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Previous Group Read Nominations > Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga

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message 1: by Jalilah (last edited Sep 07, 2020 02:54PM) (new)

Jalilah | 4259 comments Mod
Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga is the traditional tale winner for the Witchy September 15-November 14 Group Read!
You can post your thoughts here!


message 3: by Janelle (new)

Janelle | 7 comments Thank you Mary


message 4: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4259 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Here is an online public domain translation"
Yes! Thank you!


message 5: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3433 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Here is an online public domain translation"

Neat, and it looks like Surlalune has a new website design! I like it!


message 6: by Annette (new)

Annette | 246 comments I found Alexander Afanasyev’s story on kindle. I thought it was a sweet tale overall.


message 7: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3433 comments Mod
Annette wrote: "I found Alexander Afanasyev’s story on kindle. I thought it was a sweet tale overall."

I remember really enjoying it! I'll reread it soon.

I have two picture book versions on hold at the library too.


message 8: by Annette (new)

Annette | 246 comments The version I read had illustrations but wasn’t quite a picture book. I would have enjoyed it even more as a picture book! (My library did not have this story - in any form.)


message 9: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3433 comments Mod
Annette wrote: "The version I read had illustrations but wasn’t quite a picture book. I would have enjoyed it even more as a picture book! (My library did not have this story - in any form.)"

My copy of Russian Fairy Tales has a few images for each tale.


message 10: by Annette (new)

Annette | 246 comments Great! I like the Pantheon collections that I’ve seen. Maybe I need to purchase another book...


message 11: by Stardust (new)

Stardust | 6 comments My pantheon collection of Russian tales is yet to arrive..!! Can't wait to get to this..


message 12: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Johnson | 5 comments Embarassingly, I only know this story through Catherynne Valente's "Deathless", so it will be interesting to discover the original.


message 13: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3433 comments Mod
Ah, I love Deathless. Another excellent take on Vasilisa is The Bear and the Nightingale.


message 14: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3433 comments Mod
Last night, I read the picture book Vasilisa the Beautiful: A Russian Folktale by Anna Morgunova as well as the fairytale from Russian Fairy Tales by Alexander Afanasyev. The picture book was generally pretty faithful to the original fairytale. Her illustrations were lovely. I wish they had been full page spreads vs. only on one side of the page. Amazon has some of the pages to view: https://www.amazon.com/Vasilisa-Beaut... . I especially like the Baba Yaga illustration, which is the third picture if you follow the link. At the end, the illustrator discusses how she wanted to make a less hideous looking Baba Yaga than was commonly portrayed, and one in tune with nature. I think it makes for a lovely illustration, though I think older women are just as beautiful as younger ones!

The person who adapted the tale cut a few parts that I think are important. First, she cut Baba Yaga's mortar and pestle! I love that image so much; I was sad it was missing from the picture book. She also cut Vasilisa's stepmother physically abusing her. It says she's ugly and makes Vasilisa do chores and prefers her daughters. Hardly a reason to die, in my opinion. The Afanasyev fairytale, however, has Vasilisa's stepmother physically abuse her. That makes me much less sad when she dies at the end.

It doesn't seem fair to the stepsisters, though. I know the fairytale says they're not nice to Vasilisa, but that hardly seems like a good enough reason for them to die.

I'd completely forgotten the end of the tale, with Vasilisa marrying off, and it's by far the least exciting part of the story, so I'm likely to forget it again, ha!

The horsemen were interesting and added a touch of mythology to the tale.

I have a second picture book on hold, and I'm eager to see it.


message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 831 comments She sent her into the forest in hopes that Baba Yaga would eat her. I would think not physically abusing Vasilisa is not a sufficient defense in light of that.


message 16: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3433 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "She sent her into the forest in hopes that Baba Yaga would eat her. I would think not physically abusing Vasilisa is not a sufficient defense in light of that."

The picture book doesn't say that. That's what I meant. It was watered down for kids, but then, it didn't water down the part where a skull kills the stepmother and stepsisters. It was jarring. I think they cut too much.


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 831 comments Yeah, that's a kinda important omission.


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