Vasilisa the Beautiful

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More About This Title Vasilisa the Beautiful


Winner of:
2015 19th Annual Wilde Awards, Picture Books, Ages 7 to 10

A modern retelling of a classic folk tale brought to life through vivid, rich artwork
When Vasilisa’s mother dies, she leaves behind a magical doll to look after Vasilisa in times of distress. And distress is close at hand when Vasilisa’s father remarries, and her new stepmother and stepsisters send her on an errand to the terrifying witch Baba Yaga, who has an appetite for anything that enters the deep, dark forest. But with her fearlessness and her magical doll, Vasilisa not only passes Baba Yaga’s arduous tests, but she also obtains the magic she needs to free herself from a life of servitude. This enchanting retelling of a classic Russian folk tale is brought to spectacular life by Anna Morgunova’s breathtaking art.


Anna Morgunova is an award-winning children’s book illustrator. Anthea Bell is an award-winning translator who has translated numerous Cornelia Funke novels and many Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen stories, including The Pied Piper of Hamelin and The Snow Queen.


"The art, so timeless and raw, offers a charged dream-life that suggests the primal nerve Vasilisa’s story strikes in Morgunova is far stronger than the lure of revisionism." —Soman Chainani, New York Times"Bell's retelling is classical as she recounts the Russian fairy tale heroine who conquers the terrifying Baba Yaga with the help of her magical doll. Anna Morgunova's illustrations strengthen the story with image, symbolism and mood." —Susie Wilde, Charlotte News & Observer"The Russian tale of Vasilisa and Baba Yaga, reillustrated for a new generation . . . . mesmerizing illustrations . . . Older children and art students will respond warmly." —Kirkus Reviews"A clever, refreshing retelling of this Russian folktale that is magically illustrated, this selection is pure delight." —Kendal Rautzham,"A fine translation by Anthea Bell, gorgeously illustrated by Anna Morgunova with full-page panels that burst with tomato reds, piney greens, cobalt and cerulean blues, gold and saffron . . . I am hoping that this new edition will serve for the children in my life (and for any other child who discovers it) as a gateway tale that lures them into the borderless lands of fiction." —Liesl Schillinger,"This retelling of Vasilisa’s adventure takes a dreamlike turn with Morgunova’s eye-grabbing swirls of color . . . . complementing Morgunova’s beautiful but surreal illustrations . . . . will satisfy the more sophisticated taste." —Nancy Call, School Library Journal"A clever, refreshing retelling of this Russian folktale that is magically illustrated . . . . pure delight." —Kendal Rautzhan, Books to Borrow, Books to Buy