Egg & Spoon

11 CDs. 12:51 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. $59.97. ISBN 9781491502327.
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—Peasant girl Elena Rudina is slowly starving to death along with her dying mother in the Russian countryside. Her eldest brother has just been drafted into the Tsar's army. When a train carrying Ekaterina, a girl of the nobility, unexpectedly breaks down in their village, an opportunity presents itself. Through a series of unplanned events, the girls switch places, and Elena is off to Saint Petersburg to visit the Tsar, whom she will ask to free her brother. Add in a young prince, Baba Yaga, a fire dragon, and dancing matryoshka brides, and you have a rollicking adventure full of Russian folklore and vigor. Michael Page gives an amazing reading, making Baba Yaga a cross between a witch and a comedian. He easily conveys Elena's fears, sorrows, and pessimism. Page's deep, craggy voice adapts to each character, making them distinct and appealing. This fractured fairy tale is one of the year's best recordings and a must-have at any library.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, Santa Barbara, CA

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