You do not have to be an avid reader to have a thing for history. Fortunately, if your children are drawn to stories about Anne Frank, Harriet Tubman, Thomas Jefferson, and other profound figures of the past, there are plenty of incredible history books for children, especially those that explore milestone events in comprehensive but entertaining ways that will be able to encourage your blooming history buff.
It is either you are looking for history-themed books for your children or you have just got a sequence of an aficionado on your hands. Either way, you will be amazed by the things historical books for children can offer. There are a lot of reasons to pay a visit to your local library to pick up some historical children’s books.
Soviet Union Children’s Books
At both a historical and geographical distance, the Soviet Union does not seem like much of a place for children. However, for those who grew up in the Soviet Union era, there is at least one of the right times or one of the right places you might feel a now much-sought-after nostalgia. It is not for the economic issues of your Soviet childhood, but more for the sentimentality of the disappeared society you grew up in.
The illustration and outlook of Soviet Union children’s books were of identical importance as a tool for practical and solid information in the new Soviet regime. Themes may vary from hospitable animal stories and day-to-day events in a teen’s life to educational textbooks and political themes such as Lenin, the Soviets, and May Day celebrations. Cars, airplanes, and trains are often featured in the stories. And among the writers and illustrators, a lot of famous names can be found.
If you are curious and want to read any, here are recommended books about the Soviet Union for children.
- The Wild Dog Dingo by Ruvim Frayerman
Even though Ruvim Frayerman the writer claimed this book to be a story of first love, this classic coming of age story has actually raised timeless questions such as the importance of condoning your parents and tightening father-daughter relationship. This book tells a story about a 14-year-old girl named Tanya who lives with her single mother in a small village in the far east. Little did she know, her life is about to alter when her estranged father comes back from Moscow together with his new spouse and a foster son named Kolya.
- 80,000 Horses by Vladimir Vasilevich Voinov
The great Emerald City and the Sleeping Beauty’s castle got nothing against Volkhov Hydroelectric Plant. None can compete for children’s hearts quite like it. Volkhov Hydroelectric Plant is Russia’s first water-powered energy planet which was located on the Neva and was eternalized by this rhyming poem which, with the hand of some historical revisionism, took the opportunity on the plant’s glory to show how Leningrad rose from the water.
Side note: The 80,000 Horses does not refer to anything related to the animal but rather to the turbine’s horsepower.
- The Jewish Collective Farm by G. Ryklina
The ‘Not all heroes wear capes’ famous line is indeed true. There are some who can even be found in the local sanitary committee. That is how Yasha the local legend is told about in this book. His hygiene-related occupations in the board and his mad tractor-driving skills make all the other boys wanting to be like him. Though most importantly, he yearns to muck in with the peasants which Jews people were apparently not permitted to do under the Tsarist reign and to attest that Jews people can in fact plunder. In the end, Yasha’s efforts are paid off, for his cucumbers and apples soon become the spite of all the farms in the neighborhood.
- The Red Army Parade by A. Deineka
This is one of the most abstract Soviet Union children’s book’s illustrations. It uses the colors of yellow and light red to make it look like the Revolution is in a steady state of Indian summer. The parade’s individuals have always endued doves and bright suns while the crowd of people is portrayed as a warm, belonging, and unthreatening image. It certainly is one of history’s most artistic ways of luring children to join the army.
- All about Lenin for Children by A. Krachenko
This book is less a lesson in the fundamentals of Bolshevism and more preaching on how great Lenin is. He affords a boat for a child, is doing food runs for a kindergarten, and is even redistributing the bourgeoisie’s berry and cocoa to children who deserve it. He is basically Russian Santa Claus.
- The Bolshevik Hedgehog by P. Yakovlev
This illustrated book devises the inner forest battle between a worker hedgehog and a brutish Tsar boar. The tyrannical brutish Tsar boar who hinders the hedgehog’s inter-species pals from playing football meets his retaliation when the animals reigned by the noble hedgehog storm through the forest chanting “Everlasting freedom to the feral people,” and then terminate their oppressor.
- The First of May by A. Barto
The story starts off with a pair of brothers named Fedka and Aleshka getting the chance to do what most children can only dream of which is to head to the May Day labor parade on Red Square after waking up to a hot spring morning and enthusiastically grubbing their collective farm. Be it airplanes or trains, the brothers repeatedly express their joy at Soviet technological advancements, then go to the orphanage for a little chat with the unfortunate children from the All-Union Pioneer Organization.
So, those are some recommended books about the Soviet Union for children. They are ingeniously interesting and those with illustrations inside are eye-catching. It is definitely one of the best ways to coax children into the workers’ struggle. Hopefully, you can enjoy it.