Egg & Spoon

Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age. When the two girls’ lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and — in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured — Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs.

Laika, Astronaut Dog

Laika is a stray dog living on the streets of Moscow when she is chosen to be the first ever animal launched into orbit. But her rocket disappears, and everyone thinks Laika is lost forever. In Owen Davey’s imaginative take on a true story, Laika is rescued by new owners and finds the perfect home on a planet far, far away.

The Family Romanov

Here is the riveting story of the Russian Revolution as it unfolded. When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew. Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia’s peasants—and their eventual uprising—Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait, complete with inserts featuring period photographs and compelling primary-source material that brings it all to life. History doesn’t get more interesting than the story of the Romanovs.

Featured in WOW Review Volume X, Issue 2.

The Noisy Paint Box

Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers—like a proper artist.

Join the discussion of The Noisy Paint Box as well as other Caldecott honored books on our My Take/Your Take page.

The Flying Witch

Whirr. Whirr. Clunkety-clank. Here comes Baba Yaga! Flying her mortar and pestle, the witch with the long iron nose scours the countryside for plump young children to eat. But will she be a match for the fiesty little girl she hopes to throw into her soup? New York Times best-selling author Jane Yolen has created a clever, original story based on hundreds of traditional Russian folktales about the famed scary old witch. Vladimir Vagin’s remarkably detailed borders and intricate scenes will give readers chills and laughs as they read this witty tale.

Streets of Gold

Based on a memoir written in the early twentieth century, tells the story of a young girl and her life in Russia, her travels to America, and her subsequent life in the United States.