Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Luba and the Wren” as Want to Read:
Luba and the Wren
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Luba and the Wren

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  166 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In this variation on the story of "The Fisherman and His Wife", a young Ukrainian girl must repeatedly return to the wren she has rescued to relay her parents' increasingly greedy demands. Full color.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 24th 1999 by Philomel Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Luba and the Wren, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Luba and the Wren

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 279)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lisa Vegan
This is a Russian-style (as are some other Polacco books) take on the Grimm Brothers’ tale of The Fisherman And His Wife. I knew what was coming but if I hadn’t the story would have had a lot of suspense.

I ached for Luba, and the wren too, and even a bit for Luba’s foolish and greedy parents. The illustrations perfectly match the progression of the story.

The story itself seems a bit too moralistic to me; I always wish for a reasonable wish, or for the wishes to stop after the first wish, so some
Courtney Dyer
In this Russian version of Grimm’s The Fisherman and His Wife, Polacco puts a child-centered twist on a classic tale that illustrates the dangers of greed.

One day, Luba frees a Wren stuck in a net and the bird is so grateful for her kindness that it offers her a wish. Luba is content, however, when her poor farmer parents hear of her foolishness, they send her back to the Wren to ask for a bigger house and more land. Embarrassed to return to the Wren, Luba hopes that her parents will be satisfi
I adored this story! It ws hard to watch Luba become distressed by the actions of her parents as they steadily became more and more greedy. However, it was all made worth it at the end when Luba's parents realized that Luba was the most precious treasure they had and remembered how important it is to love and care for their child. I would use this book to teach the conflict of man vs. self/society. In the story, Luba's parents are so rude and greedy that it hurts Luba a great deal. The conflict ...more
Linda Lipko
Walking through the forest, Luba finds a wren trapped in a net. Releasing the tiny bird, she is told that a wish will be granted. Wanting nothing, Luba returns home to parents who are dismayed at her lack of ignorance. Instructing her to go back into the forest and request a larger home with fertile ground, Luba hesitantly asks the wren for this favor.

Upon returning home, she finds a lovely home and surrounding area. Dissatisfied with their new acquisition, Luba is instructed to find the bird on
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Polacco's spin on Grimm's "The Fisherman and His Wife" is perhaps more intriguing because it highlights the innocence and strong values of a child. I also enjoyed Isadora's retelling The Fisherman and His Wife.

Luba rescues a Wren and it offers to grant her a wish. She declines, stating she already has everything she needs. When her parents learn of the Wren, the send Luba back repeatedly to grant them larger houses, more land, and eventually more power...they are relentless in their greed. Poor
In this Russian twist on the tale of the fisherman and his wife, it is a wren that grants wishes to a little girl, Luba, and it is her parents who keep demanding escalating grandeur and power. Polacco's illustrations deftly trace the journey from happy poverty to unsatisfied wealth and back again. The dedication, "For children everywhere, who should be full of joy and free from care," and the epigraph, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21) bring to the forefr ...more
Alex Wulfekuhle
Story of a young Ukrainian girl who kindly saves a bird from death; which turns out to be a magical bird who wants to repay the kindness. Even though the girl refused the offer, saying she was already quiet content, her parents demanded she go back and ask the bird for a grander home and lands.
Erin Sterling
Luba lives with her mother and father on a poor farm. When she saves a wren's life, he offers to give her any wish she wants, but she is content and happy. However, her parents make her ask for a bigger and better farm. That keeps them content for a while, but then they want an even bigger and better place. They make her go back to the wren over and over again, to the chagrin of Luba and annoyance of the wren. This is a story with an important lesson for those who are never being satisfied and w ...more
Apr 10, 2014 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Fantastic Ukrainian tale that parallels the lesson told in the classic story The Fisherman and His Wife by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm.

The narrative is engaging and while our girls predicted the overall plot of the story, we were enchanted by the Ukranian theme and the lovely ending. The illustrations are terrific and complement the story wonderfully. We really enjoyed reading this story together.
Jun 21, 2016 GooseberryCompote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great folktale about not being a greedy jerk.
Beautiful, brilliantly colored illustraions for the Ukraine verison of The Fisherman and His Wife. This verison of the folktale showcases a young peasant girl and an enchanted wren. Luba desires no wishes from the wren, but her greedy parents do. After reading this I prefer it to tne various verisons of The Fisherman and Hids Wife. The child, Luba, is so content with her life--that is so very peaceful and refreshing.
Jul 06, 2012 Shelli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Story of a young Ukrainian girl who kindly saves a bird from death; which turns out to be a magical bird who wants to repay the kindness. Even though the girl refused the offer, saying she was already quiet content, her parents demanded she go back and ask the bird for a grander home and lands. The parents insist on this time and time again much to the dismay of the girl.
Dec 19, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fairytales
4 1/2 - I don't think O really understood this one and I have to say I struggle with the ending and generally if I liked or disliked this story. I felt terrible for the little girl to have such greedy parents... may we all learn to be better people and less greedy.
Jun 27, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Reading these earlier Polacco books reafirms my judgement that her 2011 book is grossly subpar. I love this retelling of The Fisherman's Wife.
Jan 16, 2013 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebooks
A Ukrainian version of "The Fisherman's Wife," only with a wren instead of a fish. Well-told with Polacco's signature watercolor paintings.
May 19, 2011 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
My three year old liked this, but I don't think she quite understands the message about greed.
Sep 15, 2012 Cathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book, youth
story: 3 stars
art: 1 star
Meganvansipe rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2016
Joy Lewin
Joy Lewin marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2016
Brenda Lower
Brenda Lower rated it really liked it
Jun 18, 2016
Isabella marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2016
Alexis marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2016
Beckie marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2016
Amy added it
Jun 03, 2016
Teshamae rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2016
Lisa Baron
Lisa Baron marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Constance Dinsmore
Constance Dinsmore marked it as to-read
May 02, 2016
Fawkes added it
Mar 27, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • When Jessie Came Across the Sea
  • Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan
  • Leah's Pony
  • Thy Friend, Obadiah
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Mouse & Lion
  • Ming Lo Moves the Mountain
  • The Water Of Life: A Tale From The Brothers Grimm
  • And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
  • The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale
  • Beatrice's Goat
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • The Mitten
  • Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart
  • The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
  • Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave
  • Applesauce Season
  • Princess Pigtoria And The Pea

Share This Book