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Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco
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Rechenka's Eggs

by Patricia Polacco

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I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. As a child, I loved reading this story with my father. We are part Ukrainian, and one of our culture’s traditions is painting eggs for Easter rather than dying eggs. This book incorporates the tradition of painting eggs, which is why I always loved reading the story. The language incorporates Russian terms within the story, such as “Babushka, dacha, kulich, and pashka.” I really enjoy the illustrations because they are extremely detailed and beautiful, which engages the reader. Through the illustrations, there are portrayals of Christian faith. For example, many of the paintings illustrated on Babushka’s walls are of saints worshiped in the Christian faith. The setting also centers on the time of Easter, which a very religious Christian holiday. I think it is important that multicultural aspects are represented in this story; this gives readers an opportunity to learn about new cultures or celebrate their own traditions. Throughout the story, there is a repetition of the word “miracle.” Babushka considers many events that happen to her and others are miracles. These miracles include caribou surviving the winter, the wounded goose Rechenka being sent to Babushka, the beautifully painted eggs laid by Rechenka, the caribou’s baby calves, and the baby chick hatched from Rechenka’s last egg. The character of Babushka is very believable and relatable to a reader’s own grandmother; she is very gentle, kind, and caring of all living things. I love the friendship that developed between Babushka and Rechenka; I believe this teaches a valuable lesson on friendship to young readers. The central message of the story is miracles happen everyday and friendship should always be cherished. ( )
  jgiann2 | May 8, 2014 |
Known far and wide for her gorgeous pysanky - Ukrainian Easter eggs, decorated with intricate patterns, and gorgeous colors - Babushka was preparing for the great Moscow Easter Festival, when she happened upon an injured goose near her house. Naming her new anserine friend Rechenka, Babushka brought the goose home, and nursed her back to health. Then, disaster struck, and it seemed as if all of Babushka's painstaking work over the past year, in creating her pysanky, had been in vain. Was her dream of once again triumphing at the Festival over? Or was there a miracle in store - a miracle in which Rechenka could play a part...?

Although I was a little put off by the geographic confusion here - pysanky are Ukrainian, and so (one presumes) is Babushka, although she lives in a dacha just outside Moscow (?) - I found Rechenka's Eggs a very engaging tale, otherwise. Babushka is an endearing heroine - her compassion, and ability to see the miraculous in the everyday events around her, are immensely appealing. Polacco's artwork did seem a little...off to me (a slightly different color scheme than usual, perhaps?), which made more sense, when I noted that this title was originally published in 1988, and is one of the author/artist's earliest books. I must just be used to her later style. All in all, although it won't ever rank amongst my favorite Patricia Polacco books, Rechenka's Eggs is still an appealing story for Easter time, and for anyone who appreciates those marvelous pysanky! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 15, 2013 |
A Russian story with a folktale undertone. Great story to bring in some Russian traditions and history. Could also be a folktale comparison lesson.
  JudesThree | Mar 18, 2013 |
One thing that Babushka loves to do is to paint her lovely eggs. She is helping an injured goose learn to fly again, when the goose accidentally breaks Babushkas painted eggs. The goose is so sorry and soon begins to lay beautiful eggs for Babushka. ( )
  ccbell | Sep 18, 2012 |
An injured goose rescued by Babushka, having broken the painted eggs intended for the Easter Festival in Moscva, lays 13 marvelously colored eggs to replace them, then leaves behind one final miracle in egg form before returning to her own kind. ( )
  kidlit9 | Mar 26, 2012 |
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An injured goose rescued by Babushka, having broken the painted eggs intended for the Easter Festival in Moscva, lays thirteen marvelously colored eggs to replace them, then leaves behind one final miracle in egg form before returning to her own kind.… (more)

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