From Russia With Love

It’s Olympics time again and this year the Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi, Russia.  In honor of this year’s host country, sample some of Russia’s rich history of folktales with these titles:

russian Folktales Russian Folk-Tales retold by James Riordan

 A collection of classic Russian folktales.




gigantic turnip The Gigantic Turnip by Aleksei Tolstoy

 In this traditional Russian tale, a farmer grows a turnip so big that it takes the combined efforts of him, his wife, six canaries, five geese, four hens, three cats, two pigs, one cow, and, finally, one mouse to pull it from the ground.



The fool of the world The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship retold by Arthur Ransome

 When the Czar proclaims that he will marry his daughter to the man who brings him a flying ship, the Fool of the World sets out to try his luck and meets some unusual companions on the way.


 Firebird retold by Jane YolenFirebird

  A retelling of the Russian folktale in which Prince Ivan encounters the magical Firebird who helps him defeat the evil Kostchei.



 The Little Humpbacked Horse retold by Elizabeth Winthrophumpbacked horse

  A young peasant, with the help of his faithful horse, captures magical beasts, marries the woman he loves, and becomes Tsar of Russia.




 Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave retold by Marianna Mayerbaba yaga

  A retelling of the old Russian fairy tale in which beautiful Vasilisa uses the help of her doll to escape from the clutches of the witch Baba Yaga, who in turn sets in motion the events which lead to the once ill-treated girl's marrying the tzar.



Snow Child

The Snow Child retold by Harriet Ziefert

 An elderly couple who long for a child build a snow child which comes to life and makes them very happy--until the coming of spring when the days become too warm for her to stay.