Seven Simeons: A Russian Tale
Too-long Russian fable about the handsome guy getting the girl.
It's a fable about the most beautiful king ever. He's so good looking it's amazing. He has to find a woman to be his wife who is as good looking as he is. So he asks some sailors, and the sailors say, “We've heard of a beautiful woman who lives ten years away from you.” And he says, “Clearly if I sail there and then sail back she'll be 20 years older and we'll both be ugly by then, so that's silly.”
And then he's out hunting and trying to figure out how to fix this problem, to get this one specific chick, and finds some wheat that's awesome. And the wheat is owned by seven brothers, the Seven Simeons of the title. One of them can build a really tall tower. The second one can climb the tower and see anything in the world. The third one can build a boat that sails super-fast. The fourth one can take that boat, bring it underwater with everybody safely aboard, and bring it back up again whenever he feels like it. The fifth one can shoot anything in the sky. The sixth one can catch anything that that brother shoots. And the seventh one can steal things.
And so the king, although he takes a while to do it, realizes that they can actually help him with his problem. He gets them to build a boat, sail there, steal the girl, and bring her back. She, upon seeing him, falls in love immediately because he's so good looking. Her father, who was keeping her locked away and wanted to kill anyone who wanted to take her, was going to kill all of his army because they failed to prevent her from getting kidnapped. The brothers sail back with a letter from the daughter saying how much she loves the king and he's okay and forgives them. And that's how it ends.
Very wordy. It has a bad message, but it's way too long to read to a kid so I don't expect anyone really would. So I guess it's saved from being a bad book to read to kids by virtue of not really being a book to read to kids.