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Librarian advice. Books by John Jory, Svetlana Lavrova, Vladimir Dmitriev, which are worth reading with the whole family.

On weekends, library staff in Moscow talk about children’s books that will appeal not only to children, but also to parents. Ksenia Lyubich, who works in the library number 103, advises to get acquainted with the books of modern authors – domestic and foreign.


“Penguin Trouble” by John Jory

The kind and unusually optimistic book of the famous American writer John Jory is designed for family reading, joint examination and discussion. There are many pictures here, they are large, bright and of high quality. Viewing them is a pleasure for people of all ages. They were created by the very famous American artist (and writer) Lane Smith.

The life of little penguins is often not sugar, it is full of curiosities and difficulties: either the beak will freeze, then you have to get up early. Moreover, all the other penguins are like you, like two drops of water. The book teaches toddler readers not to be discouraged – even when everything seems to be bad, little penguins have reasons to be happy.

Giraffe Trouble by John Jory

I would like to draw your attention to another book by John Jory – “Problems of Giraffes”. It is somewhat similar to the previous one, and the author does not deviate from the main principle – to talk simply about difficult things and help children find positive moments in everything. Both of these books are snapped up in our library.

A giraffe named Samson really does not like his long neck: scarves and ties on it look ugly, and other animals laugh at him – at least, the hero is absolutely sure of this. Where can you enjoy life here? And then he meets a wise turtle. She says: “I have admired your neck for a long time.” It turns out that even what seems to us a disadvantage may be a dream for others. It is very important to convey this to the child.

Older guys

“A governess is required for the wizard’s children” by Svetlana Lavrova

The main character, Emilia Ivanovna, is looking for a job and finds a strange announcement (it is included in the title). She does not believe in wizards – completely in vain – but agrees to work. The employer warns: “You will soon get used to it. One gets used to miracles quickly. ” And indeed, miracles begin: dragon, Black Prince, sea serpent, witch, pirates, battles, abductions, ghosts. In a word, the usual life of an ordinary governess.

I really love fairy tales, science fiction, detective stories written by Svetlana Lavrova. For the book “Wanted a governess for the children of a wizard” in 2005, the author received the “Alice” award, which is awarded annually to the best work of children’s and teenage fiction. Svetlana Lavrova has a medical degree, but she found her real calling in literature. Our readers are delighted with “The Governess”, the book is constantly in someone’s hands. This is not surprising at all: there is both good language and an interesting plot.

“Cat until Tuesday” by Svetlana Lavrova

I would also like to say a little about “The Cat Until Tuesday” – another book by Lavrova. This work brought the writer the national children’s literary prize “Cherished Dream” in the nomination “The funniest work”, and believe me, it is absolutely deserved.

She will especially appeal to those kids who love cats. The main character – a cat, black as night, Murinda is kidnapped. Several schoolchildren, witches and some others are taken to investigate the crime. The ending is good here: the cat will be found, and the villains will be punished.


“Great and forgotten. Stories for Children about the First World War “by Vladimir Dmitriev

Don’t be confused by the title: this book is definitely suitable for teenagers, moreover, adults also love to read it. Children’s in the full sense of the word, you definitely cannot call it. This very useful reading is one of the few works that truthfully, reliably and at the same time sparingly tell about the war.

The political and economic reasons for the First World War, in which the whole world were involved in one way or another, and its consequences, are clearly and accessible to young readers. The author describes the course of battles, military equipment, miscalculations and achievements of the command. But, of course, the most important thing in this book is people, heroes and victims.

This book is very honest. Not only about exploits – but there are many of them! – not only about victories, but also about the price paid for them. Dmitriev talks about all this with restraint, without pathos, with sincere respect and compassion, sometimes with surprise or anger. The book consists of separate documentary stories, each of which carefully considers a question. For example, for which ten-year-old Stepan Kravchenko received the St. George’s Cross and what the “fire brigade” of the South-Western Front did.

“Martha with Skulls” by Daria Wardenburg

The main character of this book is an ordinary teenager. Martha is 16 years old, she is concerned with exactly the same issues as her peers: first love, relationships with parents, finding herself and her place in life. From a prestigious exemplary school, she goes into an ordinary one and does not go through this event very easily. The social circle, teachers, – in a word, everything is changing. As you read, you begin to sympathize with Martha. In addition to changing school, she has many problems: her parents get divorced, her grandmother needs supervision.

Despite all this, the book is written with humor – for this special thanks to Daria Wardenburg, who managed to raise such complex topics. By the way, in 2017 she received the Krapivinsky Prize for her other book – “Rule 69 for a Fat Seagull.”

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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