Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. Her brothers have been conscripted into the Tsar's army and taken as servants in the house of the local wealthy landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in St. Petersburg - a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena's age. When the two girls' lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an adventure that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and - in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured - Baba Yaga, the witch of Russian folklore, in her moving house perched on chicken legs.
Fun and fascinating, to a point; but keeps trudging far too long- for my interest, at least. Baba Yaga is fabulous, however, to the end!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
He might well have twisted Russian folklore to tell a story much like Egg & Spoon - witty, charming, a little food for thought, and just plain fun. I don't know why this book is listed as "Teens" because like the best of "fairy tales" or fables, this is a fantasy yarn that could be enjoyed by any age listener and the ultimate hero is Baba Yaga (yes, you heard me, scary old Baba Yaga saves the day), who is ancient! The story is a bit slow picking up speed in the beginning as the characters are introduced, but gets fun and adventuresome fairly soon. I think if I had actually read the book, I would also think some of the length could be edited. However, listening to this book performed by Michael Page is a real delight - what an artist! So, the length in the audio book is not a problem. I'm SO glad Audible had this on a Daily Deal because the teen classification might have caused me to miss it otherwise.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful
The book was a decent listen and very whimsical. The two main characters were written vividly, however I felt like everyone else fell rather flat.
It's hard to explain, but it felt like stuff just randomly appeared because it needed to in order for the story to be resolved, as opposed to an intricate tale being woven, if that makes any sense. The same thing happened with characters. They stated that they felt certain ways instead of showing it, which made it seem like it was easier for the author to just write in things that seemed uncharacteristic, rather than to recreate the character to work.
The story was cute and fun for kids...and it's not that I wasn't entertained, it just seemed sort of slapped together rather than deeply created.
The narrator was interesting. It took me awhile to get use to Page doing all of the voices, but once I did it was fine. However, when he started voicing the dragon, I almost turned off the book. Luckily it was only for a chapter or so.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Where does Egg & Spoon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
One of my favorites, great story(ies), humor, lots,of surprises, wonderful characters.
What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
She brings the story alive with her wonderful portrayal of all of the characters.
Any additional comments?
What a story, a little bit of The Prince(ss) and the Pulper, a bit of Russian folklore- Baba Yaga (think Hansel and Gretel) with a cat familiar named Mewster who warns the "guests" of what not to do, Baba Yaga's comments are priceless, the Firebird goes missing taking the magic of Russia with him, the White Winter Dragon who wakes up too soon and a black hen whose wish....I'll let you find that out. There is a grand ball (what to wear!), people are imprisoned/escape (not all of them), a quest, a solution for world hunger.......I laughed my way through it. Thanks to Gregory McGuire and Michelle Page!
56 of 73 people found this review helpful
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
Everything came together in a nice, tidy way - just like a fairy tale should.
What about Michael Page’s performance did you like?
All of the characters were unique. Page portrayed the deranged Baba Yaga energetically, with hysterical results. Baba Yaga's cat, Mewster, was sly and sardonic. The performance throughout was elevated by lively and hilarious dialogue.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
As a child, I loved reading fairy tales, and ones about Baba Yaga were not very common in my story books. I got this book simply because Baba Yaga, Russian witch/ magic maker; was a central character. This book exposed bits of Russian history and folk lore which I truly loved. and I enjoyed the plot. However, I felt as though I was having to slog through the book rather than eagerly listening for the next portion. This is not a child's book but is would be ok for young adults.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
the end was a little dry at part but the middle was most fantastical what a lovely tale
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I found it hard to stay interested in this book. It had some moments that caught my attention but a majority of it just dragged on until I stopped caring about the characters and plot.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Stay away from this grotesque pile of words. It is a drawn out fairy tale no child would like, much less an adult. The reader is grating. I couldn't even finish it.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
This book took quite a bit of time to develop. I thoroughly enjoyed the narration and midway through I was hooked. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after that before we were losing interest again. I think the editor could’ve removed quite a bit of story and left a better book. My daughter was ready to quit early on. She enjoyed the parts with Baba Yaga but all in all said it wasn’t that great. Not sure I’d recommend it to a young reader. “AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY“