Russian Folk Tales

Russian Folk Tales

by James Riordan, Andrew Breakspeare
     
 


Written by award-winning children's author James Riordan, this book is a beguiling collection of stories set among the wide rivers and snow-covered forests and steppes of Russia--a land still shrouded in mystery in the eyes of the Western reader. The incomparable beauty of untamed nature and the Slavic gift for storytelling make for a captivating combination. Meet…  See more details below

Overview


Written by award-winning children's author James Riordan, this book is a beguiling collection of stories set among the wide rivers and snow-covered forests and steppes of Russia--a land still shrouded in mystery in the eyes of the Western reader. The incomparable beauty of untamed nature and the Slavic gift for storytelling make for a captivating combination. Meet boyars and cossacks, kings and queens, merchants and minstrels, robbers and angels, witches and peasants. Ships fly through the air, princesses turn into frogs, a snowmaiden longs for a human heart, the mighty Firebird steals the golden apples. Folk tales, heroic sagas, legends and myths from villages and towns all across Russia--they are all here in this fascinating anthology. Evocative full-color illustrations accompany each story.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Lush...watercolors and vignettes capture the magic of the forest and a full range of characters and expressions."--Publishers Weekly

"The relatively simple text, good-sized type, and appealing illustrations make this an accessible volume for children to read on their own."--Booklist

"An enjoyable and accessible collection of 10 traditional folktales....Skillfully employs repetition and plays with the sound of language to create stories that beg to be shared aloud....An excellent introduction to Russian folklore for today's children."--School Library Journal

"Every once in a while there's a children's book that has that special something. Russian Folk-Tales is just such a book....Retells 10 stories with wonderful themes of magic vessels enlightened animals, beautiful maidens, and supernatural quests....The author...is stylized, lovely, and absolutely engrossing.... A wonderful read-aloud at any level, and a wonderful basis for comparison of folk tales from culture to culture."--Teaching Pre K-8

"This book is a perfect collection with which to introduce young children to Russian fairy tales, perhaps exciting them at an early age about this part of the world through its stories." --"Slavic and East European Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three compendiums cover folktales, sense and nonsense. James Riordan collects and translates Russian Folk Tales, illus. by Andrew Breakspeare, both well known ("Vasilissa"; "The Firebird") and lesser known ("The Animals' Revenge"), sometimes adding twists to Western tradition (the Frog Prince becomes a Princess here). Riordan adopts a storyteller's bravado ("Now here's a fine to-do, thought the cat, his face long as a fiddle," says Catofay Ivanovich when his master dumps him in the forest, deeming him past his prime). Lush full-bleed watercolors and vignettes capture the magic of the forest and a full range of characters and expressions. ( Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-An enjoyable and accessible collection of 10 traditional folktales, ranging from the familiar ("The Firebird" and "Vasilissa the Wise and Baba Yag ") to the obscure ("Bella and the Bear" and "The Rosy Apple and the Golden Bowl"). Riordan wisely kept the child audience in mind, making selections that emphasize family relationships, clever main characters, magical gifts, and punishment for evil. The reteller skillfully employs repetition and plays with the sound of language to create stories that beg to be shared aloud. As every good scholar should, he includes sources (many are taken from Alexander Afanasiev's classic 19th-century collection), along with notes that place each tale in the context of Russian culture. Breakspeare's highly stylized watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations range from full-page renderings to tiny cameos, and do an inadequate job of conveying the action. In several instances, the drawings are misleading and depict characters and events not included in the tales. Browns, greens, and blues dominate the palette, but the colors are often so saturated that the pictures become muddy and indistinct. While the illustrations disappoint, the tales themselves provide an excellent introduction to Russian folklore for today's children.-Denise Anton Wright, Alliance Library System, Bloomington, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192745361
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/11/2006
Series:
Myths and Legends Series
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Surrey University (Emeritus)

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