Anyone who grew up on fairy tales (and that should be everyone) will likely remember Baba Yaga, the Russian witch who lived in a house with chicken legs. A new, lavishly illustrated book, "Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales," published by the University Press of Mississippi, will be launched this weekend at the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. The book was conceived by graphic designer Martin Skoro of Minneapolis and includes 29 stories newly translated, illustrations from the 18th century up to today and an introduction by folklorist Jack Zipes.
Translator Sibelan Forrester of Swarthmore College will read stories aloud to children and parents at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 12 at the Museum of Russian Art, with a book launch to follow at 5 p.m. at the museum. Forrester will also speak and answer questions at 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Bookcase of Wayzata.
• Wayzata poet Joyce Sidman's new book, "What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings," has been published by Houghton Mifflin. The book presents new poems in ancient forms — an ubi sunt, a triolet, a spell. The book is illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, a Caldecott Honor winner for a previous collaboration with Sidman, as well as for a book with Mary Logue. Sidman won a Newbery Honor for her 2010 book, "Dark Emperor," illustrated by Duluth artist Rick Allen. The publication party for "What the Heart Knows" will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Red Balloon, 891 Grand Av., St. Paul; attendees can bring along a poem to share. In November, Sidman will travel to Boston to receive the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, a lifetime achievement award given every two years.
• Bestselling mystery writer John Sandford's "Storm Front" has been published by Putnam. He has a string of Minnesota events scheduled, including a signing at noon Tuesday at Barnes & Noble in downtown Minneapolis and readings at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Noble in Har-Mar Mall; 7 p.m. Wednesday at Once Upon a Crime, and 7 p.m. Thursday at Barnes & Noble in Duluth.
• "Dropping Into the Flower," a collection of poems by Susan Deborah King, has been published by Holy Cow! Press of Duluth. King, who lives in Minneapolis, is the author of four previous collections. She'll read at 7 p.m. Wednesday at SubText Bookstore in St. Paul; 2 p.m. Saturday at the Twin Cities Book Festival; 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis, and at 12:15 p.m. Nov. 17 at Plymouth Congregational Church as part of the Literary Witness Series.