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Russian Fairy Tales (Illustrated) (Fairy eBooks)

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Several famous Russian fairy tales with color illustrations by Ivan Bilibin. The tales were recorded by folklorist Alexander Afanasyev, who collected and published more than 600 Russian folk tales in the middle 19th century. *** Fairy eBooks series *** This ebook features a colorful, full screen design optimized for Kindle Fire HD. It can be viewed also on Kindle Several famous Russian fairy tales with color illustrations by Ivan Bilibin. The tales were recorded by folklorist Alexander Afanasyev, who collected and published more than 600 Russian folk tales in the middle 19th century. *** Fairy eBooks series *** This ebook features a colorful, full screen design optimized for Kindle Fire HD. It can be viewed also on Kindle eInk devices except old models: Kindle 1, 2, DX; Kindle 3 needs a firmware update to ver. 3.4.


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Several famous Russian fairy tales with color illustrations by Ivan Bilibin. The tales were recorded by folklorist Alexander Afanasyev, who collected and published more than 600 Russian folk tales in the middle 19th century. *** Fairy eBooks series *** This ebook features a colorful, full screen design optimized for Kindle Fire HD. It can be viewed also on Kindle Several famous Russian fairy tales with color illustrations by Ivan Bilibin. The tales were recorded by folklorist Alexander Afanasyev, who collected and published more than 600 Russian folk tales in the middle 19th century. *** Fairy eBooks series *** This ebook features a colorful, full screen design optimized for Kindle Fire HD. It can be viewed also on Kindle eInk devices except old models: Kindle 1, 2, DX; Kindle 3 needs a firmware update to ver. 3.4.

30 review for Russian Fairy Tales (Illustrated) (Fairy eBooks)

  1. 5 out of 5

    oh carlyn what key

    seriously there is nothing more weird and bewildering and beautiful than russian fairy tales. first of all the titles are incredible. "if you don't like it, don't listen" is a classic example. the way they end is my favorite part. often the story is clipped short by: "i was there, i drank mead with the king and it got in my beard but did not spill into my mouth." or other such brilliance. and baba yaga and her chicken-leg hut? don't even get me started.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Serena W. Sorrell

    Hmm. Well. I liked half of the stories? But they got very samey after a while. And boy oh boy, are the names Ivan and Vasilisa ever popular. All the Baba Yagas and creepy wooden dolls were the best. Also that gray wolf was a chill guy~ and why aren't women freaking out about falcons flying into their rooms and turning into beautiful men, or is this just something that happens in Russia?

  3. 5 out of 5

    rae

    i am a sucker for fairy tales in general, but this collection gives me insight into gogol's imaginative workings... absurdities, odd, cruel, dry humor... and excellent illustrations to boot...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    The synopsis for this particular edition is, for some reason, in English instead of in Dutch - the reason I mention this is because the Dutch edition only includes 50 fairytales, and not the 200 promised in the English synopsis. Russia has always interested me greatly, but I personally haven't gotten around reading any of the great classics just yet. I grew up with Russian folk songs (especially when a certain Belgian guy by the name of Helmut Lotti decided to record them as well), my The synopsis for this particular edition is, for some reason, in English instead of in Dutch - the reason I mention this is because the Dutch edition only includes 50 fairytales, and not the 200 promised in the English synopsis. Russia has always interested me greatly, but I personally haven't gotten around reading any of the great classics just yet. I grew up with Russian folk songs (especially when a certain Belgian guy by the name of Helmut Lotti decided to record them as well), my mom loves Russia and the Romanovs, so I must have gotten it from her. Still, I have zero reading experience when it comes to Russian works. I love fairytales, so when I saw a cheap copy of this particular book, I figured it was time to get some Russian-related reading done. Reading fairytales is always interesting, because as long as the fairytales are European (and maybe this is a global thing, but I've only read European fairytales so far) there are many parallels that can be drawn. Stories that have the same premise, or the same build-up. You find a couple of those stories in here, too. I'm not one to take notes while reading (that makes it look a bit too much like a homework assignment, something I actually try actively to avoid when reading for fun), so I can't tell you exactly which story shares what characteristic with a certain other famous fairytale, but I do remember very clearly that one story had the same opening as Beauty and the Beast (at least, the version the 1946 French and the 1978 Czech version are based on). The rest of the story differs slightly, but the parallels are there. That's just the one example however, there are many more! Another thing that's quite curious about these fairytales is the insane amount of repetition. Character names are repeated a lot (Wassilissa, Iwan [without luck], etc.). There seems to be a theme of Tsars marrying merchant's daughters, the Baba Jaga makes frequent appearances, there are many magical devices (e.g. a little doll) which can make or do anything in just one night, and it's constantly stressed that the morning is wiser than the evening. So yes, loads of repetition. But then I suppose that's a fairytale characteristic, though I never noticed it quite as clearly as I did now. Overall, quite an enjoyable read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    This is a vast compendium of folk tales (no fairies, really, in Russian folklore)... but they seem often to be the same story with various character configurations, having a hard time 'feeling' the subject matter. Think this is going to be more of a reference book than a 'read'. Think I'd enjoy a more realized version of the stories--like in individual picture books. ************* As I go along, I find it's more engaging. I've found a better tempo, slower rather than faster. **************< This is a vast compendium of folk tales (no fairies, really, in Russian folklore)... but they seem often to be the same story with various character configurations, having a hard time 'feeling' the subject matter. Think this is going to be more of a reference book than a 'read'. Think I'd enjoy a more realized version of the stories--like in individual picture books. ************* As I go along, I find it's more engaging. I've found a better tempo, slower rather than faster. ************** Russian folk tales are complex and their impact unfolds gradually--there's no way to summarize these stories, hardly a way to keep them separate in my head. I've tried to tell them to people in a sentence or two. Impossible. There's not only three princes, three suitors, the sorcerer figure, the lover-queen, princess, old people in the forest with an only daughter, woodcutters and firebirds and talking fish and magical horses, and all of the animals in the forest, each with their legendary personalities-- but one on top of the other--plus, of course, the terrible Baba Yaga in her hut on chicken legs. I WANT THIS IN AN ILLUSTRATED EDITION!!! I'll never be done with it, want to see all the operas and ballets based on these stories. What a treasure, such a different feel than Grimm. The 'morals' to the stories are very different, often the very opposite of the German. Fascinating on the narrative end, and as a look into the culture and mind-set of the preliterate, oral culture of Russia. Such cultures don't die when the more sophisticated, modern ones come in, they live one inside the other inside the other, like nesting dolls.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    This is a collection Russian Fairy Tales. There is love, death, and betrayal, as with all good tales. The narrative is detailed, vivid, often emotional, and evocative. Characters are sometimes emotional, caring, and humorous. Overall, a fun read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Here's a good list of things that will happen in a Russian fairy tale: - Ivan is an idiot and will probably end up dying because of it. If he doesn't die, his two older brothers will. - someone's limbs will be ripped off. probably multiple someones. - Baba Yaga loves to chase people and have them do chores for her and then let them go - there are multiple Baba Yagas - at the end of any given story the teller will remind you pointedly that he hasn't had anything to d Here's a good list of things that will happen in a Russian fairy tale: - Ivan is an idiot and will probably end up dying because of it. If he doesn't die, his two older brothers will. - someone's limbs will be ripped off. probably multiple someones. - Baba Yaga loves to chase people and have them do chores for her and then let them go - there are multiple Baba Yagas - at the end of any given story the teller will remind you pointedly that he hasn't had anything to drink - the people who die are just like, welp! guess i'm dead! unless they're coming back to life and getting revenge. - random foreign princes will not be able to enter russia. instead of an explanation the story will just say "for some reason he could not enter russia" - ICONIC. - 80% of them are re-telling another story you already read but with an added twist; i.e., this time it's Baba Yaga as the antagonist instead of Kochchei the Deathless (or once, a vampire). - I would die for Kochchei the Deathless. Just out here trying to save these women from their terrible fiance/husbands and what does he get for it? His heart eaten. Absolutely NO gratitude.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tom Lee

    A wonderfully illustrated introduction to Russian fairytales. I only wish there were more than five stories to devour!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lekeisha The Booknerd

    I could read a whole book of Baba Yaga tales, alone, so to get one with a few about the infamous witch; along with other familiars is a treat. Most of the stories are new to me. More than a handful are the ones that I've heard about before, but this book is more accurate than anything that have passed through my ears, I'm sure. The more a tale passes through someone's mouth, the more elaborate they become. This was a refreshing course on classic Russian fairy tales that anyone can appreciate. I I could read a whole book of Baba Yaga tales, alone, so to get one with a few about the infamous witch; along with other familiars is a treat. Most of the stories are new to me. More than a handful are the ones that I've heard about before, but this book is more accurate than anything that have passed through my ears, I'm sure. The more a tale passes through someone's mouth, the more elaborate they become. This was a refreshing course on classic Russian fairy tales that anyone can appreciate. I will be moving on to Native American tales next time, so hopefully it will be a faster read. Overall, this is a very good collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Riddhiman

    This book is one volume of the collection by Afanasyev and contains 5 of Russian Folk/fairy tales narrated in a storytelling manner, i.e in a manner in which the stories used to be told orally, accompanies by nice illustrations. The premise of the stories is very similar to other famous European folk tales; I could see traces of Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Grimm's Fairy Tales etc. in them. But my greatest surprise was the story, 'The Feather of Finist The Falcon' in which I found a striking res This book is one volume of the collection by Afanasyev and contains 5 of Russian Folk/fairy tales narrated in a storytelling manner, i.e in a manner in which the stories used to be told orally, accompanies by nice illustrations. The premise of the stories is very similar to other famous European folk tales; I could see traces of Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Grimm's Fairy Tales etc. in them. But my greatest surprise was the story, 'The Feather of Finist The Falcon' in which I found a striking resemblance to an Indian fairy tale that I had read long back. This and the other tales hint that a multitude of such tales with a similar set of attributes and themes exist all over the world. There could be two theories regarding this: 1. The tales originated separately and the points of similarity are just coincidences. 2. The tales have a common origin and have been slightly altered and customized to suit the region as it spread to different parts of the world The 2nd explanation seems more plausible. This could be a fascinating subject of research for a PHD scholar pursuing comparative literature.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    This collection is a bit of a mixed bag. The illustrations alone - full page, full color - make this book worth owning (although I wish I'd gotten the hardcover) and it's fascinating to see the Russian versions of some classic folk tales. Plus there's an intriguing underlayer in some of the stories, where the women have full control over when and whom they choose to marry ("consent" is a sadly unusual word for fairy tales), and where a woman is the one to ride off to battle, leaving her husband This collection is a bit of a mixed bag. The illustrations alone - full page, full color - make this book worth owning (although I wish I'd gotten the hardcover) and it's fascinating to see the Russian versions of some classic folk tales. Plus there's an intriguing underlayer in some of the stories, where the women have full control over when and whom they choose to marry ("consent" is a sadly unusual word for fairy tales), and where a woman is the one to ride off to battle, leaving her husband behind to tend the castle. "Maria Morevna" is my favorite of the bunch, with clever narrative choices that made it a highly enjoyable read. Unfortunately, this all goes astray in the last two tales. In "The Frog-Tsarevna," the boy gets the fairy-girl by literally catching her about the throat, holding onto her as she transforms into various creatures, then breaking her in half. This is an explicit portrait of domination and ownership that isn't surprising in fairy tale traditions but was a disappointment after the female agency shown in the previous tales. The final tale, "Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf," was a retelling of a story I've seen in a variety of forms. It was fairly dull, since Ivan did nothing of value to show his worth, and the wolf did all the work and received none of the glory. I did like the wolf, though. It's enough to make me consider yet another fairy tale retelling with the wolf in the hero's role.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ardyth

    Fun collection of five tales, gathered and translated by Afanasyev (whose work was further adapted by Lang for the colored Fairy Tale books) in the nineteenth century. These are readable adventures with a good mix of heroes and heroines, and a great rhythm. By the end, you recognize patterns in the Russian storytelling style: three times nine kingdoms, journeys are short in the telling but long in the doing, etc. You can find Afanasyev's full collection, and no doubt many of those stories are fu Fun collection of five tales, gathered and translated by Afanasyev (whose work was further adapted by Lang for the colored Fairy Tale books) in the nineteenth century. These are readable adventures with a good mix of heroes and heroines, and a great rhythm. By the end, you recognize patterns in the Russian storytelling style: three times nine kingdoms, journeys are short in the telling but long in the doing, etc. You can find Afanasyev's full collection, and no doubt many of those stories are fun, too... but this edition really shines thanks to Ivan Bilbin's gorgeous artwork. Link below for a sample. http://allart.biz/up/photos/album/B-C... Also, surprise!! The book is good in hard copy but looks AMAZING on a Kindle app for iPad. Like stained glass windows. 😍 That's a first.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Giulia

    Recently read these stories, and they're such a break from our usual Grimm's fairytales. The stories have a lot of similarities in their themes, but the magical realism, at times scary storylines and strong heroines make this enjoyable for everyone. Furthermore, the illustrations are divine!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    man the Russians are depressing!

  15. 4 out of 5

    hanna

    Dnf 102/189 stories.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    This is an illustrated collection of five Russian folk tales: Vasilisa the Beautiful, Maria Morevna, The Feather of Finist the Falcon, The Frog-Tsareva and Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf. The tales were collected by Alexander Afanasyev, who collected and published a large number of Russian folk tales in the 19th century. The illustrations are by Ivan Bilibin, who was a well known Russian illustrator and stage designer around 1900. I'm not entirely sure why this is listed as an al This is an illustrated collection of five Russian folk tales: Vasilisa the Beautiful, Maria Morevna, The Feather of Finist the Falcon, The Frog-Tsareva and Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf. The tales were collected by Alexander Afanasyev, who collected and published a large number of Russian folk tales in the 19th century. The illustrations are by Ivan Bilibin, who was a well known Russian illustrator and stage designer around 1900. I'm not entirely sure why this is listed as an alternate edition to the one that has many more tales in it but it's a good introduction to Russian fairy tales. The great strength of this collection is the illustrations. The stories are interesting but carry many of the same elements so that reading it in one sitting, you really notice the themes. It might have been better to have included some fairy tales that didn't feel quite so similar. However, the illustrations more than make up for it. There are several of Bilibin's prints throughout and each page has a lovely decorative border. I'd buy this just to keep on my shelf just for the love of the art. As someone who was completely unfamiliar with Russian fairy tales until reading the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden, this was a good introduction to the subject and the art had me drooling.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Markus

    Russian Fairy Tales is a delightful and comprehensive collection of stories from Russian folk tradition. I had such fun reading them--a few each day--and comparing them with tales from other European traditions. It is interesting to look at the crossover and where differences occur. A brilliant book for readers of all ages.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Wish there were more of them...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matina Viola

    If you are looking for something similar to Grimm's tales this is not what you are looking for. If on the other hand you are a big fan of Aesop's fables and faes you are going to enjoy it!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jude

    This collection of tales was written, or rather, recorded by renowned Russian folklorist Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev in the mid-19th century. The book contains some of the best-known Russian folktales, including: Vasilisa the Beautiful; The Feather of Finist the Falcon; The Frog-Tsarevna; and Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf. Of all the characters I came across in this volume, and there are a few who feature in more than one tale, I was particularly taken by Baba Ya This collection of tales was written, or rather, recorded by renowned Russian folklorist Alexander Nikolayevich Afanasyev in the mid-19th century. The book contains some of the best-known Russian folktales, including: Vasilisa the Beautiful; The Feather of Finist the Falcon; The Frog-Tsarevna; and Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf. Of all the characters I came across in this volume, and there are a few who feature in more than one tale, I was particularly taken by Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga is a cannibalistic witch who lives in a small wooden hut at the edge of the forest. Now, this description may not seem so different from a lot of other witches in children’s stories, but Baba Yaga has so many fantastic quirks, the likes of which I would never have imagined. Her hut stands on hen’s legs, and will only lower itself to permit entry when in receipt of a certain rhyme. It is also surrounded by a picket fence adorned with the skulls of Baba Yaga’s victims, the eye sockets of which glow in the night. Instead of a broomstick, Baba Yaga travels through the forest in a giant mortar, driving herself forward with a pestle in her right hand, while sweeping the forest floor with a broom in her left hand. Oh and she is also often followed by spirits. I love her. Having no familiarity with Russian folklore prior to this, I feel the collection gave a good introduction to some of the most famous characters in Russian folk literature. It’s a beautiful volume, and some of the illustrations are so elaborate I feel I could have spent hours studying them. Originally posted on Jade the Obscure

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

    Too weird. Even for me, who lives for weird. I have to think a lot gets lost in translation. It just has to. I mean, they got married, and chewed bread for the rest of their lives? Do what? And then the fairy tales aren't even well thought out. "They did this and this. And then something happened, and she turned into a dove." "Something happened"? Literally? That's your great plot twist? No. No, no, no.

  22. 5 out of 5

    J.Aleksandr Wootton

    I purchased this for a course in Russian folklore I took in college, and recently re-read it. It's a longer collection than most (including Grimm's), offered without commentary, and very enjoyable. While sharing certain oratorical formulas with Scandinavian folklore (many-headed dragons v. many-headed trolls, Otherworld beings detecting hidden heroes by smelling Russian blood rather than Christian blood), there is a flavor to these tales that is distinctly Russian.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    An excellent starting point for anyone interested in fairy tales from non-western cultures; the differences between these and Grimm's are plainly apparent, but they're still familiar enough to be approachable without much need of explanation or introduction. There's a pretty broad mix of theme, and nearly all are appropriate for young children. I first ran across this book in a teacher's yard sale, and it's been a fast favourite ever since. I can't recommend it highly enough.

  24. 4 out of 5

    ♄Mary♩Sweet♣Dreams♠Are♄Made♩of♣This♠

    These fairy tales are so good that I enjoy reading them as an adult. You just can't go wrong with these Russian tales. My mom enjoyed them a lot when she was young and she got me to like them too. Our favorite tale is obviously the one with Baba Yaga.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I love fairy tales and this was a great book full of interesting, funny and sometimes tragic stories.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Mi Infancia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Danelle

    Russian folk tales, like most other fairy and folk tales were an oral tradition. The interesting thing re: Russian fairy tales is that they were first recorded and published in English, in England. This is the 4th(?) compilation of folk/fairy tales I've read. There are similarities across cultures in their fairy tales - most are associated with the stories of the Grimm brothers, as they are the most widely known: talking stoves, witches, talking animals (who all promise to help the human if thei Russian folk tales, like most other fairy and folk tales were an oral tradition. The interesting thing re: Russian fairy tales is that they were first recorded and published in English, in England. This is the 4th(?) compilation of folk/fairy tales I've read. There are similarities across cultures in their fairy tales - most are associated with the stories of the Grimm brothers, as they are the most widely known: talking stoves, witches, talking animals (who all promise to help the human if their lives are spared - and do), kings with 3 sons who need to make their fortunes (the youngest one always a simpleton), kings with 3 daughters who need rescuing, quests to win the love of someone, magic rings, treasures hidden, etc. etc. There are also stories with warnings and advice. This is especially true of the Russian tales. In one story, a youth is advised: "Keep cool, use your judgement, don't cut off a head." (p. 291) In another story, one is warned: "You are bragging before you have jumped the ditch." And, in many of the stories, one is reminded: "The morning is wiser than the evening." Examples are made of those who "lie on the stove" (are lazy) and promise one that they will "roll in the butter" (live well) if they are honest and hardworking. Punishment in most of the stories consisted of being tied to a horse and dragged to death in an open field. Some of the stories' titles were gems: The Snotty Goat, If You Don't Like It, Don't Listen, and Go I Know Not Wither, Bring Back I Know Not What. Some of the tales end abruptly with the teller promising: "The tale will continue; for the time being it is ended." Many of the tales end at a wedding feast, where the narrator drinks much beer, but it ran down their mustache and didn't go in their mouth. And among the advice and warnings, there was humor, too. In one story a simpleton rides a horse without a rump for 3 years until he "happens upon the rump in a meadow." In another a prince and princess are stolen away by the Bear King. They escape on a "bullock"; when the bear catches up to them, "the bullock strained and pasted the bear's eyes shut with dung," necessitating the bear to leave chase and go wash his face. There's also a Russian version of the gingerbread boy, with a bun who sings to distract the animals after him and rolls away. (Spoiler - the fox gets him in the end.) In another story, a seven-year-old tells the tsar: "I am not worthy to go to the solemn feast; I get drunk in taverns and wallow on the floor." (p. 90) And then, later, he says, "Eh, you youths, my companions! Take the lovely maidens by their hands, lead them to your tents, and do what you know how to do." (p. 92) (WTH?!) This is a hefty volume. Don't plan to read it all at once. I began it in February and just finished it last night. As many of the stories in this collection say: "Speedily a tale is spun, with much less speed, a deed is done."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Doria

    Beautiful collection of Russian fairy tales, recounted in traditional style and adorned with evocative black and white illustrations. The narratives in this collection are almost entirely fairy tales, meaning that they mostly have to do with magic and fantasy, albeit in Russian style: travel to magical kingdoms to fight dragons, the rescue of princesses, colloquies with talking fish and impossible tasks set by Baba Yaga. Women often suffer at the hands of men in these stories, particularly the w Beautiful collection of Russian fairy tales, recounted in traditional style and adorned with evocative black and white illustrations. The narratives in this collection are almost entirely fairy tales, meaning that they mostly have to do with magic and fantasy, albeit in Russian style: travel to magical kingdoms to fight dragons, the rescue of princesses, colloquies with talking fish and impossible tasks set by Baba Yaga. Women often suffer at the hands of men in these stories, particularly the women who rebel against the spouses assigned to them. Princesses are often clever, but rarely able to effect their own individual agency; when they do, they are usually ruthlessly punished. There is no proto-feminist ethos to be found among these pages. The tales are drawn as if from a vault from the past, untouched by contemporary values or imagery. There is a raw, rough quality in evidence, despite the elevated tone and language which many of them affect. There is a fair amount of stylistic and motivic repetition from tale to tale, as honored formulas are passed down and scrupulously - or ritually - respected. It is in the dialogue portion of the stories where the distinctively Russian character of the narratives is made to shine. There is an acerbic, almost clipped quality to most of the exchanges, despite the obligatory use of repeated phrases, all subtly underscored by a sort of wry, mocking humor. When a hapless or witless hero is assigned an impossible task, he generally resorts to drink, tears and prayer - not always in that order. His mother or wife or companion (there is always one of these) next assures our Ivan (the stock name for Russian heroes) that things will improve in the morning, and this is invariably found to be the case. The response to adversity is often a shrug, followed by a swig of vodka. Things generally work out for Ivan, but usually only after a great deal of long travel and repetitive tasks; whereupon the unnamed narrator reminds the listener that it's been a while since his last drink. The formula is set, yet the style is satisfying.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    Three and a half stars. A short book - just five stories - with beautiful illustrations by Ivan Bilibin. I learned, to no surprise, stepsisters are evil in Russian fairy tales too. No doubt you've read phrases which reappear in familiar fairy tales; Once upon a time, They lived happily ever after, etc. Here you'll read in many of the stories; "the morning is wiser than the evening" and long journeys described as "...she walked and walked, whether for a short time or a long time, the t Three and a half stars. A short book - just five stories - with beautiful illustrations by Ivan Bilibin. I learned, to no surprise, stepsisters are evil in Russian fairy tales too. No doubt you've read phrases which reappear in familiar fairy tales; Once upon a time, They lived happily ever after, etc. Here you'll read in many of the stories; "the morning is wiser than the evening" and long journeys described as "...she walked and walked, whether for a short time or a long time, the telling is easy but the journey is not soon done." You'll also read about difficult quests, help from characters the hero/heroine has shown kindness, hero's who are told "whatever you do, don't do X" and of course they do X. In one story a rider asks his horse if it can overtake the people they are pursuing and the horse replies, "Thou mayest strew a measure of flax seed, wait til it is ripe, and pic, clean and card it. Thou mayest spin thread, weave cloth, sew a garment, and wear the garment into shreds, and even then I should be able to overtake them." In another a father tasks the wives of his three recently married sons to each weave a carpet. He doesn't hold back when he tells each son what he thinks of the handiwork of each wife. - carpet made by the wife of the eldest son: "Take this to the stables. It will do to cover my poorest horse when it is raining" - carpet made by the wife of the second son: "Put this in the hall; it may do, perhaps, to wipe my boots upon in bad weather." Needless to say the carpet woven by the wife of the youngest son is the winner, "...the Tsar ordered that it be kept with the greatest care, to be put on his own table on the most solemn feast days." Baba Yaga appears in a couple of the stories, do what she says or she'll eat you. I wasn't fond of the transfer of this book to an electronic format. There's no table of contents, you can't highlight text, search for or lookup a word and on my Paperwhite the text sometimes overflowed the illustrated border framing the page.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julenka

    I thought it would be a good idea to get an illustated copy of the most popular classic russian folk tales, that I knew by heart when I was a kid and have already completely forgotten about by now. Turns out, russian folk tales are at least the same amount of disturbing as the Grimm's one, if not a bit more. I have to admit, I still love them. These are the stories that I grew up with and the magic in them is somehow very different to the one in the western ones... Also, I love the fact that the I thought it would be a good idea to get an illustated copy of the most popular classic russian folk tales, that I knew by heart when I was a kid and have already completely forgotten about by now. Turns out, russian folk tales are at least the same amount of disturbing as the Grimm's one, if not a bit more. I have to admit, I still love them. These are the stories that I grew up with and the magic in them is somehow very different to the one in the western ones... Also, I love the fact that the tales have a pattern of things happening three times - I used to love this as a kid too. It gives the story this extra something... that you know exactly, this is a tale and not real life as a kid, if you know what Imean. Also, as I remeber now, somehow when I was little I understood the logic in these tales way better. I mean, someone gets brutally murdered because he did something wrong? Then a bird arrives and brings you back to life with different kinds of water? Sure. Nothing disturbing in that at all... But reading the tales again today being a grown up (or at least a bit more than back in the good old days...) I can't get over the fact that I ... well and basically all of the children who grew up in the russian culture were raised with these stories. I don't want to start mentioning some of the biggest issues that I have with these tales concerning the treating of female characters, because sure, this was another time and that's why we can't expect any equality. But should we really still be reading such books to our children nowadays without some deep reflexion on what's going on there? Maybe these are good to start discussing today's rolemodels with the kids at an early age already. In most of the tales I can't even detect any kind of moral or anything except for something like "Don't worry, if anything bad should happen to you, some living object or animal will help you out so that you don't have to overcome your problems on your own" or "Stealing is totally ok if someone else told you to do it" or "If you want to kill an animal and it tells you not to, it means something awful is gonna happen to you very soon and that animal will come in handy to help you out, so you better don't kill it now". Or that you always, aaalways should carry some mertwaja and zhiwaja woda with you, because there is actually a very high chance on being brutally chopped into pieces and of course you want to be resurrected and think that you just have been dreaming for a while. To say something positive about this edition, the illustrations are lovely and will give you all the russian feels that you long for while you read these folk tales.

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