Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Easter

4 April 2013

Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Easter
by Marion Mutala Illustrated by Wendy Siemens
Review by Michelle Shaw
$ 14.95 ISBN 978-1-894431-70-5

Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Easter, the enchanting sequel to the award-winning Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Christmas is sure to delight Marian Mutala’s many fans.

This time it’s spring, and we join Natalia as she is once again swept magically away to a far off land for another uniquely Ukrainian adventure.

Natalia is sent outside while the paska, the Easter bread her mother is baking, rises. She’s meant to be collecting the eggs but instead finds herself reflecting on her beloved Baba, her grandmother, who has recently died. Suddenly she feels raindrops brush her cheeks. The raindrops turn into a babushka that covers her hair and then she’s off… “up and away, high in the sky… racing through time and space”.

Natalia finds herself in a crowd of people in the early morning in front of a village church. It’s Easter and Natalia is caught up in the celebrations as she joins the procession of people carrying candles, as they follow the priest through the darkness singing Khrystos voskres! (Christ is risen!)” .

This time when she catches sight of her Baba, she no longer sees the little girl she had seen on Christmas Eve (Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Christmas). Her Baba is more grown up, almost a young lady now. In amidst the joyous Easter celebrations, Natalia notices that her Baba’s attention is caught by a handsome boy standing nearby. But disaster threatens their budding romance. Natalia steps in to help but can she rescue the situation?

Mutala’s writing is sprinkled with tantalizing glimpses of Ukrainian life as she celebrates the Easter traditions of her heritage with her readers (she even includes a recipe for paska). The book is easy-to-read with beautiful full-page illustrations by Saskatchewan illustrator Wendy Siemens (the illustrations are based on the author’s own family and her childhood home in Hafford, Saskatchewan). At the back of the book, there is a glossary of Ukrainian words and expressions (including the correct pronunciations), as well as references to further sources.

Marian Mutala has a master’s degree in educational administration and was a teacher for thirty years. The third book in the series will be released in 2013. To find out more visit www.babasbabushka.ca

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOK STORE OR FROM WWW.SKBOOKS.COM.

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