Old Peter's Russian Tales
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Old Peter's Russian Tales

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into pri...more
Published 2003 by Jane Nissen Books (first published 1916)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
A couple of these were creepy-cool, but it's starting to feel like fairy tales are pretty much all the same no matter where you go. Women are assholes, men are emasculated by their asshole women, someone recommends you give her a good beating be she daughter, step-daughter, or wife, there's occasionally one good gal livin' a life of Cinderelly-Cinderelly (a virgin, no doubt) who ends up with some charming Prince/Tzar/football star, and all the gods and spirits of tides and wind and fire have to...more
May 18, 2008 Joel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Arthur Ransome, author of the Swallows and Amazons series of books, collected these Russian tales and I finally found a copy in the library. Fun stuff!
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: read aloud to the 9yo, a story a day, every other week.

Comments: One of the wonderful aspects about this collection of Russian folk tales is that they are centred around Old Peter who looks after his grandchildren, a boy and a girl, because their parents are dead. Old Peter is known for his storytelling and the children are always clamouring for another story and sometimes Old Peter will start to tell one all on his. So at the beginning or ending of each story we have a littl...more
Now one of my very favorite fairytale collections. I love how the stories are framed by Old Peter's relationship with his grandchildren, whom he cares for as his own children since their parents are dead. Every night he returns to their hut and this is the sweet scenario that plays out:

"You are snug in here, little pigeons," [Peter] said.

Vanya and Maroosia had jumped up to welcome him, and when he opened his big sheepskin coat, they tumbled into it together and clung to his belt. Then he closed...more
I picked up this book as it was a reference for The Snow Child. I studied Russian language, literature, and culture in college, so I thought a book of Russian Tales would be appealing. And, I was right. I very much enjoyed these stories. There was one that I had actually read to my 4 yr old from a children's book that she had picked at the library. It is always interesting to see what themes exist in the stories of other cultures. The Russians seem to like the idea of throwing objects on the gro...more
Rebecca Ann
I loved this book of Russin fairy tales. The stories had rich language and a darkly magical atmosphere. Each story is told by Old Peter to his two grandchildren, and they sometimes interrupt the story. Think The Princess Bride. I didn't really care for that, but it wasn't too disruptive. Because it was written so long ago it has some issues like drinking vodka, wife beating, the word slut, and vague racist comments. It would be easy to edit those out for storytelling, though. My very favorite st...more
I was obsessed with fairy tales and myths as a child, and this collection is one that's stayed with me. I still own the book & even still read it periodically. Some readers may find the frame story of old Peter the forester with his grandchildren to be a little irritating, but it did not bother me. I think that children would enjoy it because it provides a picture, if an idealized one, of pre-revolutionary Russian rural life. I really enjoyed the flashes of dry wit in some of the stories. My...more
This one is a lot of fun. It is a collection of short Russian folk tales written for English children. I have found the stories delightful. I have especially liked "The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple," "The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship," "Prince Ivan, the witch baby, and the Little Sister of the Sun," "The Stolen Turnips, The Magic Tablecloth, The Sneezing Goat and The Wooden Whistle," "Little Master Misery," and "Who Lived in the Skull" so far. I have five stories...more
A.R. Jarvis
Russian fairy tales rewritten for children. Decent in it's way, though there are some stories about how it's okay to beat your wife, which is not really decent at all.
A good mix of stories, get a very Russian vibe
I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I still enjoy fairy tales, so these were well met. It was interesting seeing the small differences that exist between cultures - The Golden Fish story, for instance, was nearly identical to an Irish legend that I read several months ago. It has its equivalents in English and American stories as well.

The book was well written, if dated, and would stand up rather strongly to being read aloud.
No doubt that Ransome is one of Britain's most respected children's authors, but this collection is simply very hit-and-miss. Being a russophile, I initially picked this up to get an insight into traditional culture. Instead I was mostly disappointed by the poor representation of the tales, confusing and just plain boring at times; these outnumbered the exciting ones, sadly.

"And then there came in the thirty daughters of the Tzar of the Sea. Beautiful they were, lovely, and graceful; but twenty-nine of them passed by, and Sadko fingered his dulcimer and thought of his little river."

Kathryn McCary
Good solid retellings of some Russian folktales by an English author. "Salt," included in the Childcraft anthology, was a great favorite in my childhood, and I was astonished (and delighted) to learn many years later that it had been written by the author of the Swallows & Amazons books.
The thing I like most about this group of tales is the frame story of Peter and his grandchildren. An enjoyable read.
Fairy tales made mollycoddling. A twee tone and too much description remove what makes fairy tales interesting: the striking randomness, the feeling of a world unbound from norms both physical and social.
I enjoyed reading these Russian fairy tales, though after a while they all seemed to be the same. Best to be enjoyed in small doses at a time.
Laura Morrigan
This was one of my favourite books as a child, and has some of my favourite Russian fairytales in it, such as The Firebird.
rachelish Slater
Loses a star for the stories which promote wife-beating, but overall interesting, charming and generally lovely.
Savina King
given this gem of a book as a child, beautiful illustrations. A book to keep and treasure forever.
Good retelling of the tales. I've read some really dry versions before.
Jane Morpeth
Definitely one of my favourite collections of stories from childhood.
We read about half of these stories and we really liked them.
Lubinka Dimitrova
Lubinka Dimitrova is currently reading it
Jul 26, 2014
Courtney marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
Katherine marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Arub marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2014
Joe Wygocki
Joe Wygocki marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
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Arthur Mitchell Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884 and educated in Windermere and Rugby. His family spent their summers at Nibthwaite, to the south of Coniston Water.

In 1902, Ransome abandoned a chemistry degree to become a publisher's office boy in London. He used this precarious existence to practise writing, producing several minor works before Bohemia in London (1907), a study of London's artis...more
More about Arthur Ransome...
Swallows and Amazons (Swallows and Amazons, #1) Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons, #6) Swallowdale (Swallows and Amazons, #2) Winter Holiday (Swallows and Amazons, #4) We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea (Swallows and Amazons, #7)

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