BABUSHKA BABA YAGA by Patricia Polacco


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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The premise is promising: Baba Yaga, yearning to have grandchildren like the babushkas she espies near her forest home, disguises herself as one of them (covering her tall, pointy ears) and joins the old women chatting in the square. There, she hears of Natasha, who has no babushka to care for her child; Baba Yaga volunteers and is soon a loving family member--until little Victor is frightened by the other babushkas' tales of fearsome Baba Yaga, and our Baba Yaga retreats once more to her forest. At this point, Polacco resorts to a classic but pat conclusion: Victor, menaced by wolves, is rescued by Baba Yaga, who's then welcomed back: "Those who judge one another on what they hear or see, and not on what they know of them in their hearts, are fools indeed!" It's an unfortunate irony that, in countering the image of a bad old witch, Polacco relies on another, equally fallacious symbol--the ravening wolf. Still, even without a more original resolution: a warm, lively tale, neatly mixing new and old and illustrated with Polacco's usual energetic action, bright folk patterns, and affectionate characterizations. (Picture book. 4-8)
Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-399-22531-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993


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