A Christmas folktale from Russia, Baboushka and the Three Kings
tells the story of an old woman who, when the Three Kings stop at her humble cottage on their way to visit the Christ child, chooses not to accompany them on their journey. Regretting this decision almost instantly, Baboushka sets out to follow them the next day, only to find that she cannot overtake them, nor find the child...
I understand that Baboushka is something of a Santa Claus figure in traditional Russian culture, bringing holiday gifts for the children. For my part, I have always found this story of a woman's eternal search for the Christ child immensely poignant, and have read it as an allegory of the Christian experience. I wish I could say that I enjoyed Nicolas Sidjakov's illustrations - which were awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1961 - as much as the narrative, but I'm afraid that this particular style of four-color artwork, so popular in the 1960s, does not appeal to me. For those who feel the same, I recommend taking a look at Arthur Scholey's retelling of the same tale ( Baboushka: A Christmas Folktale from Russia
), with illustrations by Helen Cann. Reply