TALES FROM CENTRAL RUSSIA; TALES FROM TARTARY by James--Adapt. Riordan

TALES FROM CENTRAL RUSSIA; TALES FROM TARTARY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fair Vassilisa and Baba Yaga,"" ""Ivan the Rich and Ivan the Poor,"" ""The Flying Ship,"" ""The Bun"" (the gingerbread boy's counterpart), ""Axe Porridge"" (a variant of ""Stone Soup""): altogether there are almost 50 tales of magic, humor, justice, and wit in the Russian collection which Riordan has translated from Afanasiev, with several Russian words left in to remind us of their origin. Riordan's choices can't be faulted, and his telling is trim and more comfortably readable than the cramped paragraphs of the comprehensive Guterman translation for Pantheon. The less familiar but as consistently entertaining Tartar Tales, 30 of them, were taken from Tartar collections and from oral renditions by Riordan's Tartar in-laws and their neighbors. These are varied, colorful, strong and splendid in their imagery, as sprightly and aptly told as the Russian tales, and, as the only Tartar collection in English, a real contribution to our folklore repertory. Colbert's illustrations for the Tartar stories have flavor and zest; Turska's, more conventional, cope adequately with the humorous and scary motifs but respond with banality to the romantic stories.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1979
Publisher: Viking