Babushka: Classic Russian Folktale

church craft fair

I had a fabulous time at the Grace Presbyterian Holiday event that was held last Saturday. When I first arrived, all the vendors were busily preparing their tables and I set up outdoors. Barefoot Books received a very warm reception from the people and I was so pleased to have introduced these wonderful children's books to the community of San Diego North County.

books for sale at church bazaar

One particular sale that stood out in my mind was meeting a darling woman from Poland who was attracted to the book, Babushka. All of my hardcover books were placed on one side and paperback books with story time CDs on the other. I believe the customer was attracted to the size of the book, its shape and definitely its bright, colorful cover.
This sweet Grandma opened up the book and started immediately reading the books contents.


* About the book:

Meet Babushka, a woman who is so busy focusing on the little things, that she hardly notices the miraculous events going on around her. This touching Christmas story shows that the more you give away in love, the more you will receive.

Ages 3 to 7 years

Retold By: Sandra Ann Horn

Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus

* Product Details:

Pub. Date: September 2002
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Format: Hardcover, 32pp
Age Range: 5 to 7
ISBN-13: 9781841483535
ISBN: 1841483532

* Annotation

While traveling, Babushka gives her gifts for the Christ child away and thinks she has nothing left to give the baby, only to discover that everything she gave away, she also gave to him.

* School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1-Babushka is so obsessive about cleanliness that she tells an angel who comes heralding Jesus's birth that she'll have to wipe her feet. When the three kings invite her to join them, she says she does not have time. "What about the washing up?" she asks. She finally decides to make the journey alone and packs some gifts for the baby, which she gives away to needy folks along the way. When she realizes that she's empty-handed and starts to return home, she hears someone call her name. It's Mary welcoming her into the stable, and Babushka finds the baby surrounded by all of her gifts. She decides to hold him instead of tidying up. Based on a Russian folktale, this version is charmingly told but it is hard to see how Babushka's cleaning mania is connected to her generosity, or what lesson she is supposed to have learned at the end. The richly colored, stylized acrylic paintings feature Russian-style clothing and buildings as well as palm and fig trees. An attractive but flawed retelling.-E. M

* Step Behind The Story:

* About The Author

Sandra Ann Horn is the author of several children's picture books and storybooks, among them The Dandelion Wish and Babushka. The Dandelion Wish follows two young preschoolers as they discover that their wishes come true when blowing on a dandelion. School Library Journal reviewer Judith Constantinides commented that Horn's "imaginative and lyrical text is paired with lovely impressionistic illustrations radiating light and sunshine," and will no doubt "captivate readers with its rhythmic words, as the pictures do with their beauty."

* What I Like:

Babushka is a story filled with love and warmth. It will teach children to not only be kind to others but as well to take time and appreciate the beauty that the world is filled with. The story is very well written and will teach its young readers the invaluable lesson of kindness and gratefulness. Sophie Fatus' illustrations are marvelous as well.

Babushka is an endearing Christmas story, a classic Russian folktale. It helps readers recognize the big picture-- to forget about the little things like tidying up the house or polishing the silver. Instead, Babushka learns a wonderful lesson of love and appreciation that everyone can benefit from. Celebrate life, not the gifts. A book to add to your holiday favorites!

Happy Reading!
~ LadyD

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