Cover image for Peter and the blue Witch Baby
Peter and the blue Witch Baby
San Souci, Robert D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday Book for Young Readers, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
When the Tsar goes courting the Little Sister of the Sun, a jealous witch threatens to destroy him and his kingdom.
Reading Level:
500 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 44756.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 23500 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.S248 PE 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



Long, long ago, lived a handsome young tsar named Peter. When he decided to marry, he rejected the beautiful Molnya because of her cold, hungry eyes. But Molnya was really a witch, and she put a curse on Peter: "When you find your hoped-for bride, your ruin will be at hand." When Peter goes off to marry the Little Sister of the Sun, Molnya disguises herself as a baby and gets taken into the tsar's castle. The "baby" soon grows to a monstrous size, destroying everything in sight, and Peter must hurry home to save his kingdom. With the help of three friendly giants and a little mouse, Peter escapes the giant witch-baby and lives to marry the Little Sister of the Sun and rule wisely and well.

Author Notes

Robert D. San Souci was born on October 10, 1946 in San Francisco, California. He attended college at St. Mary's College in Moraga. After holding jobs in book stores and in publishing, he became a full-time author in 1974.

He was best known for his adaptations of folklore for children. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 100 books for young readers including Song of Sedna, Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend, The Talking Eggs, Two Bear Cubs, Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella, Brave Margaret: An Irish Tale, Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow, and Cinderella Skeleton. He wrote 12 books which were illustrated by his younger brother Daniel San Souci including The Legend of Scarface, Sister Tricksters: Rollicking Tales of Clever Females, and As Luck Would Have It: From The Brothers Grimm. He also wrote nonfiction works for children, several novels for adults, and the film story for Disney's Mulan.

The Legend of Scarface won the Notable Children's Trade Book in the Social Studies, National Council for the Social Studies, and was a Horn Book honor list citation. Sukey and the Mermaid won the American Library Association's Notable Book citation in 1992 and Cut from the Same Cloth won an Aesop Award from the Children's Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society. He died on December 19, 2014 at the age of 68.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. In this Russian folktale, a young Tsar Peter refuses the advances of an evil witch and goes instead to court the Little Sister of the Clouds. A baby with teeth as black as iron is delivered to his palace and is left with the servants as his journey begins. Peter brings a magic pebble, a seed, and a bead to present to his intended, but along the way he must relinquish them to three giants, who use them to replenish the earth. When Little Sister of the Clouds magically shows him what is happening back home, he sees the baby, grown huge and blue, destroying his palace. With the help of the giants, he overcomes the baby--the witch in disguise. San Souci's story has no source notes, but the telling is fresh and vivid. It is matched by exuberant ink-and-watercolor pictures that play up the hugeness of the giants, the goodness of Little Sister, and the grossness of the baby. Naturally, there's a happy ending for Peter, who resembles the king in the Nutcracker, and Little Sister, who looks like a Russian doll. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-After Tsar Peter refuses to take the witch Molnya as his bride, she promises to seek revenge. When he sees a painting of a beautiful woman, he falls in love with her, discovers that she is the Little Sister of the Sun, and sets out to find her cloud castle. The kindhearted man helps three giants along the way by giving each of them a magical object. As he woos his beloved, he learns that the orphan he had taken in is actually Molnya disguised as a giant blue baby (complete with black iron teeth) and that she is destroying his kingdom. Only with the assistance of the three giants and the Sun himself is the witch conquered and Peter and his true love are married. There are no source notes, but this story has much in common with traditional Russian folklore: a witch who could pass for Baba Yaga, helpers who personify natural elements, three magical gifts, and a long search for a true love. San Souci's text is lengthy but well paced. Rendered in watercolors with touches of opaque white and color crayon, Natchev's sophisticated illustrations are a lively blend of fantasy and realism. The characters that could be threatening to young readers are depicted in a broad comic style. Color is effectively used to establish place: shades of brown and green when Peter is earthbound as opposed to blues when he's visiting the cloud castle. Because of the eye-catching artwork and humorous story line, this picture book is ideally suited to sharing aloud.-Denise Anton Wright, Alliance Library System, Bloomington, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.