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We read good fairy tales with kids, we discuss the Great Patriotic War and the 1990s with teenagers.

The staff of Moscow libraries continue to talk about books that must be read by the whole family. Head of Library No. 236 Elena Savelyeva recommends works by Margarita Staraste, Larisa Romanovskaya and other authors.


“Ay-ay! Adventures of a dwarf-wake-up call in the Deep Forest “by Ekaterina Panfilova

For the little ones, I recommend a book by the modern Russian writer Ekaterina Panfilova. This edition contains wonderful illustrations, which were created by the author himself. The quality of the book is excellent: hard cover, large and comfortable font. Children love to read about various unusual creatures, witches, ghosts, so they will definitely like it.

The book begins very intriguingly: “Strange creatures, these gnomes, wake-up calls … They live where it is dark: in basements, in old attics. Or in impassable thickets. Or in caves. ” They also have three eyes that allow them to see in the dark. During the day they sleep, and at night they go to the dense forest – to wake and frighten everyone.

To me, the book is somewhat reminiscent of the work of my childhood about Uncle Au Hannah Mäkel. But it seems to me that Ekaterina Panfilova has a kinder plot – here the little wake-up dwarf just wants to become an adult, and this can only be done through fright. In addition, the book contains surprises: a map of fabulous places and an adventure board game based on this story, atmospheric and not at all scary.

“Stomach” by Margarita Straste

The fairy tale “Zheludek”, which was created in 1961 by the Latvian artist and writer Margarita Staraste, also deserves attention. The author talks about how important it is to value friendship and that it is very difficult to cope with problems and adversities alone.

The plot is very simple: once a girl made a little man out of an acorn, whom she named so – Zheludek. But he did not want to be friends with her at all, so he left to travel through forests and fields, meeting various animals and insects. The guys will follow with interest how the little man is gradually changing: he ceases to be harmful and proud, but becomes good and kind.

Older guys

“Find and show in Russia. 700 words to help schoolchildren “Svetlana Voskresenskaya and Natalia Pesnyaeva

The educational book “Find and Show in Russia” entered the fund of our library two years ago and immediately became insanely popular. At first she was in the reading room, and then she migrated to the subscription. This is a kind of travel game based on the history of the country: children will find 700 words related to the life of Russia, which they did not know before. Adults will also like it – for sure they will discover something new for themselves. The whole family can view colorful panoramas.

Readers will learn what the tsar’s palace, peasant hut, manor house were like, what was the work at the mill and in the smithy, what people wore, what they drove. Authors Svetlana Voskresenskaya and Natalya Pesnyaeva also came up with an exciting task – to look for objects and characters in the drawings.

“Mitya Timkin. Goodbye, start! ” Ekaterina Timashpolskaya

I also advise schoolchildren a book about their peer, an ordinary boy Mitya, who lives in a metropolis. He is happy – the boy is brought up in a large family, which he loves very much, and also trains a dog. Mitya is a real romantic and dreamer, he succeeds in everything. The main character goes in for sports, sings, plays on stage, travels – the boy has so many hobbies that he cannot decide who he will become when he grows up. Throughout the story, the reader observes him, answering the question why this boy is so interested in everything.

Many modern children are overly keen on social networks, the Internet, and gadgets. And Mitya just shows that there are many other delights and joys, thanks to which you can enjoy life.

The author Ekaterina Timashpolskaya once visited our library, met with our readers and presented this book herself. She is a teacher by profession, so she knows exactly how to choose the right words to interest children. There are no moralizing in the text – the book is easy to read, turning the pages, you relax.


“The fourth height” by Elena Ilyina

The Fourth Height is one of my favorite books, it is very good and correct. Soviet writer Elena Ilyina created a story about the girl Gulya, her childhood, dreams, growing up, life during the Great Patriotic War. Throughout her life, the heroine, who wants to become an actress, overcomes three heights – copes with difficulties that, as it seemed, were beyond her power. And then the war comes – Gulya is one of the first to go to the front. And already there, at the cost of his life, he takes his last – fourth – height and dies.

In this work, everyone finds something for themselves. For me Gulya is an example of discipline, wisdom, courage, heroism. The book was filmed twice – in 1968 and 1977. In the first version, Raisa Ryazanova played the main role.

“The Blind Chicken” by Larisa Romanovskaya

In this story, the modern writer Larisa Romanovskaya shows the country of the 1990s using the example of an ordinary family of four: husband, wife, son and daughter. Modern adolescents will find out what time it was – certainly difficult, but attractive in its own way. And the interests of the children were completely different – for example, a girl from this family dreams of going to the local library as soon as possible, taking more books and plunging into the world of adventure.

At the end there are explanations for each plot, for the events of that time, as well as photographs. Be sure to read with the whole family – as the plot develops, parents can share their impressions and memories, and this makes them very close. The book was appreciated by a wide range of readers – in 2018 it was shortlisted for the Kniguru Prize.

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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