Welcome to another Perfect Picture Book Friday, inspired by children's picture book author, Susanna Hill. Each Friday, we review a children's book of our choice and include links to crafts and other activities. Check out her comprehensive list of books categorized by subject for Teachers, Librarians and Parents here.
Here again is another Russian fairy tale for you to enjoy:
Retold by: Mary Hoffman
Illustrated by: Marie Cameron
Publishers: Barefoot Books
Appeals to: ages 6-11
Themes: Old Russia, Russian fairy tales, cleverness, "truth-wins-out," riddles.
Jacket flap: "What is the fastest thing in the world, what is the fattest, what is the softest, and what is the most precious? Come to me tomorrow with your answers."
When Katya's father, Ivan, and his wealthy but selfish brother Dmitri disagree about which of them owns a newly born foal, it falls to the Tsar of all Russia to settle the case. The Tsar decides to do so by setting the brothers a riddle. Both Ivan and Dmitri are perplexed. They return home to seek advice, and Ivan turns to seven-year-old Katya for help.
As soon as Katya hears the riddle, she knows exactly what to do. The events that follow change all of their lives, and the wit and courage of this spirited young heroine make her a truly inspiring and memorable character.
Why I like this book: Again, I am a sucker for fairy tales; Russian ones in particular. This one has a main character who reminds me of my Russian born daughter. She, too, is full of spunk and spirit!
In the back of the book, the author shares how she came to re-write the story, and also reveals what influences the creation of such tales.
I just love the clear, bright illustrations that reflect the art and culture of Russia...well done!
It seems to be no longer in print, but you can check it out in a library, or, purchase it for as little as one penny on Amazon, here!
Links to activities:
Lesson plans, other tales and fractured fairy tale ideas here.
Everything you've ever wanted to know about fairy tales here.