Author: Jane Yolen
Released: October 30th 2018
Finding Baba Yaga is yet another infamous fractured fairy tale from Jane Yolen. However, there’s a twist on this one. The entire tale is told in verse form, flowing from page to page in an intricate, quick, and charming read.
Jane Yolen is well known for her ability to take a fairy tale or legend and twist it until it’s of her own creation. I knew that she would do justice to Baba Yaga’s story, but even so I was pleasantly surprised with what was inside.
The tale follows one girl, though it mentions two before all things are said and done. Both girls are taken in by Baba Yaga, despite how different they are from one another. Despite the different care and love they need.
Natasha is a runaway, though she wasn’t always that way. She had a miserable home life, and all she ever wanted was to be free and loved. She wanted the forest, she wanted life. She wanted magic. Finding Baba Yaga in the woods not only saved her life, but it changed it. She’s the type of girl who is so happy with what she has that she’ll never complain about chores – even the ones considered unpleasant by many.
Vasilisa is everything that Natasha isn’t. We don’t have the privilege to start off knowing her story, but that suits her personality perfectly. Where Natasha came here to heal and live, Vasilisa’s reasons are much less clear. Where Natasha cleans without complaint Vasilisa would prefer the ‘less messy’ chores. Where Natasha is grateful Vasilisa takes for granted. There’s a lesson to be learned from their behaviors, by these opposite natures.
The tale of Finding Baba Yaga is beautifully written. I enjoyed the verse more than I expected, and ending up reading it all in one sitting. I would have liked to read more of it, if I’m being completely honest. I’m looking forward to seeing what Jane Yolen’s next project will be.