Book Cover
Title Two Russian Tales
Series ---
Author Anne Terry White
Illustrated By Leslie Gray
Publisher Garrard Publishing Company - 1968
First Printing Garrard Publishing Company - 1968
Category Fairy Tale
Warnings None

Main Characters

Kolya, Nastasya, Ivan

Main Elements Fairytale

The Little Humpbacked Horse is probably the most popular of all Russian fairy tales. It is a poem, based upon a well known fairy story, which was written more than one hundred years ago by a Siberian schoolteacher. Although Anne Terry White has chosen to present the tale in prose form, she has retained the mood and manner of the original poem in her translation. Readers will delight to the adventures of the little horse and his master as they fly about, performing various difficult deeds, capturing a princess for the Czar, and finally outwitting the Czar.

Czar of the Water, equally charming, is a fairy tale which was written years ago as it was told by an ancient storyteller. This tale, too, involves young man, a Czar, a lovely princess with magical powers, and the fulfilling of many nearly-impossible requests.

Russian fairy tales are a little different from your standard Perrault or Grimm tales. While you still have your princes and princesses, your talking animals and your evil sorcerors, they are far more fantastical. In the Czar of the water, to complete one of the tasks, Kolya is told to make a five thousand pound lash out of one needle, a ten thousand pound bridle out of a second, and from the third, a saddle of twenty thousand pounds. Now poor Kolya couldn't even budge them, and here he was supposed to ride the Czar's horse, so instead the princess picked up the items, and rode the great horse until it was exhausted, only then letting Kolya ride. Yep, that's one scary princess!

I think the near ridiculousness of some of the tales are what I like about them so much. From Baba Yagga's house that spins on a pair of chicken legs, to the legendary firebird, there are a multitude of amazing places, creatures and people to encounter.

Posted: April 2011


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