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Friday, October 14, 2016

Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave

Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave by Marianna Mayer, illustrated by K.Y. Craft (HarperCollins, 1994). 

This Russian folktale, which is a variation of Cinderella, was a favorite of mine as a kid and I especially loved this version, which changes the traditional title for the heroine from the Beautiful to the Brave. Vasilisa's cruel stepmother sends her to borrow a light from the horrible witch Baba Yaga, who lives in a house of bones.  The witch gives her a series of seemingly impossible trials, but Vasilia has a magic doll that her late mother made for her, and the doll completes the tasks for her. The illustrations are both beautiful and creepy, without being too scary for young kids. This is a good story for Halloween season.









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