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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,163 ratings  ·  109 reviews
When a terrible witch vows to eat her for supper, a little girl escapes with the help of a mirror and comb given to her by the witch's cat and dog.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published December 1st 1986 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1983)
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Princess-Meadow Ali This was my S*** back in Third grade. I was so in love with this, I probably took the book out every home reading sign-out, and brought it back only…moreThis was my S*** back in Third grade. I was so in love with this, I probably took the book out every home reading sign-out, and brought it back only to re-new it. I loved how clever it was at that age, and the 'House that stood on chicken feet' has always stuck with me. (less)

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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,163 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
I used to love this book every Halloween. It's one of those tried and true stories that never goes out of style, and one among few classics that really give off the eerie atmosphere of what Halloween is all about (even though right now it's April). Bony-Legs is a weird book, but a wonderful one, and it proves that a scary story can be good without needing to be violent, crass or gory. What two things brought it the most to life for me were the excellent illustrations, and the element of ...more
This was a great book that I had read as a child. I always thought it was such a good book, and now that I'm older and think it was a great teaching tool for young minds.
This book was a great story plot, a book with good morals, Teaches them to treat others good and with respect you never know when you might need a helping hand, and other great life lessons for children, and let kids know even in the worst places if you try your best you can do anything! And isn't that what we try to teach
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Baba Yaga type witch is thwarted of her chance to eat a small girl by the intervention of her cat, dog, and gate, to whom the child has shown kindness.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a great book to read if you want to scare the pants off your four-year-old! Bony-Legs is a creepy old witch who lives in a house that stands on chicken feet (at this point, the bizarrely creepy illustrations were causing my child's breath to come faster). Sasha, our young heroine, is supposed to be borrowing some thread for her mother, but of course she ends up in Bony-Legs' clutches (at this point I asked if I should stop reading the book, and the reply was: "Yes! No! Yes! No!" We read ...more
Nov 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bony-Legs is Baba Yaga, the bony-legged. She is a witch who lives in a house on chicken legs deep in forest, flies in a mortar and pestle that she steers with her broom, and features prominently into Slavic folklore and legend. Baba Yaga is usually portrayed as a wicked witch who loves to eat bad children, but she is often sought out by heroes for her wisdom.

This is the most Americanized/anglicized retelling of “Vasilisa the Beautiful” I have ever read. In fact, when I read it as a child
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Very similar to how I imagine Maurice Sendak would have presented Baba Yaga.
Nicholas James
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
My mom and dad used to read this to me every night before I went to sleep. Looking back, I think my parents had more nightmares than I ever did. Joanna Cole, in my opinion, is a brilliant author. Her creative storyline and imagination make this a wonderful read. When I do become a father, I am going to share this book with my children as well. The story follows a young girl named Sasha, who after traveling deep into the woods in search of a needle and thread, must escape from an evil witch named ...more
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, pets, russia, 2012
This is an entertaining Baba Yaga tale that incorporates many of the traditional elements of the classic Russian folk tales. Baba Yaga's house is on chicken feet and she attempts to trap children to eat them. In this tale, Sasha takes pity on Baba Yaga's cat and dog and is helped by them in return. The narrative isn't too long and the illustrations aren't too scary; they complement the story nicely. We really enjoyed reading this story together.
Megan (ReadingRover)
Great retelling of the Baba Yaga story. The illustrations are incredibly detailed. Even with their bright color palette the pictures still give the story a creepy folkloric vibe. When I first grabbed this book up, I was totally reminded of the scratchy folk art in The Teeny Tiny Woman. Then I looked back and it’s not that similar, really. I think it’s just the noses!!!
Michael Fitzgerald
Brilliant easy reader adaptation of a Russian folk classic. Dirk Zimmer's illustrations (watercolors on pen-and-ink) are detailed and distinctive. Despite his use of bright pastel colors, Baba Yaga is suitably scary. This version has been praised for its subtle approach, which makes the tale "family friendly" without destroying it.
Fun story! Perfectly illustrated. A bit scary, quirky, with a cat and a dog, and a touch of magic. From other reviewers, I understand that this is a Baba Yaga tale. And this brings to mind Hansel and Gretel.
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was really creative. I liked how creative the little girl was to get away from the witch, and I thought that I taught a good lesson of kindness. I would definitely recommend this as an alternative fairy tale for students.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books as a kid!
Aug 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Buy at
I loved this book when I was little!! I read it and re-read it until it fell apart in fact, but it's still on my bookshelves today!
Natalie {I'd So Rather Be Reading}
Bony-Legs was one of my classic reads from childhood. It was creepy, had a nasty old witch and a happy ending. Just how I like it, a little scary but in the end I have a smile on my face.

As a parent I still love this book! Bony-Legs is a picture book with a good plot. It teaches the reward of kindness even in the most unlikely of circumstances and the concept of trust via a persons actions-- we do not trust the witch but we trust the kind girl. There is humor mixed in the text and I think this
Melinda Christensen
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A little girl named Sasha was sent by her mother to borrow a needle and thread. Oh dear! She found the horrible witch's house! Sasha didn't know it belonged to a witch. She oiled the creaky fence, fed the skinny dog and the mewing cat. Then she met the witch who wanted to eat her. Find out how the
fence, the dog and cat helped her to get away from this wicked witch who wanted to eat her. Children will learn the lessons: to help others you will be helped in return, and do not speak to strangers!
The art is what makes this--the vivid autumnal colors against intricate black lineart is deceptively dense and vibrant. It balances an adequate but not especially surprising retelling, enlivening not-quite-stilted language & the repetition endemic to fairytales with full-page, dynamic panels that have fantastic imagery. What a joy!
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Every inch as creepy as I remember from my youth... I don't know if this one is going to scare modern day children as much as it did back in the day, but I suspect gnashing metal teeth are timelessly chilling.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book in Kindergarten and it took me forever to remember the name to find it! I'm so happy I have it on here so I can remember to add it to a list of books to buy and read to my kids ...more
Samantha Fetalvero
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.0

It was a good Halloween read for children.
*Caution: Might scare young toddlers.
Lauren  Volk
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite childhood books. 30+ years later I still remember this awesome story. Bought it for my children to enjoy.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for children
Martine Cianni
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Classic book from my childhood. I remember checking this out from our school library!
Jennifer Segarini
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this book when I was a kid was one of my favorite scary witches story
Felicite Bennett
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite childrens books since I was 5/6
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my absolute favorite spooky books from childhood. It's classics like these that sparked my love for everything horror. A perfect example of how horror can be geared towards young children!
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Where were all the fun easy-readers when I was in first grade? I would have loved this book as a child. Deliciously scarey for a 6-year old and a great introduction to other culture's fairy tales this one drawn from the Russian Baba Yaga.
3 1/2 stars
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Although the illustrations are lacking, I'm a big fan of the Babayaga story.
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Joanna Cole who also writes under the pseudonym B. J. Barnet is an author of children’s books who teaches science.

She is most famous as the author of The Magic School Bus series of children's books. Joanna Cole has written over 250 books ranging from her first book Cockroach to her famous series Magic School Bus.

Cole was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby East Orange. She loved
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