Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave by Marianna Mayer

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Sweet, lovely Vasilisa lives with her jealous stepmother and stepsisters on the edge of a dark forest inhabited by the evil witch Baba Yaga. One night the stepmother sends Vasilisa to visit Baba Yaga, an errand from which the gentle girl has little chance of returning alive. "An engaging text and accomplished paintings set this version apart....A stylized and classy offering."--School Library Journal.

About Marianna Mayer

See more books from this Author
Marianna Mayer lives in Roxbury, Connecticut. "I see folktales and myths as humankind's first stories," says Marianna Mayer. "They are a kind of collective dreaming, filled with timeless symbols and images we can all relate to, regardless of age or culture. And, much as an oyster must be disturbed by a grain of sand in order for the pearl to be created, I often choose to retell stories in which I find unresolved fragments that are somehow perplexing to me." Though widely known as a children's book writer, Marianna Mayer's early education focused on visual art. "It seems to me there was never a time when I didn't want to be an artist, " she says. "I liked to tell stories with pictures and compose music. My sister and I put on plays made up from my stories. And then I decided to start writing a book, at the age of nine." She published her first book at the age of nineteen. After college, she studied painting at the Art Students League in New York City. Her experiences as an artist provided many images that she began to incorporate into writing. Gradually, she shifted to the written word as a medium of expression. She explains, "I began to feel more freedom when using words as my paints and plots as my canvases. "While in the midst of a writing project, I live so much in my mind that what takes place in my imagination becomes quite real to me. I try to become part of the culture of a particular tale as much as possible. While working on Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, for example, I read all I could about Russia. What I learned about Slavic mythology helped to deepen my understanding of the story. I listened to Russian music, ate Russian food (which I love!), and tried in other small ways to enter into the essence of that culture." "My writing is deeply personal. First and foremost I write for the child who still lives within me. Then to the child in others, whether that child resides in a young person or an adult. I'm striving to reach out to that spirit of wonder within us all. The stories I was told as a child, those half-remembered folktales and myths, have become the foundation for what I continue to work on in my books. The sense of hope that books instilled in me as a child saw me through many difficult times. Because of this, I choose characters who face overwhelming odds but triumph through courage and perseverance. Similarly, myth allows a child to believe in his or her own dreams and can instill a boundless hope for the future."
Published May 19, 1994 by HarperCollins. 40 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A complex and eventful Russian variant of the Cinderella story in which the stepmother sends the girl to the witch's house, where she performs seemingly impossible tasks with the help of a magical doll left her by her mother.

| Read Full Review of Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

the impact, however, is gravely inhibited by a legend at the bottom of the painting: ``Smoking After Meals Is One of Baba Yaga's Many Bad Habits .

| Read Full Review of Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave

Reader Rating for Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave

An aggregated and normalized score based on 30 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review