Sophie Anderson: The House with Chicken Legs (Usborne Publishing 2018)
Everyone usually thinks of Baba Yaga, one of the characters of Slavic folk tales, that she is evil. She lives in a house with chicken legs surrounded by a bone fence and people go into the hut but don’t come out. In fact, Baba Yaga is the guardian of the Gate that leads to the afterlife. The dead can return to the stars through this gate. Marinka, the heroine of our story, also lives in such a house with her grandmother, who is the Guardian. However, Marinka does not want to be the next Guardian. She doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life yet, but she’s sure she wants to decide it for herself. First, she wants to make a friend, a real one who stays for more than one night, not like the dead. However, even she does not know the special connection between her and the eternal cycle.
When I first read the novel, the world of Slavic folk tales caught my attention, because I have always loved characters who are not quite what they seem. Now, when I read the story for the second time, I liked its moral content more. What it says about growing up and the meaning of life. For me, its most important message is to appreciate every minute in our life, because it is unique and wonderful.
British author Sophie Anderson was born in Swansea and currently lives in the Lake District with her family. Her works are often inspired by folk and fairy tales, especially stories of Slavic origin, which she first heard from her grandmother. She has already won numerous awards with her books, which have already been translated to more than 20 languages, and The House with Chicken Legs was recently adapted for theater by Les Enfants Terribles. There is an interview on BogiWrites with the author that you can read as well.