cover image The Rumor of Pavel & Paali: A Ukrainian Folktale

The Rumor of Pavel & Paali: A Ukrainian Folktale

Carole Kismaric. HarperCollins Publishers, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023277-1

This exotic retelling of a Ukrainian folktale may be too sophisticated for some readers; others will revel in its lush design and folkloric patterned-illustrations. Pavel and Paali are twins; Paali is gentle and kind and Pavel is grasping and despotic. Pavel tricks Paali out of all his possessions and eventually causes his brother to lose both eyes. Lost in the woods, Paali overhears the evil spirits telling how he can regain his sight, how the village can find water and how the king's daughter can be healed. In classic fairy-tale fashion, Paali's goodness redeems him, while Pavel is taken away to become another of the evil spirits. Kismaric delivers this stark tale of retribution skillfully; Mikolaycak's dark, richly rendered paintings add a ghostly resonance. Ages 6-8. (June)