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The black geese : A Baba Yaga story from Russia (1999)
by Alison Lurie
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0789425580, Hardcover)Baba Yaga's black geese steal children--everyone in the village fears them. So when young Elena discovers that her baby brother is missing, she knows she must rescue him from the evil Baba Yaga's forest lair. On her way, she runs across a fish out of water, gasping. Though she is in a great hurry, she helps it back into the pond.
"As you have helped me, so I shall help you," said the fish. "Here, take this shell. If ever you are in danger, throw it over your shoulder."As she hurries along, she releases a squirrel from a trap, who gratefully gives her a danger-preventing walnut. When she later helps a field mouse move a rock, he gives her a danger-preventing pebble. At last she reaches Baba Yaga's foul hut, "which stands on three giant hens' legs and can move around when it likes." Baba Yaga is asleep inside, right next to her baby brother! She picks up her brother, and runs into the forest, with the terrible witch hot on her heels. Remembering her magical gifts from the forest creatures, she throws the shell behind her. A lake appears! But Baba Yaga drinks it in great thirsty gulps and is back on her trail. When Elena throws the walnut over her shoulder, a thick grove of trees appears! But Baba Yaga chews the trees down with her sharp teeth. When Elena throws the pebble, a mountain looms large, and Baba Yaga is at last stopped in her tracks. "As for Elena, she went on to her village and was safe at home playing with her little brother when her father and mother got back from the market with the sugar buns." Jessica Souhami's lively, geometric collages--inspired by Russian folk art--express action and emotion with the simplest of forms. Children will be on the edge of their seats as Elena tries to rescue her baby brother and is chased by the evil witch... and visibly relieved when they both make it home safe and sound. And who knows? The next time they see a fish or a squirrel in need, they may pause to help. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:38 -0400)
When her little brother is taken away by the black geese belonging to the terrible witch, Baba Yaga, Elena searches for him in the great dark forest.
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