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We tell kids about painting, with older children we read funny poems, and teenagers we offer books with a fascinating storyline.

On weekends, employees of Moscow libraries tell readers about what they think are the best children’s books. Anastasia Gurtskaya, who works in Library No. 179, advises works by Swedish, Mexican and Russian authors.


“Girl in a Gold Dress” by Jan Paula Schütten

First of all, I would like to recommend a book by one of the most famous authors of educational books for children. Jan Paul Schütten lives in Holland, his works have been translated into dozens of languages, they are read all over the world. In the center of the plot “Girls in a Golden Dress” is the history of the creation of Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” (1642).

Despite the topic, which seems very serious, the work is suitable for the smallest readers – the text is simple and interesting. A great start to discover classical painting! This is a fictional story about how a red-haired girl in a smart dress ended up in a painting by a famous master: the little heroine and Rembrandt argue who is more important in this group portrait of the shooters, whom to make the central figure. And at the end of the book, a surprise awaits the girl: going up to the easel, she sees that she also got on the canvas. I think the piece helps to develop imagination.

“A real boat” by Marina Aromshtam

This little book – there are only 72 pages – you will read very quickly, but you will have a lot of pleasure. The adventures of a small paper boat, dreaming of becoming big, real, await you. Once he got into the open sea, where his acquaintance with huge ships began. At first, no one took him seriously, but then the boat realized: he had already become real, because he was not afraid of such a voyage. I assure you that even the smallest readers will understand the deep meaning of the work. And the illustrations by the artist Victoria Semykina are just a sight for sore eyes, they will provide a complete immersion in history.

By the way, the book has been translated into foreign languages, it is read in Great Britain, France, USA, Australia.

Older guys

“Star for Metteborg” by Rousse and Samuel Lagercrantz

I invite schoolchildren to read a book about Swedish peers. Moreover, children in Sweden are exactly the same as here: restless, curious, do not mind playing pranks. In many heroes, readers recognize themselves and with laughter will watch their adventures, for the nascent friendship. The main point of the book is that it is easy to find a real friend and it does not matter who he is – a bully or an exemplary excellent student.

The book, written in 2018, anticipates the events of a series of books about Dunne, the boyfriend of Metteborg’s boyfriend (be sure to read that too). This story was created by the Swedish writer Ruse Lagerkranz, winner of the Astrid Lindgren Prize, in collaboration with her son Samuel. Live illustrations were drawn by the artist Eva Erikson.

“Generals” by Artur Givargizov

And this is a collection of poems about generals. Harsh and strict in the service, in the family they are gentle, kind grandfathers with their weaknesses and interesting features. All poems are written in a humorous manner. They are fun to read and learn by heart. For example, here is one of them, which is called “The General and His Grandson Seryozha”:

Put Seryozha (five years old) and the general by your side.

They are so similar! The general doesn’t seem to get old!

Serezha has been in charge of the kindergarten since the age of three.

And the general is in charge of the battery with thirty.

Even the director of the garden is afraid of Seryozha.

Serezha is allowed to play with toys during quiet hours.

Well, how they are afraid of the general – no need to say!

He is allowed to shoot from a cannon in quiet hours.


“Solongo. The Mystery of the Lost Expedition “by Evgeny Rudashevsky

An excellent book about travel, new impressions. Here, the reader will find a combination of detective story and adventure – loved by almost all teenagers. The author – laureate of many literary awards Yevgeny Rudashevsky – has an unusually rich speech, he writes simply, but very expressively. The book is often borrowed from the library, despite the fact that it is quite voluminous – 368 pages.

10 people go on an expedition across Eastern Siberia, each with its own goal. Someone is planning to write a scientific article, someone is planning to find the missing father, and someone just wants new incredible emotions. One of the participants is Solongo, daughter of the giant Jambul. It also has a goal, but which one – the reader will not immediately find out.

The Untamed Book by Juan Vigloro

Mexican writer Juan Vigloro has created a very fascinating story that a teenager will not be able to tear himself away from until he reads to the end. A boy named Juan goes on vacation to Tito’s eccentric uncle, who does not like to leave the house unnecessarily and adores his library, which contains countless publications.

Tito tells his nephew that books can change places themselves and choose a reader. And then there is a certain mysterious book that no one has ever seen or read (and may not have written). And this mystical thing was lost somewhere on his shelves. Juan decides to find her by all means. Little spoiler: he finds her. But I will not reveal the ending. Read – and you will find out everything for yourself.

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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