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Baba Yaga

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Once upon a time, in a land far away from here, lived a girl named Olga. Olga lived with her father in a beautiful house, and they were very happy together. Until Olgas father one day fell in love again His new wife was cruel and mean. And her sister Baba Yaga, who lived in a dark forest, was even meaner. Baba Yaga was a real witch! There was a rumor she was fond of ...more
Hardcover, 50 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Clavis Publishing (first published December 2015)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Neo chose another interesting tale from far away. The folklore surrounding Baba Yaga is quite spooky, especially for children. A ghastly old hag who chases children around in her cauldron and eats their tender flesh. Young Olga was so happy in her life with her loving father. After her mother died, it was just the two of them, enjoying their days and nights. However, Olga's father met someone and fell deeply in love, not knowing the cruelty that lay behind the eyes of his new bride. Olga was ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Folklore Enthusiasts / Readers Interested in Russian Lore
Belgian author/artist An Leysen retells the classic Russian fairy-tale of Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga in this lovely picture-book. In her retelling the heroine is named Olga, but many of the other details are the same: Olga is the daughter of a widower who remarries, and is mistreated by her new stepmother. Determined to get rid of her, the stepmother sends Olga into the woods to visit the fearsome witch Baba Yaga (here the stepmother's sister), but our heroine is aided by the magical ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This childrens story is a retelling of the original Russian fairy tale of the Baba Yaga.

After her mother dies Olga and her father lived happily together. Then, Olgas father is bewitched and marries the cruel sister of the evil witch Baba Yaga. When this woman, who is Olgas stepmother, sends her to Baba Yaga, Olga must outsmart the witch (with a doll given to her by her mom) to avoid being devoured.

This was a beautiful retelling of the original story. The original folktale as I knew it was a
Sep 08, 2016 marked it as read-no-stats
Ages 5 & Up. Young Olga and her father live a happy life together. That happiness comes to a halt when Olga's father falls in love with a cruel woman. He is so blinded by love that he cannot see how his new wife mistreats Olga. One day the evil stepmother sends Olga to her sister's house to fetch needle and thread. Unfortunately, Olga's new aunt is Baby Yaga, a witch who is rumored to eat children. Are the rumors true? If so, how is Olga going to make it through this trip alive?

There is nothing really wrong presenting a traditional folk tale as a new picture book. Perhaps I am jaded, but I always expect more from retellings. A new spin. A new outlook. It is a bit like doing a cover song; make it your own, don't do it the same way the original singer did.

There is not much that changes in this story. The illustrations are nice enough. Nothing special, no beautiful Russian traditional costumes here.

Baba Yaga isn't always evil, and I though this would be a spin on that,
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Meet Baba Yaga, the witch that flies around in a cauldron hunting children to kidnap and eat. Yes, this is a children's book. 
In the pages of this story we meet Olga, a young girl whose mother died leaving her with her father who marries providing Olga with the infamous wicked stepmother!  Before Olga's mother died, she gifted her with a special doll that Olga always kept in her pocket.  It is this doll who helped Olga outwit Baba Yaga when the good ole evil stepmother sent her off to Baba's
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Written and Illustrated by An Leysen
September 2016; 32 Pages
Genre: fairy tales, picture book, children's book

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)


"Once upon a time, in a land far away from here, lived a girl named Olga. Olga lived with her father in a beautiful house, and they were very happy together. Until Olgas father one day fell in love again His new wife was cruel and mean. And her sister Baba Yaga, who lived in a dark forest, was
Wayne McCoy
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
'Baba Yaga' by An Leysen is a classic story told with beautiful pictures. The lesson is timeless as well.

Young Olga lost her mother when she was even younger. Now she lives with her widowed father and things are not perfect, but they aren't bad. That changes when her father remarries a cruel stepmother who has a witch, or Baba Yaga, for a sister. The stepmother would like nothing better than to have Olga out of the way, so she sends Olga on an errand to get some needle and thread from her aunt,
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Baba Yaga is a famous Russian fairytale. Olga is a little girl who's mother died and she and her father live happily together. When he falls in love with the sister of Baba Yaga (a witch who loves to eat children) he is under her spell. She treats Olga terribly and wants to be rid of her. She sends her to see Baba Yaga, supposedly to get a needle and some thread. The little doll that Olga's mother made her before she died tells her to bring certain things with her. Off she goes and uses the ...more
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It's exactly the kind of picture book I'd love to write. It had just the right balance of adventure, magic, and creepy/scary that children will love. Baba Yaga is terrifying but I don't think it will worry young children too much - plus, the happy ending will be sure to put them at ease.

I'd not heard of this fairy-tale before, and I'm desperate to read the original now. But what I loved most of about this book is the stunning illustrations. They took my breath away,
*An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

2.5 stars.

Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
gorgeous illustrations are a highlight of this telling of the Baba Jaga story (would love to know more about the artist's medium & technique).

First published in Belgium and Holland by Clavis Uitgeverj, 2015
English translation from the Duth by Clavis Publishing Inc, NY c. 2016
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous book!
The illustrations are gorgeous, and I always think Baba Yaga is such a fun fairytale.
Charming Illustrations and a Story That's Suitable for Kids

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

A long time ago, in a land far away, lived a young girl named Olga. Ever since her mother passed away, it'd just been Olga and her father. But he filled her days with games and stories, and they always had food to eat and a place to sleep; things were generally pretty good. That is, until dad remarried.

Olga's stepmother wasn't just evil; she was a
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful illustrations in this retelling of the classic Russian fairytale.
I can't ever decide whether I like huge head Holly Hobbie type illustrations or whether they thoroughly creep me out. I think I fall on the liking side this time. Leysen does an especially good job with the witch's craggy, warty face. This is *based* on Baba Yaga, while not an actual folktale.
Candlewick Books
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.2 foxes out of 5

I was generously given this arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


This book is beautiful.
My love for Russian folk tales is no secret, and this evocative book was able to bring alive the fearsome tales of Baba Yaga through impressive pictures.
I read this book to my baby cousin, and I was delighted to see the magic of the words and the pictures take ahold of her.
With reminiscence of Hayao Miyazaki, I was also delighted to see that the magic of this book took ahold
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is a beautifully written and illustrated version of a classic folk tale. I don't think it is that well known but we had read this before in a collection of folk tales. This was by far the superior version.

The story (if you don't know it) tells the tale of Baba Yaga, a child eating witch who flies around in a cauldron terrifying the countryside. Her creepy house in the woods is especially
Sharon Tyler
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baba Yaga is a picturebook that was written and illustrated by An Leysen. Once upon a time, in a land far away from here, lived a girl named Olga. Olga lived with her father in a beautiful house, and they were very happy together. Until Olgas father one day fell in love again but his new wife was cruel and mean. And her sister Baba Yaga, who lived in a dark forest, was even meaner. Baba Yaga was a real witch! There was a rumor she was fond of children on her plate! One day Olgas stepmother sent ...more
Wonderful story and gorgeous illustrations! I really enjoyed reading Olga's story!

50 Book Reviews Professional Reader 80% Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge Challenge Participant
This book is a retelling of the traditional Baba Yaga fairytale. Olga and her father are happy together until he remarries. Not only is Olga's new step-mother cruel, but she's Baba Yaga's sister! When Olga is sent to Baba Yaga for needle and thread, she must outwit the witch with only the help of a doll left to her by her mother.

One of the wonderful things about fairytale retellings is the way they each feel unique. While Leysen sticks to a fairly traditional retelling, the illusrations are
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This retelling of a classic story is so gorgeously illustrated. I really love the way the author used different text sizing to highlight great vocabulary words. The book is definitely a longer read and not suitable for a one sitting read. It would, however, be excellent over a few nights as an after bath story. Great multi-generational read.
Overall a very nice story. A play on some very familiar storybook themes (one version of Hansel and Gretel has them escaping with a comb and mirror; Cinderella/Snow White with the evil stepmother; Little Red Riding Hood with going to visit a relative; Baba Yaga, the Russian witch who lives in a house with chicken legs). This book has Olga, an orphan whose father has remarried, being sent to her stepmother's sister to ostensibly borrow some needle and thread. However, the real plan is for Baba ...more
Carolyn Injoy
Baba Yaga by An Leysen Baba Yaga by An Leysen is written about the witch from Slavonic mythology. It's the story of Olga who lives with her father after her mother died. They have a happy life until he remarries and her step-mother is the sister of a witch. She is unkind and after much abuse sends Olga to her sister to get rid of her.
It is written for children five to eight years. Because of Baba Yaga's two "sharp teeth" and the threat of child cannibalism, I found it frightening.
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
I enjoyed this book. The illustrations are very dreamy. The story is familiar and I think I may have read a version of it when I was a child. I got to read the English version of this, Baba Yaga by An Leysen, that is releasing this month. It recommends ages 5 and up, and I would completely agree. I think some of the images and story would be too scary for littler ones. If you're into fairytales, folklore and myths, this is a beautiful book to add to your collection!

You can pre-order it at
Sydney (sydneysshelves) West

I didn't hate the story, I just didn't love it. I don't think it would hold the attention of the average child. While I could piece things together, I think a child wouldn't remember the three things Olga took with her and then gave out. Having the maid, cat, and dog run away was unnecessary information that would distract children from the real story. Also, why isn't it titled Baba Yaga's neice? It isn't a retelling of Baba Yaga, its about Baba's sister's stepdaughter, who Baba Yaga calls
Belinda Missen
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A copy of this book was generously provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Where do I even begin with this little gem. All fairytales as we know them originated in mythology and stories handed down through generations. Baba Yaga is born of Slavic mythology.

As you begin to read, Cinderella registers. This is followed closely by Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel. All of these elements wind together with the most beautiful illustrations to provide a story worthy of any Disney film
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-net-galley
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.

A pleasantly illustrated re-telling of the story of Baba Yaga and the kind-hearted girl, variously called Anushka, Natascha, Olga (as here), etc. in the many versions of this classic folktale. Baba Yaga is an important, albeit scary, character in Russian folktales and a cautionary figure for naughty children. This is a bright, pretty, easy to read version suitable for early readers.

I do confess that when it comes to Russian
Jessica Rodrigues
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-storybooks, arc
My first impression of this book is how absolutely beautiful it is. The illustrations, font choice, placement on the page, use of space, etc., are perfect. The story itself is also superb, and will be filed away in children's minds. I am very much looking forward to using this in a storytime setting.

Overall, it is a beautiful retelling of a classic Slavic folktale; highly recommended for read alouds, one-on-one storytime, and independent reading.

I received this book via Netgalley in exchange
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