- Booklist "A warm, lively tale, neatly mixing new and old and illustrated with Polacco's usual energetic action, bright folk patterns, and affectionate characterizations." --Kirkus Reviews

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This "direct yet resonant" retelling of a Russian folktale has "sumptuous colors, a rich melange of patterns and textures?and even a sprinkling of forest fairies," said PW. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Wishing to be like the people she watches from the woods, Baba Yaga dresses herself in human clothing and covers her elfin ears with a scarf. Resembling any other grandmother or babushka, she is welcomed into the home of a young mother and quickly assumes the care of a child named Victor. She grows to love the boy, but when the other old women tell terrifying stories of the witch Baba Yaga, she returns to the woods with a heavy heart. Missing her, Victor wanders into the woods and is threatened by ferocious wolves. Coming to his rescue, Baba Yaga is finally accepted by the babushkas who realize that, "Those who judge one another on what they hear or see, and not what they know of them in their hearts, are fools indeed!" Polacco's reassuring text is accompanied by her full-page illustrations drawn in a casual, relaxed style in a variety of mediums: markers, charcoal pencil, chalk pastel, and gouache. The underlying message of tolerance is well presented, and the author does an admirable job of melding the two contrasting grandmother images from Russian culture. While her depiction of the misunderstood creature may surprise serious students of folklore, those wanting to share a kinder, gentler Baba Yaga will welcome this picture book.
Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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She was the last of her kind. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's afraid of the big bad babushka? June 29 2004
Authors (especially authors of children's books) love reinterpreting old folk and fairy tales. From "The Stinky Cheese Man" to "East", children are constantly being exposed to a wide variety of new ways of reading and interpreting the tales they heard when younger. Patricia Polacco is to be commended for her particularly original reinterpretation. Some of you may be familiar with the classic Baba Yaga stories that came out of Russia. These stories centered on an evil old woman who lived in a house that stood on chicken legs. Usually portrayed as a wicked witch, Baba Yaga ate children and cavorted with the darkest of magics. In "Babushka Baba Yaga", Polacco reclaims a newly misunderstood icon.

Unlike the stories, the Baba Yaga in this tale is the last of her kind. Terribly lonely in her forest home, she spends the days enviously spying on the grandmothers (or "babushkas") of the nearby village. There is nothing Baba Yaga would like more than to care for a little young creature of her own. One day she has the idea of borrowing some babushka clothing and arriving in the village as an old woman. It isn't long before she meets Natasha and her little son Victor. Victor has no babushka of his own, and Baba Yaga offers to take care of the boy, cook, and clean in exhange for a bed and some food. Things go swimmingly for quite a while. Then, one day, Victor and his new babushka overhear a chilling Baba Yaga tale and the boy is greatly scared. Not wanting to cause any trouble, Baba Yaga leaves the happy home with great sorrow. It's only through a miraculous rescue and the villagers' acceptance that things are finally put to rights at the end.

The moral of the story is spoken by one of the village women at the book's finish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let Baba Yaga be a Babuska, Please! Dec 22 2003
By A Customer
Heart warming story about Baba Yaga as a Babushka. Hey only Patricia Polacco could do it right and she did! I think this is one of her best books!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who should have to grow up??? April 23 2003
By A Customer
I have been reading these books by Patricia Polacco since I was in the second grade. I can't believe that I actually remembered the author. They are very vivide books. It has now been about ten years since I last saw one of these books and i still rememger what they are about.
One of my favorites is the one about the Rhubarb which made me want to try Rhubarb (Sorry if I didn't spell it right) anyways if you need something to read to your kids these have excellant drawings (I'm an artist just because of these books)
They are wonderful I would recomend these to everyone not just kids.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Babushka Baba Yaga Oct. 22 2002
By A Customer
I recommed this book for people who like to laugh. It is an interesting book because it descdides the adventure of baba yaga. I enjoyed reading it alot. I thought this was a good book.
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