50%
Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia by James Mayhew, published by Graffeg
Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia
Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia
Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia
Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia by James Mayhew, published by Graffeg
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia
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Koshka's Tales - Stories from Russia

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Age 9-12 | Hardback | 80 pages | 250 x 200mm
Publication October 2019 | ISBN 9781913134457

Brave princes, evil witches and beautiful maidens abound as the tales of Koshka, the wise old story-telling cat, unfold. James Mayhew has drawn inspiration from the traditional stories and art style of old Russia to re-tell five enchanting tales in this re-published edition of a children’s classic.

Stories include:

  • The Tale of the Snowmaiden
  • The Tale of Sadko the Minstrel
  • The Tale of Iven, the Greywolf and the Firebird
  • The Tale of Vassilisa the Fair and Baby Yaga
  • Tsar Saltan and Koshka the Cat

Illustrator and author James Mayhew's Graffeg publications include The Knight Who Took All Day (adapted as a work for narrator and orchestra by Bernard Hughes) and illustrations for the Mouse and Mole series by Joyce Dunbar, animated for television with the voices of Alan Bennett and Richard Briers. He is also the creator of the Katie art books and Ella Bella Ballerina series.

Reviews:

'I loved the constant references to stories as inherently magical and powerful, full of rare secrets that you would be justified in sailing “beyond thrice-nine realms and over the seven seas” in search of. Thankfully, readers and listeners (and lovers of illustration) only need open this magic box to be immediately transported.' Dr Nick Campbell, writer, researcher and bookseller

‘Every children’s book deserves to be lavishly-illustrated, a task taken on by the author himself. It’s herd to say which are better, the words or the pictures. But at the end of the day, it hardly matters because they complement each other perfectly in a book that captures the essence of the old-fashioned Noel of traditional story-telling.’ The Bay magazine, 2019

‘It's the energy that shines out in the boldness, the verve, the lack of reticence that says: Look at this beautiful thing! Look again! It's the kind of work that welcomes readers (because in this book, James has written the words too!) as well as spectators. The combination is a real joy. […] Today's children are lucky to have this version of the stories. And James Mayhew is lucky to have Graffeg realising that we need them as much as we did in 1993.’ Adele Geras

'Here is a fabulous collection of folk tales from Russia by James Mayhew, written in luminous language and accompanied by equally luminous artwork... Beyond the classroom, I will be recommending it to boys and girls in Year 4 who still love the accessibility of traditional fairy stories but need to develop their reading stamina and confidence with a little more challenge. I am hoping it will provide a gateway to longer novels such as The House with Chicken Legs or Harry Potter.' Books for Topics

'The borders of every page of this magical, reissued collection of Russian folk tales (as compellingly retold by Koshka the cat) zing with colour. Glorious costumes and sweet-faced characters are evoked in romantic illustrations of meticulous draughtsmanship. Irresistibly delightful.' Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times

'A terrific way to introduce youngsters to the riches of Russian folklore; this book would make a great present and is perfect for sharing on chilly wintry days and nights.' Jill Bennett, Red Reading Hub

'I adore Koshka's Tales... This is a book to be loved and shared time and time again, and I firmly believe a copy should be on every bookshelf.' Sophie Anderson, author of The House with Chicken Legs

'Koshka's Tales is a marvelous book, its language as glossy and gratifying as its artwork. Its tales within a tale, as fatly plaited as any sultana's hair, weave real Eastern enchantment.' Geraldine McCaughrean, The Times (1993)

'A vibrant and accessible collection of five Russian folktales is woven together by the spirited narration of Koshka the cat. Linked in this way the stories suggest the wonderful richness and complexity of the Russian storytelling tradition. Mayhew's love of ornamentation is evident in dramatically bordered text and illustrations that sparkle like a Faberge egg.' Publisher's Weekly (US) (1993)

'Not only does he write fluently with rhythm, pace and pithy humour – a rare talent for an artist – he paints with intricate line and shadow and garish abandon: golden cupolas and icons, flowing turquoise and russet sarafans, sea-green nymphs, tall dark firs, ruddy snub-nosed peasants and hirsute, hook-nosed haradans... he succeeds in preserving the authentic folklore tradition.' James Riordan, Times Educational Supplement (1994)

'Deserves an honored place in any collection.' Ralph Lavender, School Librarian (1993)