Cover Image: Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga

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Member Reviews

A lackluster retelling of Baba Yaga. The art was sometimes okay but it didn't match the story very well.

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This is a retelling of the tale of Baba Yaga with illustrations by An Leysen. The illustrations are adorable, but the book is very text-heavy for a picture book and it changes parts of the original story for seemingly no reason at all. There are many retellings of Baba Yaga and I simply don't think this one is as good as it could be. At least it does a happy ending with the father being protective and not tolerating the evil stepmother.

Note: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other fashion for the review and the opinions reflected below are entirely my own. Special thanks to the publisher and author for providing the copy.

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Amazing stories, incredible illustrations, what else is there to ask for? A great addition to our children's department!

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Baba Yaga is a Slavic fairy tale. In this retelling, the story is part Cinderella with the girl Olga being mistreated by her wicked step-mother (Baba Yaga's sister) and part Hansel and Gretel with the threat of cannibalism. The Cinderella part, I like. The cannibalism threat, not so much. Baba Yaga always frightened me as a child, and while this is a rather tame retelling of the tale often used by Slavic parents to get their children to behave, I still didn't like it. Incidentally, when I visited my pen pal in Moscow, he was quite surprised that I knew who Baba Yaga was and was even more surprised that an American child would have read the Slavic tale.

I gave the book three stars because of the gorgeous illustrations that pull the reader in. Olga is so soft and beautifully drawn. The colors of the book vary from vibrant to muted, with some of the muted pages having just one or two items in vibrant colors to draw attention to them. Treating others as one wishes to be treated is a valuable lesson to be learned here. But I think there are other fairy tales that could just as easily have imparted that wisdom without the plot devices of witchcraft or cannibalism.

I received this book as an eARC for free from the author, the publishers, and NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.

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