UKRANIAN FOLK TALES by Marie Halun Bloch
Kirkus Star


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These thirteen animal tales have never before been translated into English. They are from the collections of Ivan Rudchenko and Maria Lukiyanenko. According to the translator's preface, both of these collectors, whose work is basic in Ukrainian literature, recorded their stories verbatim. To an unusual degree, Mrs. Bloch's translation retains the sound of informal storytelling. Originally told by and for adults, each of the stories makes some sly point about human behavior while all of the well known characteristics of the speaking animals remain recognizable. Thus, a goat clownishly outwits the bigger wolves, a cat strategically uses its small force to scare off larger forest animals and a rooster endangers itself because it can't help crowing. Some of the stories involve short verses that probably rhymed in the original Ukrainian. Rather than force the rhyme in English, Mrs. Bloch has made her translations rhythmic and some are outstanding for story chants. The illustrations are stylized woodcuts, clear, well placed and in the mood of each story. Both author and illustrator share Ukrainian backgrounds.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1964
Publisher: Coward-McCann