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Baba Yaga and the Wise Doll Hardcover – February 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The august skills of Oram (Badger's Bring Something Party) and Brown (Cry Baby) create a droll yet affecting take on a Russian fairy tale. Earthy colors and the dramatic manipulation of light and shadow mark the artist's sweeping full-bleed spreads, from which a cherubic waif named Too Nice stares out with mesmerizing brown eyes. Her sisters, Horrid and Very Horrid, demand that Too Nice bring to them one of Baba Yaga's dapper Toads (bedecked in jeweled vests and diamond collars). But first, she must complete a series of tasks at the witch's bidding (e.g., separating out a pile of dirt and poppy seeds). With the help of a small doll, a gift from her deceased mother, Too Nice accomplishes her mission and returns home with a seemingly benign Toad who nonetheless gobbles up the greedy siblings. Oram's clever twist in inventing sisters more horrid than the sorceress will likely amuse even die-hard fairy tale fans, while Brown spares youngsters potentially scary scenes in favor of depicting more frivolous moments: Baba Yaga's house sprouts chicken legs to carry her through the forest; food flies as the witch and her Toads prance on the table, alongside a jovial dancing cauldron. Learning a sound lesson, Too Nice changes her name to Just About Right?a fine description for this clever and elegant book as well. Ages 3-6.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?The ever-popular Russian witch nearly steals the show in this enjoyable picture book. One day, Horrid Child and Very Horrid Child send Too Nice Child to Baba Yaga's house to bring back one of the witch's toads. Fortunately, Too Nice has a magical helper, a doll given to her by her mother before she died. With the doll's help, the girl accomplishes seemingly impossible tasks set for her by Baba Yaga. The ultimate test is a question: "What was it you came for?" Too Nice's answer delights the witch and she gives her one of her bejeweled toads. It gobbles up Horrid Child and Very Horrid Child and hops back home. Too Nice stops being too nice and becomes "Just About Right." Oram's retelling downplays the frightening aspects of the witch. One flaw in the otherwise excellent retelling is the lack of any source notes for this version. Brown's atmospheric illustrations work wonderfully with the text. Using layers of acrylic paint and glazes, the artist has fashioned full-page illustrations that effectively merge reality and fantasy. They also have a sly humor about them. Baba Yaga's pet toads hang tightly onto the roof of her house as it gallops along on chicken legs, and after Too Nice Child answers her question favorably, Baba Yaga and her toads dance a jig on top of the dinner table. A bewitching offering.?Denise Anton Wright, Alliance Library System, Bloomington, IL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st American ed edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525459472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525459477
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By colleen on January 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have shared, read, this book since 1997 at the Library and Head Start. The children sit mezmorized while I am reading it. They all LOVE it,especially the scary part about the "witch". I have been asked back to read it several times to new children! It is one of their favorites! BEAUTIFUL art work!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D T on December 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful, old classic tale. My daughter and I found ourselves checking this book out from our local library over and over again over the course of years. Then I was so happy to find it on-line and be able to purchase our own copy. We own so many books and many of them sit on the self collecting dust and are rarely (if ever) read, but this one is certainly one of our favorites and will continue to be read over and over again while we enjoy the myth and the symbolism and the lessons held in the words...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Parks on July 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another version of the Baba Yaga story with good illustrations. I had a student from Russia in my classroom and she was the first to bring up Baba Yaga so we decided to read about her. The kids enjoyed connecting this story with other fairy tales.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grace on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
young or old, this book is wise. the pictures are amazing.
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By Cwolf on December 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I share this story with my elementary school classes all the time. The kids love the illustrations, especially the toads.
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