Baba Yaga and Vasillisa the Brave: A Russian Cinderella Story by Marianna Mayer, K. Y. Craft
This Cinderella variant is not for the youngest Cinderella fans. While Vasilisa survives her encounter with the witch Baba Yaga, her family does not. The “we reap what we sow” viewpoint is highlighted with strangely enticing text and elaborate haunting illustrations.
Sweet, lovely Vasilisa lives with her jealous stepmother and stepsisters on the edge of a dark forest inhabited by the evil witch, Baba Yaga. One night the stepmother sends Vasilisa to visit Baba Yaga, an errand from which the gentle girl has little chance of returning alive. In this lush romantic version of an old Russian fairy tale, good eventually triumphs over evil with the aid of a mother’s love and a magic doll. In this story, the terrible witch Baba Yaga, is truly scary. Her hut is made of human bones and she has lived, forever, deep in the dark forest. The fence-post surrounding her house has a "a hollow-eyed skull”.
A Review from School Library Journal states:
"An engaging text and accomplished paintings set this version apart A stylized and classy offering."
A Review from Publishers Weekly states:
"…this adaptation focuses on the heroine's bravery rather than her beauty, a distinction that may be important to some."