Babushka Baba Yaga
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Babushka Baba Yaga

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  387 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Baba Yaga is a witch famous throughout Russia for eating children, but this Babushka Baba Yaga is a lonely old woman who just wants a grandchild -- to love.
Library Binding, 32 pages
Published January 25th 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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Lisa Vegan
Darn! I just hate books where wolves are made out (as they are in many fairy tales, and this is a sort of fairy tale) as aggressive against humans and as vicious/bad/evil. Unfortunately, that’s what happens in a part of this story.

The rest of the message is lovely, especially knowing from reading other Polacco books, how much she treasured her relationship with her grandmother.

This is the story of a “creature” who is loathed and feared, yet who is actually lonely and has strong maternal feelings...more
Linda Lipko
Russian folklore tells of Baba Yaga a craggy, ugly witch with iron teeth and chicken claws for feet, and who lives deep in the wood devouring humans should they cross her path.

Using the tale of Baba Yaga, Polacco turns the story from ugliness to beauty, from darkness to light. Watching from afar, Baba Yaga, sees women with children and grand children.

Stealing clothes from the line, Baba Yaga covers her ugly body, wears a babushka and, longing to have a child to hold, Baba Yaga follows a single...more
Linda Lipko
Russian folklore tells of Baba Yaga a craggy, ugly witch with iron teeth and chicken claws for feet, and who lives deep in the wood and devours humans.

Using the tale of Baba Yaga, Polacco turns the story from ugliness to beauty, from darkness to light. Watching from afar, Baba Yaga, sees women with children and grand children.

Stealing clothes from the line, Baba Yaga covers her ugly body, wears a babushka and, longing to have a child to hold, Baba Yaga follows a single mother home and offers to...more
This book was given to me at the start of one summer by a Russian girl who had joined my kindergarten class before Christmas-- just days after she was adopted by an American family from an orphanage...
Her first English words were "Santa Claus" and "Mack-Donnals" :)

I kiss your eyes... ...
In this version of the traditional folk tale, Baba Yaga was kind, and very lonely. And as she watches the babushkas of the village delight in their grandchildren, she longs for a grandchild of her own. Then she has an idea: She will be a babushka instead of a Baba Yaga. She dresses herself up as a kindly grandmother and enters the village. When she comes across a young woman and her grandmotherless son, they adopt her as their very own babushka, and as the days pass, Baba Yaga and the boy, Victo...more
Brittny Nguyen
This book is a traditional tale and is geared towards around 3rd grade. Babushka Baba Yaga tells of a woman who is terribly ugly. Although no one has met this lady (Babushka Baba Yaga), there have been horrible stories of Babushka eating little children. Little do they know that Babushka loves children and wishes she could be around them. She decides to disguise herself and go into the village, eventually finding a job as a little boy's nanny. One day, Babushka hears the story how she likes to e...more
Maggie Burgess
One of the things I LOVE about Patricia Polacco's books, is that they are based on her life and experiences or true stories of people she knows. This one is not like that. And yet, it's one of my absolute favorites of hers! It's like a modern classic fairy tale! I love love loved it. Highly recommend adding it to your library. I know I will.
It is about a traditional Russian folk tale character, Baba Yaga, who is supposed to be a cruel, wicked witch. In Polacco's book, however, she is just an old woman, who longs for a family and for a grandchild. The peolpe in the community did not like her - thinkig she is evil. One day she dresses up as an ordinary woman, goes to the village and overhears a lady wanting someone to take care of her son. Baba Yaga volunteers and gets the job. She does it excellently for a while but then she hears s...more
As a huge Baba Yaga fan, I have to say that I just loved this book! It's a total role reversal of the witch from the Russian folktales. It depicts Baba Yaga as someone who years for grandchildren to care for and nurture. She dresses up as a babushka (grandmother) and is taken in by a woman and her child. Just when they really grow to love each other, the other babushkas tell stories of the mean old witch Baba Yaga who eats small children. Upon hearing this story, the boy is terribly frightened,...more
Whitney Maglott
This is a very interesting story about a woman, or a Baba Yaga, who really wants to be a grandmother but did not have children of her own. Because she is a Baba Yaga, the town fears her because of legions and myths. She disguises herself as a town folk and helps a mother with her child while she works, she become a part of the family. This story shows how we can have family that are not blood related and we can expand are family through others. This is a great story to be in classrooms today bec...more
Rachel Dalton
This book by Patricia Polacco is derived from Russian folklore. The beautiful illustrations are made to represent Russian peasant life in the past. It also teaches a great lesson of acceptance and friendship that students can appreciate.
I've read tales of Baba Yaga before and Polacco's rendition of her tales is true. Normally Baba Yaga is a feared and hated character. I enjoyed the fact that she was portrayed here as someone who had normal wishes and wants. It was cute!
Monalisa Johnson-brown
This is about an old woman named Baba Yaga who they called a witch. She wanted children but she was to old to conceive. She use to admire other people and their children. The peolpe in the community did not like her. One day she decided to go to town looking like the other people. she over heard a lady wanting someone to take care of her son. Baba Yaga volunteered and she got the job. She did it for a while and then left. She went back to where she came from and the little boy got lost in the wo...more
Apr 23, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale about Russian folklore and culture, but also about the love that one person can offer and the concept of an older generation helping to bring up their grandchildren. We love Patricia Polacco's stories and read all of the ones we can find at our local library. Her storytelling is magic and her illustrations are very recognizable and often very expressive. We really enjoyed reading this story together and we will certainly look for another one of her books at the library s...more
In traditional Russia folklore, Baba Yaga is a wicked creature that eats children. Polacco's story seeks to teach us that we should not judge a person based on a rumor or reputation...we should get to know them for who they are.

In this variant, Baba Yaga is a lonely creature of the forest that longs to hold a child in her arms. She sees Babushkas and their grandchildren and decides that she too will be a Babushka and she does just that. Little Victor is a lucky boy.

Great story and fantastical...more
Brenna Johnson
I want Baba Yaga as my Babushka!
Baba Yaga is a forest creature, the last of her kind. She was lonely and always admired all of the other Babushka's that loved their grandchildren so much. She had no children, and longed to love a grandchild too. She borrows some clothes off a line, and soon finds a little boy with no Babushka. She promises to love him with all her heart. It is a wonderful Russian folktale. Beautiful and interesting illustrations bring the story of Babushka Baba Yaga to life.
I have read quite a few of Patricia Polacco's books many times to my children over the years. She has a wonderful way with a story and I highly recommend them. I normally wouldn't put books this short on my reading list, but I've read them so many times that I figured it was time.
This book, Babushka Baba Yaga is my favorite, but of all the books I've read in my life, I would class all of these by Patricia Polacco in my favorites list.
Reading Level: primary

This Russian folktale teaches a wonderful lesson to students. Students can learn that they should not judge people on what others say, but on what they know and experience. There is more to a person than his or her outward appearance. This is a very valuable lesson. The book would be an excellent addition to a Character Counts curriculum.
This is such a good book, and the art-work is magnificent! I really enjoy this book. It's a little long for younger kids, but it's a really good story about how you're not supposed to judge someone on rumors you hear, but on how you know them.

"She was the last of her kind. A creature of legends. A being of the forest. She ruled her woods alone."
Season Neal
An interesting story that children will love. This story is about Baba Yaga, a witch who is famous around Russia for eating children! Yet, this Babushka is a lonely, old lady who just wants a grandchild to love. Eventually Babushka is no longer an outsider and gets to share all of her love with children. A great story to teach cause and effect.
Robyn Davis
This is a wonderful book; it could be used in class discussion about stereotypes. In the story, everyone expected Baba Yaga to be mean and horrible, but all she wanted was a young one to look after. This book also has many Russian terms; it would be a good book to read when discussing other cultures/countries/languages.
Jun 28, 2008 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids
Shelves: picture-books
Patrica Polacco is a go-to for all teachers looking for a "safe book with a good message". Nothing too controversial here, just sweet mild-mannered book-reading entertainment. Typical Polacco.

Plus, you get to say "Babushka" at least once a page, which is, let's face it, is fun for everyone involved.
A creative re-envisioning of Baba Yaga, who is often portrayed as an evil, fearsome witch in Slavic folktales; here she means well but is misunderstood. The pictures are great, the story is great, I would highly recommend this for young readers (and those who read to them).
As a Polacco fan, I love her books based on Russian folklore and tradition. Judging only by appearance is a lesson taught but seldom learned. This poignant story is a gentle reminder of that.
Just terrible. A New Age re-envisioning of Baba Yaga as not the wicked witch of Russian folklore but a poor misunderstood creature that radiates the moral "Don't judge by appearances."
My 6, 7, and 11 yo kids all liked this book. I was even asked to read it 3 different times. This is not the Baba Yaga I am familiar with, but it is a good, heart-warming story.
Millee Broner
I read this about 100 times! Then I found it years later when I was with my sister in AZ, and I actually started crying because it was a wonderful find.
Kappy Williams
My very favorite book on teaching what happens when we judge others based on their looks only. I still cry every time I read it.
Amanda Lyons
This is a really great story about how Baba Yaga goes from being the legendary witch to being a grandmotherly wise woman.
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