This series aims to revive a genre, now all but forgotten: good quality, entertaining children's literature full of interesting and memorable ideas. The exciting adventures and mysterious metamorphoses of fairytale characters encourage young readers to think seriously about good and evil, love and hate, friendship and betrayal. In place of the ideology foisted forcefully on readers in Soviet times, contemporary children's literature brings a new language and new metaphors for children. In compiling this series, we aim to bring to our young readers stories by the best modern Russian authors.
|Pyotr Aleshkovsky. Roodleand Burdle|
Roodle and Burdle are two brave friends from the Travelling Folk. Their journey brings them to a land plunged into environmental disaster: the Sun and Moon have swapped places, and - as always in a fairytale myth -even the Wise Crow, teacher and confidant of the Moon, no longer knows what to do. The whole country is in danger of dying from lack of sleep: the mountains have a fever, the moonies are in hysterics, and the flying cows no longer give sleepy milk! The Enamoured Professor, who fled the civilised world to embrace untamed nature, has, albeit unsuspectingly, pushed the country to the brink of calami¬ty. Roodle and Burdle try to sort it all out...
This story is suitable for chil¬dren aged 4 - 10. It belongs to the contemporary Russian writer Pyotr Aleshkovsky - author of the novel Vladimir Chigrintsev and other well-known works.
|Sergei Georgiev. Simple Hans |
This warm-hearted, cheery book tells the story of Hans – a good-natured country man. The incredible adventures of Hans and his wife Martha, involving their many friends and neighbours, are both funny and sad. The reader finds himself at the centre of an entertaining account which unravels like a game. Georgiev plunges us into this vivid world so convincingly, that we find ourselves believing whole-heartedly in his story. Zipping through this magical book once, we pick it up the next day, only to find that its attraction has become even stronger – and that there is still much to be learned from it.
|Linor Goralik. Martin Doesn’t Cry|
70×84/16, hard cover, ill., 160 pp., 2007
Martin Doesn’t Cry is a fascinating book about a miniature, talking elephant called Martin and the unusual Smith-Thompson family. Its child heroes, Mark, Ida, Jeremy and Lou Smith-Thompson live all by themselves in the House with One Column. Their parents are scientists who work in India, in the mysterious Cloning Laboratory. One day, the parents send their children an extremely unusual parcel, containing a tiny elephant, no larger than a cat. Not only can the elephant talk, he can also sing Russian romances, play the bagpipes and ... fall in love. Martin falls madly in love with a little girl called Dina and asks her to marry him. Dina, of course, refuses, upon which Martin becomes her Amorous Knight and Battle Elephant. That’s when the miraculous events begin, which change Martin’s life forever.
|Mark Kharitonov. The Teacher of Lies|
One day, five-year old Taska and her elder brother Tim see a strange advertisement: someone is offering lessons in lying. The pair decide to give it a try, and, together with their most unusual teacher, they embark on a series of entertaining, yet dangerous adventures. They visit a land, where King Bubble is scared he will burst from astonishment, where reflections in mirrors change into fantastic creatures, and where one starts to realise how weird and wonderful our own, seemingly ordinary world is. This story by the famous contemporary writer Mark Kharitonov, whose novel Lines of Fate won the Booker prize in 1992, is suitable for children aged between 6 and 13.
|Yevgeny Kluev. The Dreadfully Squeaky Door|
One day, someone forgot to close the drawer in the desk, and all the stories came fluttering gaily out. Sailing away, they scattered all around the world, and people everywhere read and fell in love with them.
Yevgeny Kluev’s collection of stories has taken a long time to reach its readers, overcoming numerous obstacles along the way. But now that this little book has found you, you will be able to see how true it is, as our author writes, that miracles do happen and that you can see them if you look carefully at some of the most everyday things: balloons, for instance, or little clouds in the sky, teapots or snowflakes.
Yevgeny Kluev is a Russian author living in Denmark. He is not only a storyteller, poet, prose-writer, playwright and publicist, but also an artist. Hence this little book, the first Russian edition of The Dreadfully Squeaky Door, is illustrated by the author himself.
|Irina Pivovarova. Once Upon a Time There Lived a Dog|
A joint effort by the wonderful poet Irina Pivovarova (1939-1986) and well-known artist Victor Pivovarov (b.1937), this collection of stories is a great example of the art of creating children's books. Pivovarova's unusual, paradoxical poems and their charming illustrations have become living classics, continuing to bring joy to chil¬dren and parents alike.
|Marina Vishnevetskaya. Kaschei and Yagda, or The Celestial Apples|
Long, long ago, when people and their gods could not yet exist without one another, little Yagda, the seven-year-old daughter of the Slav prince Rodovit, fell in love with a prisoner-boy from the steppe nicknamed Kaschei. Growing as the pair gets older, their childish love makes people and gods alike mighty displeased. Only Simargl, the god with seven swords, and little red furry Fephila, the creature born of a fiery spark, help the young sweethearts overcome the many obstacles they face in their fantastic adventures. But still, like any other lovers, Kaschei and Yagda make many rash decisions. Unlike most, though, they finally have to face the dubious gift of immortality…
|Leonid Yakhnin. Igogo, or a Journey with a Talking Horse |
This new book by children’s writer and translator Leonid Yakhnin is a fairy-tale remembrance of childhood. A snow horse, an embodiment of the author’s imagination, takes him into a past inhabited by peculiar yet loveable characters: Uncle Turtle Clog, Grandpa Croaker, Uncle Radio, Cucumber the Evil Thief, the Earless Tomcat and Mona Lisa the Cat. These characters are joined by other eccentric creatures from all over the world: Cross-Eyed Bob the cowboy, the chocolate beauty Ciocolatta and Grandpa the Whimperer. Not only do these creatures live their own lives, but they also accompany our little hero to the mysterious Island of Childhood. This is a tale bursting with adventure and mystery which will appeal to the child in all of us.
|Leonid Yakhnin. The Singing Tree|
The Singing Tree is the latest book by the well-known writer and translator Leonid Yakhnin - author of many children's poems, stories and plays. This delight of a book is packed with the exciting adventures of a gang of unusual fairytale characters in the land of Reflections. Young readers will meet the friendly Hippopotamus, who always appears when you're in trouble, the little man with Legs of Straw, and the narrator himself, who has taken on a great number of forms in his life - he was once even a telegraph pole! In their search for the mysterious Singing Tree, the characters - and readers! - will make new friends and learn many new and unexpected things. For children aged 4 - 10.