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Babushka Baba Yaga

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  498 ratings  ·  51 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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(showing 1-30 of 780)
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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

Polacco turns the Baba Yaga myth on its head, presenting an old, lonely forest-fairy-spirit-woman who has been viciously slandered by the folk tales of her, and really just wants to love and be loved.

The artwork is equally compelling, with colors and brush strokes that suggest normal people of all shapes and sizes in the middle of an action.

An excellent retelling of the myth, with just the right amount of sweetness, love and danger mixed to make a great story.
Rachel Keller
The overall story of Baba Yaga is so captivating. She is a misunderstood person, last of her kind, who only wants to find community and family again. She is so endearing! In this story, her watching from afar, of the babushkas and their grandchildren, makes her all the more heart-breaking and lovable. I love the detail in the artwork, the intricate things that make baba yaga, the forrest, and the fairies, come to life. Their long, thin extremities, pointed ears, yet rosy cheeks are just the righ ...more
Aleksandra Petrovich
The traditional folk tale character of Baba Yaga (whom I learned about as a child, too) is an ugly witch who eats children. In this role-reversal book, Baba Yaga is a lonely creature who lives isolated in the woods because people fear her. However, she is not evil and she would like a grandchild to love and nurture. One day, she steals some clothes from a clothesline and disguises herself as a babushka (grandmother.) She follows a single mother and offers to take care of her son (Victor) when sh ...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
NY,Philomel Books, 1993
This is a Russian folktale by Patricia Polacco. Polacco writes of a well known Russian legend, the Baba Yaga. Legend told that this forest being was wicked and evil. As the story unfolds the Baba Yaga reveals herself to be loving and kind. Polacco teaches a wonderful lesson on the importance of not judging others by gossip, but to trust in what you know to be true in your heart. The illustrations are bright and whimsical; they guide the story along and make a nice connecti
Natalia Lindquist
Babushka Baba Yaga is about an old woman who lives all alone in a lonely forest. She sees all the Babushka’s (grandmas) with their grandchildren and wants nothing more but one of her own. She dresses up as a Babushka, goes into town, and meets a young boy named Victor. She told Victor’s mother that she would love to take care of him during the day while she went to work. Babushka would tell Victor many kinds of old stories and fairytales about when she was younger and they formed a wonderful rel ...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... ...
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
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
"I think it was a good story. I was worried about Victor when the wolves were going to get him, but Babushka Baba Ha ha saved him, acc then village loved her.I don't like the illustrations, though"
Bradie- Age 7
From Mom: I think this is a great story of acceptance. Bradie read it twice, so it's better than the three stars she gave it. :)
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
Megan Miller
This is fairytale about a supposed menacing creature from the forest who is actually very kind hearted and loving. This would be a good book to read to students when studing different types of traditional literature and folklore. This story has a good message about not judging someone before you get to know to them.
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.
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
Katie Nanney
I loved this book. It reminded me of the Brothers Grimm and I am a huge fairy tale and folklore fan. I loved this Russian folktale of a creature who wanted a child but could not have one so she disguised herself as a human and went into the local village. I would recommend this book to young readers and those who love fairy tales like I do. This story about not judging people is very powerful for any age.
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
Leslie Fisher
An interesting twist on the traditional Baba Yaga story.
Idk how to read this book!!!!!!!!
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
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
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.
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