cover image Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga

Katya Arnold. NorthSouth, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-55858-208-8

Less compelling than Patricia Polacco's Babushka Baba Yaga (Children's Forecasts, July 12), which also features the witch of Russian legend, Arnold's rather thin story is noteworthy chiefly for the intriguing art that accompanies it. Here, Baba Yaga kidnaps Tishka, beloved son of an elderly couple, and takes him to her shack so that her daughter can cook him up for supper. But Tishka outwits the would-be chef, putting her in the oven in his place, and Baba Yaga unwittingly eats her daughter, whereupon Tishka escapes. Arnold supplies gouache paintings inspired by ``lubok'' pictures, a Russian folk art medium that dates from the 17th century. Her vibrantly colored illustrations, printed with separately executed black line drawings, resemble primitive woodcuts--a fitting match for this retelling of a Russian folktale. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)