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Librarian Tips: Choosing works for toddlers and discussing serious topics with teens.

On weekends, employees of Moscow libraries tell readers about children’s books that the whole family will surely enjoy. The head of Library No. 138, Natalya Klyuchnikova, recommends time-tested folklore and Soviet classics, as well as works by contemporary authors – Victoria Lederman, Vladislav Serov and Anna Zenkova.


Russian folk tales

I believe the best reading for young children is fairy tales. What could be more beautiful than plunge into a magical world inhabited by talking animals and other wonderful creatures, full of amazing transformations and unexpected turns? Fairy tales introduce kids to concepts such as good and evil, teach empathy and courage, help develop imagination, replenish vocabulary, and form a value system.

One of these tales is The Frog Princess. Mom and Dad, remember this good old story about the bewitched princess Vasilisa the Wise and the brave Tsarevich Ivan? They passed all the tests with honor, defeated Koshchei the Immortal and began to live in love and harmony. There are several adaptations of the tale – for example, the 1954 cartoon directed by Mikhail Tsekhanovsky. Be sure to have a family view after reading.

Another tale that I would like to remind you of is Masha and the Bear. Modern children are familiar with the animated series of the same name, in which everything is not quite the same as in the original fairy tale. It’s time to get acquainted with the primary source. The main character went into a dense forest and got lost. There she met a bear, who liked that Masha knew how to heat the stove and cook porridge. The bear did not let the girl go home, but Masha still ran away from him. Children really like that the girl is saved thanks to her ingenuity.

Older guys

“He will go to the board … Vasilkin! School stories of Dima Vasilkin, student of 3 “A” class “Victoria Lederman

I advise you to read a compulsory collection of funny and instructive stories about the third grader Dima, on whose behalf the narration is being conducted. The boy often finds himself in difficult situations, but he always gets out of them with honor. Maybe something similar happened to you at school – there will be something to tell the children after reading, to discuss with them. And they themselves will definitely like reading about their peers.

Author Victoria Lederman once worked as a teacher, so she knows well how to interest a child. For the story “Calendar of ma (th) I” she received a special prize of the International Children’s Literary Prize named after V.P. Krapivina.

Vitus Bering. The Great Northern Expedition “Vladislav Serov

This graphic novel by the contemporary writer and artist Vladislav Serov tells about the command of the Russian navy officer Vitus Bering. Bering headed the Great Northern Expedition, as a result of which navigational maps of the northern and eastern coasts of Russia were compiled and the sea routes to Japan and America became known.

Together with the brave Russian sailors, readers set off on a sailing ship from Kamchatka to North America and back, get acquainted with navigation devices, ship equipment, nautical terms. The book contains historical information and maps, which are interesting to trace the path of ships, to see the names of the heroes of the Great Northern Expedition. The book has only 56 pages, but it will take a lot of time to study it – illustrations made by the author himself can be viewed endlessly. I think it will definitely awaken interest in history and travel in young readers.


“With warm greetings from Fyokla” by Anna Zenkova

11-year-old boy Seva is kind and honest, reads a lot, loves to draw. But his life is developing sadly. First, his closest person, Fyokla, dies, who once took him into foster care, and then he goes to a boarding school, where a completely different life begins. Seva meets other children with a difficult fate, different characters and attitudes towards life. There are fights, offensive pranks and cruel jokes.

One day the guys are taken to a summer health camp. Fleeing from the hooligans, Seva and his friends run away into the forest and find no way back. They have no food or water with them. How will they behave, will they get out? Read and find out everything.

“With warm greetings from Fyokla” is a sincere and bright story about growing up, attitude towards oneself and the people around, feelings of losing a loved one, fear of the unknown, real friendship and faith in goodness. The book became the winner of the V.P. Krapivina in the Commander’s Choice nomination.

“Ballerina of the Political Department” by Yuri Yakovlev

I also want to recommend you the novel “Ballerina of the Political Department” by the Soviet writer Yuri Yakovlev, this work will definitely not leave you indifferent. In the difficult days of 1942, Lieutenant Boris Korbut, who was a choreographer before the war, receives an order from the command to create a dance group to maintain the spirit of the soldiers. The teacher finds his former students in besieged Leningrad, including Tamara Samsonova, who is keen on ballet and an incredibly talented teenage girl.

The plot of the book is based on real events. The prototype of Boris Korbut was Arkady Obrant, a Soviet choreographer and director, teacher, creator and director of the Youth Dance Ensemble. Boys and girls from his team gave about three thousand concerts in the besieged city and at the front. Young dancers, in spite of fatigue and hunger, often helped to carry and bandage the wounded. And they sometimes had to dance on the most advanced sectors of the front, without music – so that the enemy would not hear.

How to captivate your child with reading: life hacks for librarians

More great books, verified by readers of children’s libraries and their staff, – in the rubric Librarian Tips

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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