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The Tale of Tsar Saltan

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Betrayed by her sisters, a tsarina and her infant son are marooned on a barren island until a magical swan helps them regain their rightful heritage.


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Betrayed by her sisters, a tsarina and her infant son are marooned on a barren island until a magical swan helps them regain their rightful heritage.

30 review for The Tale of Tsar Saltan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    Bitterly, the weaver sighed, And the cook in passion cried, Full of jealousy and hate Of their sister's happy fate. - Alexander Pushkin Human beings are complex creatures. We can love and hate with the same energy. When we meet a cruel person, we call him “inhuman”. Because being “human” entails love, solidarity, generosity. However, after getting to know so many people that are everything but nice, one starts to wonder about the true nature of humans. What is to be human? Are we capable of being ha Bitterly, the weaver sighed, And the cook in passion cried, Full of jealousy and hate Of their sister's happy fate. - Alexander Pushkin Human beings are complex creatures. We can love and hate with the same energy. When we meet a cruel person, we call him “inhuman”. Because being “human” entails love, solidarity, generosity. However, after getting to know so many people that are everything but nice, one starts to wonder about the true nature of humans. What is to be human? Are we capable of being happy for other people's happiness or we practice what we preach just once in a while? I added this book the other day and found it and read it today. My first choice was a Spanish translation. For the love of Alexandria, what a horrible thing to read. The entire essence of the tale was lost in the way. So I exchanged it for one in English that actually kept the original form. It's a fairy tale in verse. But even fairy tales can be thought provoking. This is a poem full of imagination, adventure and beautiful verses with some humorous images. What I still love about Pushkin's style are the words he chose to describe every image, every thought. A rich, exquisite language that leaves me spellbound with a silly, dreamy smile out of admiration. Even while writing about the simplest things. Not in vane he's considered the greatest Russian poet. This is the story of three sisters that dreamed of marrying the Tsar. Eventually, he chose the youngest sister and the others went to work for them at the palace. The envy and jealousy of those sisters and the mother (sly deceiver!) because of the girl's good fortune caused undesirable consequences. That people can't be happy because of their own relatives' bliss is something I'll never understand. But it happens. Anyway, a nice read. March 15, 14 * Also on my blog.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Merrily the breeze is singing, O'er the waves a ship is winging Past the Island of Buyan To the realm of Tsar Saltan. Now his longed-for land so dear Stands out in the distance, clear, Now the ship at anchor rests And the merchants, honored guests, Palacewards their footsteps make With our gallant in their wake. There, in regal raiment, sate Tsar Saltan in royal state. On his head–his jeweled crown; On his face–a pensive frown, While the royal cook, and weaver, And their mother, sly deceiver, Sitting on his lef Merrily the breeze is singing, O'er the waves a ship is winging Past the Island of Buyan To the realm of Tsar Saltan. Now his longed-for land so dear Stands out in the distance, clear, Now the ship at anchor rests And the merchants, honored guests, Palacewards their footsteps make With our gallant in their wake. There, in regal raiment, sate Tsar Saltan in royal state. On his head–his jeweled crown; On his face–a pensive frown, While the royal cook, and weaver, And their mother, sly deceiver, Sitting on his left and right, Stared at him with all their might. Tsar Saltan, with royal grace, Gave the merchants each his place, Then he said: "Now, masters mine, Sailed you far across the brine? Are things well where you have been? What strange wonders have you seen?" Quoth the merchants: "If you please, We have sailed the seven seas; Peace reigns overseas, serene. There, we saw this wondrous scene: There's an island in the sea, Shores as steep as steep can be; Cheerless once, deserted, bare– Nothing but an oak grew there. Now it has a new-built city, Stately mansions, gardens pretty, Churches tall with domes of go Fair and wondrous to behold. Prince Guidon reigns there, and Sends his compliments to thee.' Here the tsar said, in amaze: "If but God prolong my days, I shall visit this strange isle, Guest with this Guidon a while." But the royal cook, and weaver, With their mother, sly deceiver, Did not wish to let their tsar See this wondrous isle so far.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ronyell

    I have read many Russian folktales in my time, but never have I read a Russian folktale that had truly gorgeous illustrations and a heartwarming story! “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” is a Russian folktale by Alexander Pushkin along with illustrations by Gennady Spirin and it is about how a young prince named Prince Guidon is separated from his father Tsar Saltan, after a terrible plot was formed by his mother’s jealous sisters and the Tsar’s cruel cousin. “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” is definitely a boo I have read many Russian folktales in my time, but never have I read a Russian folktale that had truly gorgeous illustrations and a heartwarming story! “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” is a Russian folktale by Alexander Pushkin along with illustrations by Gennady Spirin and it is about how a young prince named Prince Guidon is separated from his father Tsar Saltan, after a terrible plot was formed by his mother’s jealous sisters and the Tsar’s cruel cousin. “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” is definitely a book worthy to check out for fans of different types of folklore! Once there lived three sisters who each talked about marrying the Tsar. While the first sister wanted to cook for everyone and the second sister wanted to spin the best linen for everyone when they married the Tsar, the youngest sister said that when she marries the Tsar, she wants to have a son who is brave and strong. When Tsar Saltan heard what the youngest sister said, he decided to marry the youngest sister, much to the jealousy of the two other sisters. One day however after the tsarina gave birth to a baby boy, a war broke out and Tsar Saltan had to go to war. While the Tsar was gone, the tsarina’s two sisters and the Tsar’s evil cousin decided to plot against the young tsarina. Oh my goodness! When I have seen so many good ratings on this book, I just had to check this book out and see what was so great about this book. Now I know why this book was so well received! Alexander Pushkin had done an excellent job at writing this lovable Russian folktale as the story is heartwarming and interesting at the same time. I loved the way that Alexander Pushkin portrayed each character in this book, especially Tsar Saltan as he is shown as a kind and lovable father who was a victim in the two sisters’ and his evil cousin’s scheming against the tsarina and I actually felt sorry for him that the lost his son and his wife and he never really knew what became of his son and wife, even though the audience knows what happened to his family. Many parents and children will also feel sympathy for Tsar Saltan, especially if any parent knows what it is like to lose a child and it is indeed a heartbreaking situation for anyone to be in. I was extremely interested in knowing that this story has similar elements to two stories from the Brothers Grimm collection which are “The Three Little Birds” and “The Maiden without Hands” as they both involved the main characters losing their child to jealousy and evil. Gennady Spirin’s illustrations are the true highlights of this book as they are simply beautiful and memorable. Gennady Spirin’s illustrations are reminiscent of the paintings from the Renaissance Era as the drawings are elegant and characters look realistic that they make the story truly beautiful. I also loved the images of the Russian clothing that the characters wear as they are extremely colorful and gorgeous and they truly bring out the Russian influence of the story. What I really loved about this book was the way that the book had two pages full of only text and then the next two pages are full of only illustrations of the story, which is quite a creative way to express this story. All in all, “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” is truly a brilliant and amazing book about the power of love for your family and anyone who is a huge fan of Russian folktales will definitely enjoy this book easily! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the length of this book might be a bit too long for smaller children.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Claudiu Bogdan

    A very touching, a gentle and eerie story. I perceived it as an ars poetica fairytale – a farfetched concept have I come up with! – because of some fantasticaly-ironical creative principle it has, as part of the plot: 3 ugly and envious hags are making up stories, trying to prevent the tsar in reuniting with his exiled wife and son. These two have been banished by the tsar due to the wicked machinations of the hags: first, they send him a letter containing a false message, a fantastically made u A very touching, a gentle and eerie story. I perceived it as an ars poetica fairytale – a farfetched concept have I come up with! – because of some fantasticaly-ironical creative principle it has, as part of the plot: 3 ugly and envious hags are making up stories, trying to prevent the tsar in reuniting with his exiled wife and son. These two have been banished by the tsar due to the wicked machinations of the hags: first, they send him a letter containing a false message, a fantastically made up rumour. The tsars newborn son is said to be ‘Neither a boy, neither a girl,/ Neither a mouse, neither a frog,/ but some little, 'unknown' beast’. I underline 'unknown', because the Russian word would literary translate as 'unseen', which adds to the flavour of the lie – for the good reader – because, by this word, the lie somehow denounces itself. The monster is 'made up'. The monster is only metaphorical, the ugly creation of a fantastical delusion. I would like to expand on this later. In fact, the boy is a splendid fairytale-like newborn, a 'bogath’r' (resounding Russian word for a folklore hero) already messuring one 'ar’sheen' (about three quarters of a meter). Together with his beautiful and meek mother, he is thrown in the wide blue sea, sealed up in a barrel. This ridiculously cruel banishment was also accomplished by the treachery of the tree hags, who falsify the actual order of the tsar (he is away somewhere on a battlefield, which is why he doesn’t see his newborn son, in the first place). Alone in the barrel, the innocent mother whimpers and the fabulous boy grows not by the day, but by the hour. He is already a brave little chap who simply and almost casually asks the waves not to carry them endlessly, unto death, but to kindly deport them on some dry land, alive and sound. And that’s what the waves do, as if they were tamed by him. It is a barren little island ('ostrov') the mother and son are now stranded to, with a lonely oak growing on the coast. Un-fatigued by the sea journey that begins his live and already brings him to light as a well-built and handsome teenager, he proceeds at once to provide for his mother and his own self. Out of an oak’s branch he confections a bow and arrow and goes on a hunt, for what the island might have to offer in terms of wild and delicious pray. Please notice what a truly praiseworthy mama’s boy the 'bogath’r' is, how fresh and independent he 'came out' already, how brave and ingenious! But, instead of finding some prosaic young deer to aim at, he becomes witness of an unnatural battle between a swan and a falcon, that happens on the sea. With his only arrow, he slaughters the feathery beast and saves from it’s ghastly claws the snow-white beauty. She thanks him (in fluent, poetical Russian), saying that the falcon was in fact a bad wizard in disguise (another embodying metaphor of the bad and ugly). And as a token of her gratitude, she woes to help him in the future however she’ll can, since she herself is actually not a swan but some sort of an enchantress, with (good, of course) magical powers of her own. Just for tonight, though – which is to say, 'the very near future' – he would have to go to sleep (with his mom :P) on an empty belly – as long as he had the nobility of saving her, instead of providing for her mother, as it were... No magic for the belly. But during the hungry sleep of the two castaways, the swan really works wonders. Upon walking, the two discover that on the yesterday’s barren land, grew over night, like some sort of magic mushrooms, a white towered, golden cupoled city in the best taste of Andrey Rublev’s times. It is already populated by gleeful and meek, paradisiacal Russians that instantly proclaim the two queen and prince of the land. After a while, some seamen float by in their ship and are amazed to see that on what they knew to be – not long ago – a naked cliff in the middle of the Ocean, now stands, as a crown, a splendid Novgorod-like city. They are welcomed by the prince very hospitably and he finds out that they are the vassals of his father in a merchant trip around the world and now on their way back home. Without revealing his identity, the prince sends his regards to his old, unknown papa, after which he suddenly feels a tender longing. Turned towards the sea as the guests float away, the prince confesses to the swan that he would very much like to see his father. She kindly turns him into a mosquito. Metamorphosed as such, he snugly hides himself in one of the ship’s cracks, thus travelling clandestine and incognito with the crew. In the fatherly palace, tsar Saltan melancholy sits on his throne. By him, as his only companions, are the three wicked hags. He listens and is charmed by the story of the new golden city and says he would very much like to visit it one day and meet the unknown, mysteriously reverent to him young ruler. But the three hags sneer in faked disbelief, guessing in their wickedness, who that prince is. One of them complains that the story is just some excess of the imagination, a fancy of drunken sailors. There are some, she says even more fanciful (liars) who believe they have seen a squirrel that munches only on golden shelled nuts. She spits the golden shells. And the core of these nuts are emeralds. But the squirrels doesn’t eat these either, she just throws them. Which is as if to say that all the good precious things are litter, while the noble squirrel is only munching away... The mosquito, who was hovering all this time above their heads stings the the hag’s right eye, as if to show that she sees only with the left, bad one. In a flurry, the bad counsellors try to crush the minuscule, buzzing, intruding brute, but it evades and flies away, across the sea, to it’s golden city. On the shore, the melancholy prince tells the swan how much he would like to have such and such a squirrel. She dutifully finds it somewhere and brings it to him. Now all his court and subjects wonder at the little miraculous and nimble creature that soon litters the kingdom with golden shells and emeralds, making everybody rich. After a while, some other ship floats by, the guests are received with great hospitality, just like the previous ones. Then, upon their leaving, the prince has himself turned by the swan into a fly. Again he travels in the same clandestine manner to his father and attends in his hovering above the throne to a new travel tale told by the new guests to the good old king. Now the second hag criticizes the story of the magic squirrel as nonsense fiction and says that others have fancied even better, about some under-the-sea elite army consisting of some 32 well built lads in golden scales, equally tall and beautiful, that are sometimes seen coming out of the sea in pairs, on some shore, just to patrol it a little, all being led by their daddy-captain Ch-er’no’more (resounding masculine name meaning, in fact, `The-black-sea`). By this new fancy-story told by the second hag, the king is disenchanted again and delayed in his desire to visit the fabulous kingdom. To revenge again, the fly stings the hag’s eye (I don’t remember which one, maybe the only one...) and evades just like before. Again on the shore, the prince asks the swan how in the world would it be possible to acquire such an elite army (that even Putin wouldn’t dream of having). She answers, `Why, it’s quite simple, they are my under-the-sea daddy and brothers, I’ll just ask them to pay you a visit soon`. By evening, they come indeed. A very impressive troop. The air above the sea doesn’t do them any good, though. But anyway, they woe to serve the prince as some sort of ornamental army and patrol each evening on the walls of his kingdom. In come, after a while, some new ship-guests. They are well-comed and then they leave. Prince is transformed this time into a bumblebee, I think. The same way of travelling light. Another sneering critique from the third hag. She says that some have fancied better still, to see some beautiful maiden so overwhelming (my use of English adjectives lacks here) that she lights the night, `she blinds you from seeing the day, she is like a star under the moon`... The king is disenchanted and delayed again. A sting on the nose, this time. Exits bumblebee. The unbearably beautiful maiden is, of course, the swan. Upon prince’s desire to have her she reveals herself to him, in human form, and they wed very quickly. Now the prince has become a man, the happy husband of the maiden of maidens. Everything is fantastically good around him and he practically owns all that and rules over it. He only misses his father. Very interesting to notice here is the fact that the sceptic and trickery stories told by the hags turn into prince’s strongest wishes and they actually 'accomplish him' – the wishes themselves being accomplished 'for' him. Another visit from another pack of sailors. The king hears about the great marriage event, about the actual existence of that great beauty which came out of the swan. He finally emancipates himself from his ugly nannies, telling them something like: Leave me alone, you counselling frogs, I am a king in my own rights and I’ll go right now to visit the golden city and the prince. By this gesture, the king himself also becomes mature, not only his son! The coming of age part of the story is now complete. The king arrives on the island, recognizes his banished wife. A great reunion. The noble and beautiful family is now miraculously complete. Feeling rather merciful due to the sheer grace of the moment, the king simply sends away the hags, unpunished. Of course, they were also journeying with him. As the poetics goes, there’s no more need for them anymore. The end. The poetical triumph and the charm of this story lays in it’s ironical depictions. Motivated by envy and greed, self-interested, grotesque lies are turned true and beautiful by the power of fantasy. And this is done for good purposes – the coming of age, a happy marriage (two, in fact), a touching and lasting family reunion. These turns in storytelling form altogether a meditation on creation: The lying-fantasy is grotesque, but when the fantasy comes true, it’s sublime! Truth and beauty are connected like two sides of a circle, which is to say, they are on the same continuous line, they are one. Although I still read in Russian like a native schoolboy from there yonder might (it is a foreign language for me, which I assiduously learn for almost 4 years, mostly through literature) I am humbly proud – if I may say so! – because I truly feel humbled 'and' proud - to finally be deLighted and enLighted by Pushkin in his own flawless Logos. Even this work, an effortlessly composed story, which might be considered to be an ‘unserious’ and ‘minor’ piece in the body of his work, nevertheless deeply conquers one emotionally, purifies one aesthetically, cleans the consciousness. The genius of Pushkin reflects here also, in all the lines of this folk-like story – as clear and undeniable, as infinite and unique as all the shades of blue that travel on the surface and lay on the depths of the Black Sea.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dianna

    I've read a lot of fairy tales in my life, and I love them, so it's fun when I discover a new one. When my husband traveled to Russia earlier this year, someone gave him a beautifully illustrated edition of Alexander Pushkin's tales—in Russian. Unfortunately I don't read Russian, but fortunately we were able to find out what the stories in the book are and obtain English editions of them. The Tale of Tsar Saltan is about three sisters who talk about what they would do if they married the Tsar. Th I've read a lot of fairy tales in my life, and I love them, so it's fun when I discover a new one. When my husband traveled to Russia earlier this year, someone gave him a beautifully illustrated edition of Alexander Pushkin's tales—in Russian. Unfortunately I don't read Russian, but fortunately we were able to find out what the stories in the book are and obtain English editions of them. The Tale of Tsar Saltan is about three sisters who talk about what they would do if they married the Tsar. The Tsar overhears them and picks the youngest for his bride. He also invites the other sisters to live at his palace with them. Unfortunately, the sisters are bitter and try to ruin the lives of the Tsar and the youngest sister. Luckily for the youngest sister and her son, they have a magic swan to help them out. The illustrations here are breathtaking! This is definitely an edition to check out, and the storytelling is very nice as well.

  6. 5 out of 5

    J.

    I do not think it is possible for me to describe the effect this story had on me as a child. It was not only amazing, but it was so eloquent and well written that every single reading was a special experience. Even now, whener I read this, I am filled with wonder and excitement. Три девицы под окном Пряли поздно вечерком. "Кабы я была царица,- Говорит одна девица,- То на весь крещеный мир Приготовила б я пир". - "Кабы я была царица,- Говорит ее сестрица,- То на весь бы мир одна Наткала я полотна". - "Кабы I do not think it is possible for me to describe the effect this story had on me as a child. It was not only amazing, but it was so eloquent and well written that every single reading was a special experience. Even now, whener I read this, I am filled with wonder and excitement. Три девицы под окном Пряли поздно вечерком. "Кабы я была царица,- Говорит одна девица,- То на весь крещеный мир Приготовила б я пир". - "Кабы я была царица,- Говорит ее сестрица,- То на весь бы мир одна Наткала я полотна". - "Кабы я была царица,- Третья молвила сестрица,- Я б для батюшки-царя Родила богатыря".

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is a wonderful Russian folktale with terrific illustrations by Gennady Spirin. The story is a classic tale from the 1800s by Alexander Pushkin and the pictures complement it nicely. They are so intricate and appear to be as old as the story itself. We really enjoyed reading this story together. This is a wonderful Russian folktale with terrific illustrations by Gennady Spirin. The story is a classic tale from the 1800s by Alexander Pushkin and the pictures complement it nicely. They are so intricate and appear to be as old as the story itself. We really enjoyed reading this story together.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I read it at the first link while listening to it at the second one. Deliciously sleep-inducing rhyme and repetition in a gorgeous tale filled with wonder and intrigue. I would love to own the picture book one day—the drawings are exquisite. https://www.marxists.org/subject/art/... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxdbX... Title in Spanish: El cuento del zar Saltán o el príncipe y la princesa-cisne I read it at the first link while listening to it at the second one. Deliciously sleep-inducing rhyme and repetition in a gorgeous tale filled with wonder and intrigue. I would love to own the picture book one day—the drawings are exquisite. https://www.marxists.org/subject/art/... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxdbX... Title in Spanish: El cuento del zar Saltán o el príncipe y la princesa-cisne

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kienie

    This is one of the fairy tales I grew up with. But now that I'm older, I keep wondering about the politics in Saltan's court. Was he married before? Why did he pick that particular young woman to marry? She said she'd bare him a mighty warrior for a son, but presumably she was also of good birth and had a good dowry, or was at the very least very beautiful. Was it a Henry VIII situation, where he was so desperate for a male hair that he was ready to risk marrying the first lady who promised to d This is one of the fairy tales I grew up with. But now that I'm older, I keep wondering about the politics in Saltan's court. Was he married before? Why did he pick that particular young woman to marry? She said she'd bare him a mighty warrior for a son, but presumably she was also of good birth and had a good dowry, or was at the very least very beautiful. Was it a Henry VIII situation, where he was so desperate for a male hair that he was ready to risk marrying the first lady who promised to deliver him? And afterwards, when he came back only to see his direct orders ignored, the queen and child gone, and a court full of confused subjects showing him the fake letter and telling him that the child was a healthy boy -- how did Saltan's react? Was there an inquiry? Obviously someone had committed high treason! Or were the sisters already in charge, telling him the baby had been deformed and getting rid of their political opponents? And how did the queen feel? And who was the Swan? Obviously she's a powerful sorceress, but is she a swan by choice? Or does she need someone to want to marry her in order to become human again? There is a whole novel's worth of background information I'd liove to know about. Someone should write it, or if it already exists, point me to it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristīne

    Great and beautiful story! While reading it recently, I actually realized I already knew the story - details and scenes came to my mind, and I remembered that Mom used to read me lots of Russian children`s stories and tales, this must be one of them. I have read it in three different languages, but somehow anything other than Russian seemed wrong, as I knew by heart first lines of the tale. Although the translations are mostly well done and professional, the tale in every other language sounds lik Great and beautiful story! While reading it recently, I actually realized I already knew the story - details and scenes came to my mind, and I remembered that Mom used to read me lots of Russian children`s stories and tales, this must be one of them. I have read it in three different languages, but somehow anything other than Russian seemed wrong, as I knew by heart first lines of the tale. Although the translations are mostly well done and professional, the tale in every other language sounds like a completely different story. The language is exquisite, again - beautiful and splendid, and easy to read, because it is rhythmic and it feels like every word falls into place! Pushkin (as always) is a master of creating a wonderful world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Abhigya

    I received this book as a birthday present when I was seven, and for a boy of seven it contained all the fantasy one needs. The book was printed in large landscape pages with the poetry on one page and a beautiful pictorial illustration on the other. The story deals with a royal mother and her child who were enclosed in a box and thrown into the sea as result of a conspiracy from her sisters who were jealous of her. They reached a strange island where the child grew to be a king. The latter part I received this book as a birthday present when I was seven, and for a boy of seven it contained all the fantasy one needs. The book was printed in large landscape pages with the poetry on one page and a beautiful pictorial illustration on the other. The story deals with a royal mother and her child who were enclosed in a box and thrown into the sea as result of a conspiracy from her sisters who were jealous of her. They reached a strange island where the child grew to be a king. The latter part of the tale deals with the boy punishing her aunts and his reunion with his father. Although the story is meant for children, but if you havn't read it already you'll enjoy it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Without the stunning artwork by Gennady Spirin, I don't think I would have enjoyed this as much. The design of the clothing of the characters is simply out of this world: a winter wonderland of folds and layers and textures, of jewels and beadwork, of golds and reds and creams, of detailed lace and stunning embroidery. The title page itself, the tsar in his stupendous robes, is so complex one must study the functions of his apparel. So, three stars for the story, and another star for the illustr Without the stunning artwork by Gennady Spirin, I don't think I would have enjoyed this as much. The design of the clothing of the characters is simply out of this world: a winter wonderland of folds and layers and textures, of jewels and beadwork, of golds and reds and creams, of detailed lace and stunning embroidery. The title page itself, the tsar in his stupendous robes, is so complex one must study the functions of his apparel. So, three stars for the story, and another star for the illustrations alone.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natalia Karpova

    Pushkin is the most famous poet in Russia, our pride. Many generations of Russian people grew up reading his fairy-tales. And The Tale of Tsar Saltan is the best among them. I know it by heart since the days of my childhood.)))

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yulia

    This is a "must tale" to read to your kids. I am not sure how well it is translated into English, but in Russian it is beautiful. Pushkin has a uniquely flowing and beautiful language. He has many tales written for kids and I would highly recommend all of them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I absolutely love Russian fairy tales. The tale of Tsar Saltan is one of those which I know the best, cause the movie was made from it and I watched it in Polish TV.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liza

    Read it in Russian and since it's poetry I don't know how well it translates but it is a childhood favorite that many Russian-speakers know (at least in part) by heart.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gator

    This book reads fantastically, The rhyming is so tight. I read it in a modified DMX Style and was not disappointed with the way it flowed, This book is legit!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nelly

    I didn't read the illustrated version of this translation, just the free online one. Here: http://www.marxists.org/subject/art/l... Mostly I just wanted to see how Pushkin could be translated and now I know. This is actually very good and close to Puskin's original words, although much really IS lost in putting such a classically Russian verse into English. If you've heard the story of the Swan Princess, here is what it's based on. It's been decades and I still remember some of the original Russia I didn't read the illustrated version of this translation, just the free online one. Here: http://www.marxists.org/subject/art/l... Mostly I just wanted to see how Pushkin could be translated and now I know. This is actually very good and close to Puskin's original words, although much really IS lost in putting such a classically Russian verse into English. If you've heard the story of the Swan Princess, here is what it's based on. It's been decades and I still remember some of the original Russian verse. Classic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Four stars, despite the refrains and the "simpler" meter*, because I loved this as a child and Pushkin is still a genius. (Also, the parallels to the Man of Law's tale, in The Canterbury Tales, are compelling. Things not noticed at four years old.) *The lines here are shorter than in some of Pushkin's other works, and they rhyme in couplets, rather than quatrains. Granted, this is a skazka (fairytale) and not a novel in verse.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suzon George

    A nice translation in rhyming couplets that isn't Hallmarky I liked the book. It was interesting to imagine this as a really Russian story. It has so many similarities to one in The Arabian Nights. Most likely made its way to Pushkin via his dark-skinned ancestors. Great book to read in Black History month. Pushing was a black Russian.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Molniya

    I liked this book a lot in my childhood. I think it's an interesting fairy-tale not only for children but for adults too. Special "thank you" to Pushkin for this one, verses are very easy to remember (even for children).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I am quite surprised that I did not enjoy this Pushkin tale. I found the elements of a potentially good story within the book but a compellingly woven narrative was sorely lacking. Even as a children's book it fails to satisfy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maria Freeman

    Begins in a classic fairy tale way and ends in a classic fairy tale way, however fairy tales tend to have morals I have no idea what the purpose of this book was other than "don't be a horrid human being"

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    A classic fairy tale of a tsar who marries a young woman after overhearing what she and her sisters would do if they married him. And the resulting jealousy of her sisters, for a tale involving a swan, a barrel, a hawk, a gnat, and more. Good illustrations.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Olga

    all russian children know it))

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Marcum

    Picture Book: I feel like there have been a lot of variations of this same story. I really liked it. The illustrations were my favorite part.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    This original story is written in the style of traditional folklore. Beautiful illustrations by Spirin.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Regina Hunter

    Read it as a kid and read many times again, this is an epic poem. There still many who can recite first 2-3 pages of it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tamar

    Interesting. But because of the fact that I was a child, I don't exactly remember what is written inside. But still it was funny

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Seemed to lack some umph. The son/prince is a bit of a whiner.

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