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The Tale of Tsar Saltan
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The Tale of Tsar Saltan

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,556 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Betrayed by her sisters, a tsarina and her infant son are marooned on a barren island until a magical swan helps them regain their rightful heritage.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Dial (first published 1831)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
59th out of 392 books — 1,659 voters
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
21st out of 117 books — 96 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 15, 2014 Florencia rated it really liked it
Shelves: russian, poetry
Bitterly, the weaver sighed,
And the cook in passion cried,
Full of jealousy and hate
Of their sister's happy fate.

- Alexander Pushkin

Human beings are complex creatures. We can love and hate with the same energy. When we meet a cruel person, we call him “inhuman”. Because being “human” entails love, solidarity, generosity. However, after getting to know so many people that are everything but nice, one starts to wonder about the true nature of humans. What is to be human? Are we capable of being h
I have read many Russian folktales in my time, but never have I read a Russian folktale that had truly gorgeous illustrations and a heartwarming story! “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” is a Russian folktale by Alexander Pushkin along with illustrations by Gennady Spirin and it is about how a young prince named Prince Guidon is separated from his father Tsar Saltan, after a terrible plot was formed by his mother’s jealous sisters and the Tsar’s cruel cousin. “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” is definitely a boo ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Dianna rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of fairy tales in my life, and I love them, so it's fun when I discover a new one. When my husband traveled to Russia earlier this year, someone gave him a beautifully illustrated edition of Alexander Pushkin's tales—in Russian. Unfortunately I don't read Russian, but fortunately we were able to find out what the stories in the book are and obtain English editions of them.

The Tale of Tsar Saltan is about three sisters who talk about what they would do if they married the Tsar. Th
I do not think it is possible for me to describe the effect this story had on me as a child. It was not only amazing, but it was so eloquent and well written that every single reading was a special experience. Even now, whener I read this, I am filled with wonder and excitement.

Три девицы под окном
Пряли поздно вечерком.
"Кабы я была царица,-
Говорит одна девица,-
То на весь крещеный мир
Приготовила б я пир".
- "Кабы я была царица,-
Говорит ее сестрица,-
То на весь бы мир одна
Наткала я полотна".
- "Кабы
Jan 01, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful Russian folktale with terrific illustrations by Gennady Spirin. The story is a classic tale from the 1800s by Alexander Pushkin and the pictures complement it nicely. They are so intricate and appear to be as old as the story itself. We enjoyed reading this story together.
Jan 27, 2014 Jochen rated it really liked it
"Dieses Märchen, das jeder russische Schüler, jede Schülerin im Wortlaut und Rhythmus im Ohr hat", schreibt das Nachwort. Ist das noch so? Wie wichtig wäre es, um andere Länder zu verstehen, von irgendwo zu erfahren, was die dortigen Schüler an Texten aus der Schule oder dem Kinderzimmer im Ohr haben. Eine witzige Stelle, als Vater und Sohn sich im Fernrohr sehen: "Durch das Fernrohr ganz beklommen/ sieht er, wie sie näher kommen/ und genauso nimmt der Zar/ durch sein Fernrohr jene wahr."
Es gibt
Alisa Ananbeh
Oct 30, 2009 Alisa Ananbeh rated it it was amazing
I still remember verses of this book although I am not a child anymore! !
«Родила царица в ночь
Не то сына, не то дочь;
Не мышонка, не лягушку,
А неведому зверюшку»
Sep 18, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Russian fairy tales. The tale of Tsar Saltan is one of those which I know the best, cause the movie was made from it and I watched it in Polish TV.
Nov 08, 2009 Liza rated it it was amazing
Read it in Russian and since it's poetry I don't know how well it translates but it is a childhood favorite that many Russian-speakers know (at least in part) by heart.
Marcos Kopschitz
Feb 22, 2016 Marcos Kopschitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um conto de fadas de Púchkin, traduzido e adaptado diretamente do russo.

Parte de "Os Mais Belos Contos", uma coleção lançada pela Cosac Naify, com contos tradicionais e de autores mais recentes, todos com extraordinário tratamento gráfico, capa dura e belíssimas ilustrações de artistas russos. De encher os olhos. Todos dão ótimos presentes.

Excelente maneira de apresentar um autor clássico a novos leitores.

Veja alguns títulos da coleção "Os Mais Belos Contos":

O Alfaiate Valente by Arnica Esterl
O Alfaiate Valente

O conto maravilhoso do tsar Saltan by Alexander Pushkin
O conto maravilho
Apr 21, 2015 Kienie rated it really liked it
This is one of the fairy tales I grew up with. But now that I'm older, I keep wondering about the politics in Saltan's court. Was he married before? Why did he pick that particular young woman to marry? She said she'd bare him a mighty warrior for a son, but presumably she was also of good birth and had a good dowry, or was at the very least very beautiful. Was it a Henry VIII situation, where he was so desperate for a male hair that he was ready to risk marrying the first lady who promised to d ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
Four stars, despite the refrains and the "simpler" meter*, because I loved this as a child and Pushkin is still a genius. (Also, the parallels to the Man of Law's tale, in The Canterbury Tales, are compelling. Things not noticed at four years old.)

*The lines here are shorter than in some of Pushkin's other works, and they rhyme in couplets, rather than quatrains. Granted, this is a skazka (fairytale) and not a novel in verse.
Sep 09, 2011 Kristīne rated it really liked it
Shelves: rus, short
Great and beautiful story!
While reading it recently, I actually realized I already knew the story - details and scenes came to my mind, and I remembered that Mom used to read me lots of Russian children`s stories and tales, this must be one of them.
I have read it in three different languages, but somehow anything other than Russian seemed wrong, as I knew by heart first lines of the tale. Although the translations are mostly well done and professional, the tale in every other language sounds lik
Nov 29, 2014 Molniya rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot in my childhood. I think it's an interesting fairy-tale not only for children but for adults too. Special "thank you" to Pushkin for this one, verses are very easy to remember (even for children).
We're doing some Russian history now, and supplementing with excellent picture books. The illustrations here are wonderful, but you can't really get around how strange Russian fairy tales are.
Jan 27, 2013 Abhigya rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a birthday present when I was seven, and for a boy of seven it contained all the fantasy one needs. The book was printed in large landscape pages with the poetry on one page and a beautiful pictorial illustration on the other. The story deals with a royal mother and her child who were enclosed in a box and thrown into the sea as result of a conspiracy from her sisters who were jealous of her. They reached a strange island where the child grew to be a king. The latter part ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Autumn rated it liked it
The story was average. However, the illustrations were beautiful. Two stars for the story and an additional star for the paintings that were used to illustrate this tale.
Jul 25, 2012 Nelly rated it it was amazing
I didn't read the illustrated version of this translation, just the free online one. Here:

Mostly I just wanted to see how Pushkin could be translated and now I know. This is actually very good and close to Puskin's original words, although much really IS lost in putting such a classically Russian verse into English.

If you've heard the story of the Swan Princess, here is what it's based on. It's been decades and I still remember some of the original Russia
I read this fairy tale in Polish, translated by poet Jan Brzechwa
Gijs Grob
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 31, 2014 Anastasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
Я считаю это лучшей из сказок Пушкина. Она запомнились навсегда. Эта сказка очень легко воспринимается и детьми, и взрослыми. Она льется песней, от начала и до конца, она отлично написана, мелодичная и изящна, и есть в ней что-то родное-родное и очень милое.

Дух детства...
Jan 23, 2014 Iva rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children at heart
Recommended to Iva by: Anja
Shelves: own
Beautiful story that takes you away!
Nov 27, 2013 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carmen by: Carmen Carbonell
Precioso cuento popular ruso con unas ilustraciones que me han encantado. Se lee en un ratito y te lleva de vuelta a la infancia, a los cuentos de príncipes valientes y princesas convertidas en cisne, malvadas hermanas y zares poderosos. Magia, aventuras y folklore de primera. Un rato maravilloso de lectura para disfrutar solo o leyendo a los pequeños de la casa.
Suzon George
Feb 16, 2015 Suzon George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nice translation in rhyming couplets that isn't Hallmarky

I liked the book. It was interesting to imagine this as a really Russian story. It has so many similarities to one in The Arabian Nights. Most likely made its way to Pushkin via his dark-skinned ancestors. Great book to read in Black History month. Pushing was a black Russian.
Apr 09, 2012 Yulia rated it it was amazing
This is a "must tale" to read to your kids. I am not sure how well it is translated into English, but in Russian it is beautiful. Pushkin has a uniquely flowing and beautiful language. He has many tales written for kids and I would highly recommend all of them.
Jun 11, 2015 Michael rated it it was ok
I am quite surprised that I did not enjoy this Pushkin tale. I found the elements of a potentially good story within the book but a compellingly woven narrative was sorely lacking. Even as a children's book it fails to satisfy.
Jun 06, 2014 Anabelee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pushkin transcribe cuentos de la tradición oral rusa; pena tener que leerlo traducido, aunque incluso así ha conservado el ritmo de los relatos originales. En esta edición acompaña al texto una serie de ilustraciones magníficas.
Natalia Karpova
Apr 28, 2010 Natalia Karpova rated it it was amazing
Pushkin is the most famous poet in Russia, our pride. Many generations of Russian people grew up reading his fairy-tales. And The Tale of Tsar Saltan is the best among them. I know it by heart since the days of my childhood.)))
Mar 30, 2016 Nat. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Ya que me encuentro un poco saturada, he decidido leer más cuentos y poesías. La verdad que esta historia, en sus pocas páginas, ha logrado sorprenderme.
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In Cyrillic: Александр Пушкин

(Francophone version: Alexandre Pouchkine)

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin was a Russian Romantic author who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature Pushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling—mixing drama, romance, and satire—associated with Russian literature
More about Alexander Pushkin...

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