Luba and the Wren
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Luba and the Wren

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  13 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
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(showing 1-30 of 197)
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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...more
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...more
Randie
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...more
Amy
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
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
Dolly
Apr 10, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Janet
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.
Shelli
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.
Heather
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.
Shannon
Reading these earlier Polacco books reafirms my judgement that her 2011 book is grossly subpar. I love this retelling of The Fisherman's Wife.
Beverly
A Ukrainian version of "The Fisherman's Wife," only with a wren instead of a fish. Well-told with Polacco's signature watercolor paintings.
Gail
My three year old liked this, but I don't think she quite understands the message about greed.
Cathleen
story: 3 stars
art: 1 star
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