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Librarian’s advice: with kids we learn to overcome fears, and with older kids we discuss serious issues and prepare dessert.

On weekends, employees of Moscow libraries tell readers about books that will impress both adults and children. The head of the library № 152 Alena Ermolaeva recommends works by Ali Benjamin, Sonya Danovski, Luigi Ballerini and others.


“Plush Cat” by Sonya Danovski

This story is about a boy, Tony, who decided to sell his favorite toys to support stray cats in a city shelter. From a volunteer mom, Tony knows that the shelter is preparing a fair to draw attention to animal issues. Parting with your favorite toys is not the easiest decision for a baby, but the joy of doing good to someone is much more weighty than doubts. Moreover, as a result, Tony finds a real friend.

There is not much text in this book by the modern German writer Sonja Danowski. Each spread is a new volumetric illustration that conveys not only plot twists, but also the atmosphere of the work. The child will consider this book for a long time and will ask the parents to reread it more than once.

“The Book of Wonders” by Anna Nikolskaya

Who are the “monsters”? These are house monsters, lovers of funny pranks – for example, they make children lose things and drop fragile objects, stumble on level ground, suffer from boredom, beat thumbs, sneeze and hiccup non-stop, lie and be greedy. And “monsters” are great at scaring – they create a strange noise that we sometimes hear at night. The main one is Domonstr. He gives instructions to his subordinates: Noskotyr, Zhading-beefing, Neryashle, Skisle, Trudel and others.

However, in the drawings by Maria Volkova, who illustrated the work of Anna Nikolskaya, the “monsters” are cute and fluffy. “The Book of Wonders” will not leave indifferent either children or adults. With light humor, she teaches children to deal with their fears, maintain order and hygiene.

Older guys

“Dasha, or the Story of a Puppy Life” by Karel Chapek

What can a newborn puppy do? Only sleep, eat and squeak. When the eyes open, sports begin. The program includes an obstacle course on rough terrain, somersaults with turns, throws, rolling and felting, fierce battles with a rag, biting wicker furniture and slippers, as well as tug-of-war, more precisely, hung out to dry the clothes. There is a lot of trouble from the puppy – both for his mother-dog, and for the people with whom they live. But as soon as the baby finds the owners, the house becomes empty.

This book is a delightful story of the growing up of Dasha’s fox terrier, told with warmth and love by its owner, the famous Czech writer of the twentieth century, Karel Čapek. On each page there are funny illustrations, created by the author himself, and at the end – pictures. To photograph the restless puppy, Karel Capek had to work hard.

Signorina Cinnamon by Luigi Ballerini

Signorina Cinnamon’s Patisserie is probably the best place on earth. Here they prepare desserts on an individual order, which will not only delight the most selective gourmets, but also help in difficult life situations. Just what is the cake “I-would-not-be-disturbed-a-good-idea”, which is made of the most delicate whipped cream with cardamom and decorated with a few cloves, a vanilla pod and, of course, a cinnamon stick! All these ingredients help to captivate a person with good thoughts and warm his heart. So says Signorina Cinnamon, who is happy to share the secrets of the culinary art with her students, 12-year-old Martha and Matteo. Together, the heroes will have to go through difficult times – it was decided to demolish the wonderful pastry shop.

And if you like this work, then look in the library for its continuation – “Signorina Cinnamon’s New Confectionery.” Thanks to the kind fairy tales of the Italian writer Luigi Ballerini, you will surely have a desire to cook something delicious. By the way, the stories about Signorina Cinnamon combine two of the author’s hobbies: writing and culinary arts.


Jellyfish Report by Ali Benjamin

“Sometimes terrible things just happen,” said the mother to her 12-year-old daughter, Susie, when she learned about the death of her best friend. But the girl does not want to believe in an accident – her friend, the best in swimming, as if she could not drown. The thought that they had quarreled the day before does not give rest – now it is impossible to make up and ask for forgiveness.

One day, Susie’s class is tasked with writing a report on a marine life. The girl chooses jellyfish and decides at the same time to conduct an investigation – after all, they, in her opinion, could have caused the tragedy that happened to her friend. This book will tell about the inner struggle of a teenager, the search for emotional balance and the desire to protect themselves from the hostility of the world. The work won the American writer Ali Benjamin the US National Book Award.

“Prayer to the Sea” by Khaled Hosseini

This is a book that I think every teenager should read. On its pages you will find memories of the calm rustle of olives in the wind, the bleating of a domestic goat, a stream, and wildflowers. Once in this joyful world, where everyone is in their places, bombings, sieges, shelters, hunger rush in. Trying to save his little son, the father wants to put him in a boat and send him to sea in the hope that somewhere beyond the horizon he will find happiness. And prays that nothing bad happens to the child.

The work of the American writer Khaled Hosseini is filled with deep meaning. The author argues that everyone has their own path and suddenly anyone can be overboard. The book is based on the real story of the boy Alan and his family, who fled from the war that erupted in their native Syria.

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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