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The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring

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Based on Russian folklore, this is the tale of Alexi, who saves the Golden Mare's life in return for her eternal loyalty. With her help he becomes the Tzar's best huntsman, only to be sent on impossible tasks by the jealous Tzar. Will the Golden Mare be able to help him win Yelena the Fair? Based on Russian folklore, this is the tale of Alexi, who saves the Golden Mare's life in return for her eternal loyalty. With her help he becomes the Tzar's best huntsman, only to be sent on impossible tasks by the jealous Tzar. Will the Golden Mare be able to help him win Yelena the Fair?


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Based on Russian folklore, this is the tale of Alexi, who saves the Golden Mare's life in return for her eternal loyalty. With her help he becomes the Tzar's best huntsman, only to be sent on impossible tasks by the jealous Tzar. Will the Golden Mare be able to help him win Yelena the Fair? Based on Russian folklore, this is the tale of Alexi, who saves the Golden Mare's life in return for her eternal loyalty. With her help he becomes the Tzar's best huntsman, only to be sent on impossible tasks by the jealous Tzar. Will the Golden Mare be able to help him win Yelena the Fair?

30 review for The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring

  1. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tamishly

    Sadly, the story isn't new to me. I like the beautiful illustrations and the writing is good. Sadly, the story isn't new to me. I like the beautiful illustrations and the writing is good.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marquise

    Dazzling artwork, but Sanderson tries a bit too hard to make the art look Russian at the expense of her personal style, which would've come out more natural and less 'studied'. Dazzling artwork, but Sanderson tries a bit too hard to make the art look Russian at the expense of her personal style, which would've come out more natural and less 'studied'.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Set

    I didn't care much for the illustrations but I do like the Russian tale of the tsar's hunter and the herculean tasks he is charged with. I didn't care much for the illustrations but I do like the Russian tale of the tsar's hunter and the herculean tasks he is charged with.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Please note that this review is written for my use as a librarian and may not appeal directly to readers. Please review at your own risk. Accelerated Reader has this book listed as being for lower grades, or readers in K to 3rd grade. They also have listed that this read is worth 0.5 AR points. Not only is this book a Texas Bluebonnet Award winner, but it is a Russian fairytale. I happen to love Russian fairy tales, so I might be a little bit biased here. This picture book has beautiful illustrati Please note that this review is written for my use as a librarian and may not appeal directly to readers. Please review at your own risk. Accelerated Reader has this book listed as being for lower grades, or readers in K to 3rd grade. They also have listed that this read is worth 0.5 AR points. Not only is this book a Texas Bluebonnet Award winner, but it is a Russian fairytale. I happen to love Russian fairy tales, so I might be a little bit biased here. This picture book has beautiful illustrations and is a great example of a well-written fairy tale story. I think it would be good for most young readers. It could be good for an ethnic story time, but it is a little long and would need to be read to slightly older kids. Summary: -Do not read past this point if you would like to avoid spoilers- In this Russian fairytale, a young hunter meets a beautiful horse who takes him on an adventure as a thank you for sparing her life. He attempts to go and work for the Tsar of the land, but he turns out to be a jealous and evil man. He sends the young hunter, Alexi, on many tasks that end up making Alexi regret ever coming to him in the first place. In the end, Alexi and a beautiful maiden that he captured for the Tsar trick the Tsar and end up taking his throne.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    One day Alexi was out in the woods when he saw a golden mare, since he did not kill the mare he now would day Alexi saw a firebird feather and gave it to the Tsar but he seeked the entire bird. Alexi set a trap for the bird and soon caught him returned him to the Tsar, but sadly the bird was stuck into a cramped cage. Next the Tsar ordered Alexi to get Yelena the fair so the Tsar may marry her. Alexi tricked her to going but soon regretted it. Will Yelena the fair have to marry the Tsar? I thou One day Alexi was out in the woods when he saw a golden mare, since he did not kill the mare he now would day Alexi saw a firebird feather and gave it to the Tsar but he seeked the entire bird. Alexi set a trap for the bird and soon caught him returned him to the Tsar, but sadly the bird was stuck into a cramped cage. Next the Tsar ordered Alexi to get Yelena the fair so the Tsar may marry her. Alexi tricked her to going but soon regretted it. Will Yelena the fair have to marry the Tsar? I thought this book was good. I wouldd recommend this book it was okay some parts were boring.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Beautiful illustrations and a story that I've never read or heard before. Also, I truly believe that horses are some of the most beautiful animals when it comes to art and illustration. I love picture books that have horses in them. Beautiful illustrations and a story that I've never read or heard before. Also, I truly believe that horses are some of the most beautiful animals when it comes to art and illustration. I love picture books that have horses in them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samara

    This is a review from my 7 year old son: The pictures have so much detail to them. It is incredible! I have never seen a book like it before. My favorite part is the at the end when Yelena the Fair tricks the Tsar. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fairy tales and beautiful artwork. The book we read was a library book, but we are now buying our own copy. It is seriously good!!!!!!!!!! We will be finding other books by this author.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pratyu

    MY FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK i don't remember it at all but it was gorgeous MY FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK i don't remember it at all but it was gorgeous

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Gorgeous illustrations, of course, but workmanlike tale until the end, which earned the book a bonus star, imo.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Just a Girl Fighting Censorship

    Meh, the illustrations are very colorful but the story is lacking. The writing is very basic and the characters unlikable, except for the mare I suppose.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Hood/ Alexis

    How do you read the 📘📙📗📚📑📕📒📓📖📰📔

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    A retelling of a classic fairy tale, if less known nowadays, with a few tweaks. Alexi acquires a magical golden horse who gives him good advice, but the tsar resents the only Alexi can ride her. When Alexi finds a firebird's feather and gives the tsar it, the tsar starts with demanding the firebird itself. Gloriously illustrated. A retelling of a classic fairy tale, if less known nowadays, with a few tweaks. Alexi acquires a magical golden horse who gives him good advice, but the tsar resents the only Alexi can ride her. When Alexi finds a firebird's feather and gives the tsar it, the tsar starts with demanding the firebird itself. Gloriously illustrated.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kest Schwartzman

    This is not my favorite versionof the story, but the illustrations are stunning

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This caught my eye because it's some of the same folklore referenced in Katherine Arden's Winternight books, which I wasn't familiar with when I read them. This caught my eye because it's some of the same folklore referenced in Katherine Arden's Winternight books, which I wasn't familiar with when I read them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    Beautifully illustrated and I love this Russian tale!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    the truth will always come out. changing someone is difficult

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sparrow

    Beautifully illustrated.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Genre: Traditional Literature Award: 2003 Texas Bluebonnet Award Grade Levels: 3-5 Recommendation: While the tale is intriguing and the illustrations are beautiful, this is not a fairy tale I would recommend to teachers. Since it is a mixture of Russian traditional literature, I would imagine that simply reading the tale to a class would be enjoyable. However, explaining the Russian words used in the tale and understanding the moral of the story might be more complicated for even older students. I Genre: Traditional Literature Award: 2003 Texas Bluebonnet Award Grade Levels: 3-5 Recommendation: While the tale is intriguing and the illustrations are beautiful, this is not a fairy tale I would recommend to teachers. Since it is a mixture of Russian traditional literature, I would imagine that simply reading the tale to a class would be enjoyable. However, explaining the Russian words used in the tale and understanding the moral of the story might be more complicated for even older students. I suppose students could take elements from favorite fairy tales and mix them up, but since this story is unfamiliar in Western culture, it would be harder to explain some of the concepts. Review: Zaleski, J., Roback, D., Brown, J. M., & Britton, J. (2001). [Review of The golden mare, the firebird, and the magic ring]. Publishers Weekly, 248(15), 74. Sanderson (The Crystal Mountain) draws from several Russian fairy tales to fashion a clever story about a well-intentioned young horseman, his magical mare and a greedy czar. The sumptuous oil paintings take immediate command of the double-page spreads, the sometimes breathtaking scenes distinguished by lustrous hues and intricate particulars. On a quest to seek his fortune "and perhaps to find an adventure or two as well," Alexi encounters a magnificent mare who pledges to serve the lad if he spares her life. The horse leads her new master to the palace of the czar, who hires Alexi as his horseman, yet is bitter that he cannot claim Alexi's imposing horse as his own. Disgruntled, the czar demands of the lad seemingly impossible tasks, among them capturing the elusive firebird and fetching a maiden from "a distant eastern land" to be the ruler's bride. The wise equine is the true hero of the story, valiantly coming to Alexi's rescue in each episode end eventually bringing about the not unexpected happy-ever-after denouement. Sanderson's narrative has a lush, lyrical quality, and her renderings of lavish architectural detail, elaborate period dress and an unsullied natural world will bring youngsters back for repeat readings. Her dramatically lit firebird is nothing short of resplendent. Ages 8-up. (Apr.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When Alexi spares the life of a mysterious horse, he is rewarded for his kindness. The Golden Mare promises to help the young man become a huntsman for the Tsar. But the greedy ruler wants more than Alexi’s services; he wants the Golden Mare. The Tsar demands that Alexi capture the elusive Firebird, bring Yelena the Fair to his palace, and find her ring so that she will marry. Each time the Golden Mare saves Alexi, until the young man and Yelena trick the Tsar into jumping into a cauldron of boi When Alexi spares the life of a mysterious horse, he is rewarded for his kindness. The Golden Mare promises to help the young man become a huntsman for the Tsar. But the greedy ruler wants more than Alexi’s services; he wants the Golden Mare. The Tsar demands that Alexi capture the elusive Firebird, bring Yelena the Fair to his palace, and find her ring so that she will marry. Each time the Golden Mare saves Alexi, until the young man and Yelena trick the Tsar into jumping into a cauldron of boiling water. He changes from an old man to a baby, and is adopted by the new Tsar, Alexi, and his queen, Yelena. Both Sanderson’s story and artwork are rich and detailed. The illustrations are oil on canvas on double-page spreads. The feathers of the firebird glow, the czar’s jewels sparkle, and the waters of the Lake of the Sun reflect back the beauty of Sanderson’s landscapes. The text is unobtrusive and often decorated with intricate borders. Readers may find the story somewhat long – according to the author’s note, this book is a retelling of four different Russian fairy tales – but will be encouraged by the illustrations and exciting plot. As with most fairy tales, the characters are somewhat two-dimensional, though Alexi ponders issues of freedom and captivity.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I picked this up at the library, while browsing the fairy/folktale section looking for books for my son. The story is based off a number of Russian fairy tales, including "The Firebird." A young man named Alexi meets a talking Golden Mare and the man goes to work as a huntsman for the Tsar, a cruel man who is used to getting everything he wants. When he is not able to procure the mare, he sends Alexi off on dangerous missions, like capturing the Firebird, so that he can be killed. Next the Tsar I picked this up at the library, while browsing the fairy/folktale section looking for books for my son. The story is based off a number of Russian fairy tales, including "The Firebird." A young man named Alexi meets a talking Golden Mare and the man goes to work as a huntsman for the Tsar, a cruel man who is used to getting everything he wants. When he is not able to procure the mare, he sends Alexi off on dangerous missions, like capturing the Firebird, so that he can be killed. Next the Tsar demands the hand of the most beautiful maiden in the land and she in turn says the Tsar must get her wedding ring first, so he sends Alexi after it. The Golden Mare has helped her master in all his adventures and this task is no exception. Yelena the maiden tries to trick the Tsar by getting him to jump into the cauldron of boiling water, but he makes Alexi go in first, and after he sees that the young man is not harmed, he jumps in too but is changed back into an infant. Alexi ends up marrying Yelena and they adopt the Tsar as their child. Honestly I would give this book five stars for the illustration alone, but the storytelling is really well done as well. Highly recommended for ages 5-10, 5 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Read for 5420 class The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring reminds me of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Both feature omnipotent anthropomorphic genie/mother-like characters who help the protagonist selflessly while the main character selfishly asks and asks for more. Alexi did have some redeeming qualities and seemed to mature and grow slightly from the beginning as he does want the Firebird and Yelena the Fair to be trapped, but, the story, as a whole, seemed lackluster in charac Read for 5420 class The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring reminds me of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Both feature omnipotent anthropomorphic genie/mother-like characters who help the protagonist selflessly while the main character selfishly asks and asks for more. Alexi did have some redeeming qualities and seemed to mature and grow slightly from the beginning as he does want the Firebird and Yelena the Fair to be trapped, but, the story, as a whole, seemed lackluster in character development (even though it is a children’s book). I did enjoy learning a Russian fairytale, thought! However, I wish there had been an author’s note at the end sharing some historical context or historical note sharing which region of Russia this story is/was told, how the different versions of compare and contrast, etc.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    Oh you don't need ME to tell you how charming a tale it is, when a magical horse helps a young man who has strong moral fiber but not much change at a 'good life' grow and become a hero and find happiness and live happily ever after!! But I can tell you that this charming tale (an amalgamation of many different russian folktales) is so wonderfully illustrated, that each page becomes a feast for the eyes... each beautiful depiction of the magical events becomes a part of your heart and soul while Oh you don't need ME to tell you how charming a tale it is, when a magical horse helps a young man who has strong moral fiber but not much change at a 'good life' grow and become a hero and find happiness and live happily ever after!! But I can tell you that this charming tale (an amalgamation of many different russian folktales) is so wonderfully illustrated, that each page becomes a feast for the eyes... each beautiful depiction of the magical events becomes a part of your heart and soul while you read... This would be an amazing book to give to a child, so that they too, can imagine having a magical horse that rewards goodness, and may grow up to live happily ever after simply because they deserved it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The main characters in this story are Alexi, the Tsar, the Golden Mare, the Firebird, and Yelena the Fair. This story is fun and fiction. The tale takes place in Russia and begins in the night. A young man is trying to find excitement and finds a beautiful mare instead. But the Tsar is angry for not having the horse for his own. What will the young man do about that? My favorite part of the book is that the Mare is able to speak to other animals in the story. It was amazing and cool. I think yo The main characters in this story are Alexi, the Tsar, the Golden Mare, the Firebird, and Yelena the Fair. This story is fun and fiction. The tale takes place in Russia and begins in the night. A young man is trying to find excitement and finds a beautiful mare instead. But the Tsar is angry for not having the horse for his own. What will the young man do about that? My favorite part of the book is that the Mare is able to speak to other animals in the story. It was amazing and cool. I think you would like this book, and you might be able to find it at your library. (Reviewed by Elisabeth, age 10.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Mathes

    A huntsmen is in the forest looking for something pretty and valuable to look at and he finally spots a beautiful unicorn. He almost shoots it with his arrow until the unicorn asks him not to and if he doesn't she will do whatever he wants and he will be her master. He goes to a Kingdom and asks to work there at the castle, but the King says that the uniorn can stay but he cannot work there and that someone else must ride her. No one seems to be able to ride her, so the huntsmen is hired. The Ki A huntsmen is in the forest looking for something pretty and valuable to look at and he finally spots a beautiful unicorn. He almost shoots it with his arrow until the unicorn asks him not to and if he doesn't she will do whatever he wants and he will be her master. He goes to a Kingdom and asks to work there at the castle, but the King says that the uniorn can stay but he cannot work there and that someone else must ride her. No one seems to be able to ride her, so the huntsmen is hired. The King sent him on his first quest to find and catch the Firebird. Later the King asks of

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Retelling of a Russian folktale in which a young huntsman finds a Golden Mare, who helps him to perform several impossible feats commanded by the Tsar. In an unusual twist, the huntsman wins the hand of a young woman and becomes the Tsar. I was suprised by the photograph-like images of the characters in the story. I wasn't expecting to see such realism in a folktale. The tale is quite predictable in that the huntsman is able to complete each task with the help of the mare. What I wasn't expecting Retelling of a Russian folktale in which a young huntsman finds a Golden Mare, who helps him to perform several impossible feats commanded by the Tsar. In an unusual twist, the huntsman wins the hand of a young woman and becomes the Tsar. I was suprised by the photograph-like images of the characters in the story. I wasn't expecting to see such realism in a folktale. The tale is quite predictable in that the huntsman is able to complete each task with the help of the mare. What I wasn't expecting was the fate of the Tsar at the end of the story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    My 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son adored this book. The pictures are gorgeous and the storyline interesting. My daughter loved the Golden Mare, my son liked the good huntsman, and they both oohed and aahed over the fantastic firebird. The kids really liked how Yelena and Alexi tricked the Tsar. It was an outcome that we didn't expect! We checked it out of the library but my son said that "we have to buy this". :) My 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son adored this book. The pictures are gorgeous and the storyline interesting. My daughter loved the Golden Mare, my son liked the good huntsman, and they both oohed and aahed over the fantastic firebird. The kids really liked how Yelena and Alexi tricked the Tsar. It was an outcome that we didn't expect! We checked it out of the library but my son said that "we have to buy this". :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Christensen

    I really enjoyed this story. The pictures were very realistic, yet the colors used would attract children. The book was a very easy read, and I liked how the author added new elements, trials, through out the story. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Candi Lynn

    BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS! The pictures are incredibly done and tell the story as well as the text does. I thoroughly enjoyed this classic Russian folktale. Another fine example of Ruth Sanderson's storytelling artistry! BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS! The pictures are incredibly done and tell the story as well as the text does. I thoroughly enjoyed this classic Russian folktale. Another fine example of Ruth Sanderson's storytelling artistry!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    Ruth Sanderson's illustrations are so gorgeous! I really like the ending on this one too. Ruth Sanderson's illustrations are so gorgeous! I really like the ending on this one too.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Blose

    Fascinating fairy tale from Russia. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is interesting. Kathy in Las Vegas

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