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Salt: A Russian Folktale by Jane Langton
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Salt: A Russian Folktale

by Jane Langton

Other authors: Ilse Plume (Illustrator)

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Originally recorded by the great nineteenth-century Russian folklorist, Alexander Afanasev, Salt is the story of a wealthy merchant, his three sons, and the very different results of their separate sea voyages. Entrusting his eldest son with his finest ship, full of costly furs to sell in the north; his middle son with his fastest ship, full of ice to sell in the south; and his youngest with a tiny ship full of wooden spoons, the merchant sends the three of them out into the world. Of course, anyone who has read any folktales of this type will be wholly unsurprised when it is Ivan - the youngest son, and a seeming simpleton - who makes good, winning a fortune, and a beautiful Tsarevna as a bride...

Jane Langton and Ilse Plume - who also collaborated on The Hedgehog Boy: A Latvian Folktale - have created an engaging picture-book with Salt. I can't say that Plume's colored pencil illustrations are a favorite (I tend to prefer something more stylized, like Ivan Bilibin's folk-art, or more ornate, like Kinuko Y. Craft's gorgeous, tapestry-like paintings), but the overall effect is appealing. I recognized the storytelling cat who narrates the tale of course, as he also appears in The Tale of Tsar Saltan. All in all, this is one I recommend to young folklore fans, particularly those with an interest in Russian tales. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 18, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Langtonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Plume, IlseIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Ivan, the merchant's third son, having patience and an eye for opportunity, barters the cargo of his ship for a princess and a fortune.

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