My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

"We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them." 
- an old Russian proverb

Since Mother's Day is coming up, I wanted to share with you one of our favorite books about mothers. My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World will warm the heart of anyone who reads it.  It's a Russian folktale retold by Becky Reyher with pictures by Ruth Gannett.

Many years ago at harvest time in Russia, a little girl named Varya finds herself lost and separated from her parents.  All she can do is fret and ask all the peasants she meets if they have seen her mother.  When asked who her mother is, all Varya can sob out is, "My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world!"  -  to which a farmer replies, "Now we have something to go on!"

The illustrations are beautiful and capture the Russian farmers and their families as they must have looked years ago.  The proverb is true, as the book shows us.  It's true in my life, too.  Here is a picture of my mother in 1952.  She's even more beautiful today.



  1. I'm sure she would say that you are a most beautiful daughter, and very loved. You are certainly an inspiration to all of us. God bless you as you walk with Him, Nancy.

  2. I love that book just from the title! I'm going to put it on my wishlist.
    amy in peru

  3. I second Pam's words, you are an inspiration.
    I understand the 'no time'. I'm taking a break but wanted to drop a word of thanks for your comments and support.
    I'm reading Moliere, Tartuffe, to recover from the depression of Gatsby, and I remembered you when I came to these lines by Cléante:
    Brother, I don't pretend to be a sage,
    Nor have I all the wisdom of the age.
    That was his response to ORGON:
    I see, dear Brother, that you're profoundly wise;
    You harbor all the insight of the age.
    You are our one clear mind, our only sage,
    The era's oracle, its Cato too,
    And all mankind are fools compared to you.
    (He can't see clearly about Tartuffe).
    Moliere is such a great laughter, yet he has this seriously comedy style, touches on deep topics in an amusing and critical manner.
    Sigh, I think I ought to stick to readings before 1700 and I'll be safe.

  4. Silvia,
    Thanks for your kind comments.(I think!) Years ago, my sons and I read "The Misanthrope". It was good for us and stretched us, too.

  5. Nancy....you think...yes, they were kind comments, it's just the word SAGE made your blog pop in my mind. I did not explain very well :D

  6. This story was in one of my school readers. I remember crying when I read it. It had delightful ink drawings.

    I was so excited to find that same reader again at a yard sale a few years ago! I need to pull it out and share it with my children.

  7. Renae,
    Thank you for sharing that - I just love little stories about books and reading! Do you know who did the ink drawings in your reader?

  8. Nancy,
    No, I haven't been able to locate the book yet. We recently moved and I don't have room for all our books in our house. I'll let you know when I find it. ;)

  9. We just had a similar experience in our home. I blogged about it and put the url here.

  10. Thanks so much! I remember reading this book as a girl but have not seen it for years!

  11. You always have such lovely little treasure books to share on special holidays like this one...thank you!