We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them. In Soviet Ukraine, your mother is beautiful to you This is based on a Russian folk tale It takes place in the Ukraine A little girl, maybe five or six years old, is helping her parents harvest wheat Before it gets to this, it goes on and on about how the Ukraine is awesome, and the sun is the best in the Ukraine, and the watermelons are the best in the Ukraine, and the cabbages are the best in the Ukraine, and the cucumbers are the best in the Ukraine, et cetera Everything is the best in the Ukraine They have the best dance It s this massive story just to tell like a proverb It s a great proverb, with a great message, but it doesn t need to go into anywhere near this much detail.It s the last day of the harvest, and the girl is a little bit tired, so she takes a nap in the middle of the wheat field, and wakes up and can t find her parents She goes looking for them and finds a group of strangers They re peasants, so there s no stranger danger happening here She s distraught because she can t find her parents, and they ask her what her name or her parents names are, and she s incoherent because she s so upset Finally, she blurts out, My mother s the most beautiful woman in the world The strangers take that as useful information, so they go find all the beautiful women they can, and bring them to her They keep asking her if these super beautiful women are her mom, but she keeps saying no.Finally, her mother shows up, looking for her daughter, and her mom s this pudgy woman with squinty eyes, and they re like, That s your Okay, well, you re weird And the proverb is, We don t love people because they re beautiful people are beautiful because we love them That s a really sweet message, but to get there they had to jump through so many hoops and pad the book with so many unrelated things like baking cakes and dances and accordion music The story just meanders before it gets there It s not a bad story it just doesn t go anywhere.At the end, the girl says, Mama, people were making fun of me for talking about you being beautiful, and they said, Only the tsarina is that beautiful, and the queens, and the angels, and stuff like that But you re the most beautiful woman And the mom says, Yeah, some people only see with their eyes, but you see with your heart, too Okay Gag.I have to say the funniest part of this book for me was this On the last page of the book, there is an empty decorative frame with the words In this frame you may place a picture of your own mother, the most beautiful woman in the world And in the copy I checked out from the library, somebody has written in pen No way It just made me laugh out loud Were they upset by the book asking them to do that, or did they just seriously did not believe their mother was the most beautiful woman in the world I picture them going, Who are you to tell me what I m supposed to do, book I don t listen to books Message We don t love people because they re beautiful people are beautiful because we love them.For children s book reviews, see my website at I got a little teary eyed at the end of this book when Varya is reunited with her mother We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them Some people, Varyachka, see with their eyes alone Others see with their hearts, too I am grateful and lucky that you see with your heart, as well as with your eyes. This is a very sweet story, about a little girl who gets lost, and tells those who find her that her mother is the most beautiful woman in the world The illustrations capture both the harvest season and Ukrainian folk art very well It is poignant to me, too, to see that it was published in 1945, as the Ukraine was certainly suffering from World War II and Stalin s grasp at the time of publication This bright book was surely an antidote. This book published in 1945 is based on a story the author heard from her mother about a time long before during the reign of the czars not surprisingly, the lifeways and values reflect some of both of these eras and may now seem overly quaint or archaic Since the main character is a young girl, this book will probably appeal especially to young girls and their mothers, but the story conveys all the joy and safety of a loving relationship children can have with their parents.Some people, Varyachka, see with their eyes alone Others see with their hearts, too I am grateful and lucky that you se with your heart, as well as with your eyes.The illustrations, whether black and white or in color have a unique quality, expressing grounded reality and the earthy simplicity of a farming community. This was a very interesting book It had fabulous brightly colored endpages in yellow with butterflies, roosters, peacocks, roses, cherries, and architecture, in a charming folk art style The illustrations are in the same folk art style of the end pages, and vary between black white and full color The story itself was based off a Russian folktale and proverb, which was as follows We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them The book is about Varya, a small Ukranian girl who works in a wheat field with her parents and five brothers and sisters It is time for the harvest festival, and they have a feast and talk about the food they are preparing, the people that will be attending and what they will be doing dancing and playing music On the second harvest day, Varya falls asleep and wakes up to find her parents gone She goes to the village to find them, and says she is looking for her mother, who is the most beautiful woman in the world, even though she turns out to be the most plain woman there Basically it is a lesson in beauty is in the eye of the beholder I loved this post and this blog post written about the book Recommended for ages 3 7, 3 1 2 stars. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I was kind of put off by the way that this message was presented here See Those you love are the most beautiful to you, because you love them, not because of objective beauty So if you re lost, think of another descriptor for your mom, because chances are just as good that she s beautiful to you because she s your much loved mom but anyone else can see that she s actually fat, dumpy, so homely that she s lucky to be married The illustrations have a charm in their colors traditional Urkainian designs, but I frankly found even the people who were supposed to be beautiful creepy looking, let alone those who were supposed to be objectively less than beautiful So yeah, not my cup of tea. It is harvest time, and all the villagers for miles around are harvesting the wheat, except for Varya She cannot find her mother What does her mother look like Her answer is, My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world When her mother is finally found, she proves to be the most beautiful woman in the world if only, perhaps, in the eyes of her small daughter. While not every picture was my favorite, the sentiments of the story won me over The portrayal of peasant life in Russia was fascinating and I loved being given the chance to see something I didn t know a whole lot about The harvest of the wheat shows us how different things are today, and how much you really had to depend on the community back in those days something I think we ve lost with modernization which is a real shame The community comes together when the child is lost as well, and also to celebrate when the harvest is over So many valuable lessons in this book outside of the obvious.I enjoyed this book and especially liked the invitation to put a picture of my own mother at the back of the book These older books truly are a treasure Russian folktale about a young girl who gets separated from her mother When she is found by strangers all she tells them is that her mother is the most beautiful woman in the world The strangers bring all the beautiful women from nearby villages and none are her mother When she is finally reunited we find out that physically, her mother is homely, not beautiful However, to her daughter she truly is the most beautiful woman in the world As the book notes, the lesson is We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them Great message in an old, but sweet story that shows us a glimpse into Russian life and shows us how similar their proverbs are to ours.