My thanks to the author Michael E. McDevitt for a review copy of this book via Booktasters.

Boris Goes to the Market is a delightful and gorgeously illustrated picture book which tells a tale of everyday adventure while also subtly conveying its message of the advantages of working with friends when in trouble!

The second in the Boris Badger series of books, in this one, Jack the donkey is on his way with his rickety cart in tow, to carry produce to the market for an old woman, Savta. On the way he picks up Boris the badger and their other friend, the raven. Along the way through the beautiful autumn landscape, to pass the time, the raven entertains his friends with a folktale telling them (and us) how it was that beavers started to the build their homes in the middle of water, rather than on land.

Boris in the autumn landscape

They arrive at Savta’s and pick up her pumpkins and cider to carry to Peter the grocer’s at the market. They set off but soon the weather begins to turn—dark clouds cover the sky, and rain starts to fall. The three are soon caught in a storm and their cart gets stuck! How will they free themselves? Will they get to the market and complete the task they promised Savta? Of course they will, and by working together, each using their special skills (like Boris his digging and the raven his flight)!

The friends get caught in the rain

Boris Goes to the Market is a lovely little book, which has not one but two stories—the folktale that the raven tells his friends, and the adventures of the three friends itself. What I loved about it was while it carries a message about friendship and about working together, it doesn’t tell it but leaves it for its readers to understand. The characters are all wonderful, and the animal characters are not anthropomorphized except in that they can communicate with each other and the humans and do tasks on their own (like going to the market and delivering items of the grocer). An added interesting feature is some of the words and names in Hebrew.

The colourful market

The artwork by Olga S. Tenyakova is absolutely gorgeous. I loved the autumn colours in the landscape as well as in the pumpkins, the colourful market scenes, and also how beautifully she’s captured the three friends caught in the water. The folktale, to distinguish it, is illustrated in black and white—but also as lovely.  

A wonderful book, perfect for its intended audience but also for older readers, especially those like me who enjoy beautiful illustrations!


15 thoughts on “Book Review: Boris Goes to the Market by Michael E. McDevitt and illustrated by Olga S. Tenyakova

  1. This sounds lovely, and I like the idea that the book leaves enough space for young readers (and their guardians) to come to their own conclusions about what the story is trying to say. It seems very nicely judged!

    Liked by 1 person

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