cover image Nina's Treasures

Nina's Treasures

Stefan Czernecki. Hyperion Press, $14.95 (56pp) ISBN 978-0-920534-65-6

This fetching--though rather slight--story serves as the springboard for some resplendent Ukrainian folk art. A hen named Nina provides eggs for ``a little grandmother'' named Katerina, who trades the eggs and flowers from her garden for their daily needs. An unusually severe winter finds the pair virtually without food, and Katerina feeds Nina ``her precious flower seeds for the spring planting.'' With the advent of spring, their plight is relieved when Nina--full of flower seeds--lays some spectacularly beautiful eggs. Katerina trades them to replenish her cupboards, and the old woman and Nina are happy and comfortable ``the rest of their days.'' Recalling the resourceful hen, the village grandmothers decorate eggs each spring. Czernecki's paintings are carefully composed and vibrant with color, though their somewhat static quality may be a bit mannered for some readers. There are treasures aplenty in this book, and not only in Nina's justly celebrated eggs. Ages 4-up. (Dec.)