MIL-OSI Russia: Ellie, Totoshka and a parrot from Mythlandia. Six books for family reading


MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Librarian’s advice: funny stories for kids, exciting adventure stories for older children, and stories of 20th century American writers for teenagers.

On weekends, library staff tell readers about books that can help make your home evening warm and cozy. Nadezhda Bobrova, who works at library number 81, recommends paying attention to time-tested classics that can captivate both children and parents.


“Tales of Why Muchchki” by Tamara Kryukova

This is a great book for kids who love to ask questions about how the world works. She will tell you a lot of interesting and unexpected things: what happened to the mammoths, why the woodpecker has a red cap, and much more. The text is accompanied by bright illustrations – the guys will definitely spend a lot of time looking at them.

The author of the book is Tamara Kryukova, a modern writer, laureate of numerous literary awards. Not so long ago I interviewed her for one of the projects in our library, and of course, we touched on this book as well. Tamara Kryukova said that as a child, she read “Tales” by Rudyard Kipling, in which the British writer also answered interesting questions about the world and animals. Growing up, she decided to write her own fairy tales.

“Fairy Tales and Pictures” by Vladimir Suteev

Be sure to take to read a book by Vladimir Suteev, a Soviet writer, illustrator, one of the main Russian animators. The stories written and drawn by him develop imagination in children. “Who Said“ Meow ”?”, “Chicken and Duckling”, “Three Kittens” – parents probably remember Suteev’s fairy tales, which they themselves read in childhood. “Fairy Tales and Pictures” are indispensable in the home library: there is little text and a lot of pictures, which will appeal to the youngest readers.

Our library hosts interactive classes. We often invite children to create their own theatrical performances based on Suteev’s fairy tales, they really like it. Firstly, the text is easy to remember, and secondly, the guys themselves think out the storyline, it turns out very interesting. Everyone is happy.

Older guys

The Talking Bundle by Gerald Durrell

English writer Gerald Durrell combined two hobbies in his work: traveling and studying animals. The Talking Bundle novel-fairy tale unites both.

Boys Simon and Peter come from gloomy England on vacation to sunny Greece, where their cousin Penelope lives. One day the guys find a bundle on the seashore, from which different human voices sound. A parrot is found inside, who says that in fact he is not an ordinary bird, but a politician from the magical Mythlandia. Basilisks invaded his country, and now everyone who lives there, including unicorns, phoenixes and griffins, is in mortal danger. The guys go to their rescue – this is how an exciting adventure begins.

“The Wizard of the Emerald City” by Alexander Volkov

The beautiful story by Alexander Volkov was one of the favorite books of my childhood. Now my son is fascinated by the adventures of the girl Ellie and her dog Totoshka – he read the book four or five times. The plot captures literally from the first lines: the reader, together with Ellie, will be transported from Kansas to a magical land, where he will make friends with the Scarecrow Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion.

Many people know that The Wizard of the Emerald City began with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written in 1900 by the American writer Lyman Frank Baum. In 1939, the first version of Volkov’s book was published, which, in fact, is a retelling of Baum’s story. In 1959, the writer introduced the second version, significantly reworking it, adding new characters and storylines. Subsequently, Volkov wrote several sequels.

I highly recommend getting to know the film adaptations of the story. In 1968, a two-part puppet television performance was released, voiced by Maria Vinogradova, Rostislav Plyatt, Oleg Tabakov and other wonderful actors. In 1973, a multi-part cartoon was shot based on The Wizard of the Emerald City, and in 1994 – a full-length feature film (directed by Pavel Arsenov).


The Last Inch by James Aldridge

Pilot and cameraman Ben is commissioned to shoot underwater sharks in the Red Sea. He goes to the distant Shark Bay with his 10-year-old son Davy. The trip, which promised to be peaceful and calm, turns into a real nightmare: a shark attacks Ben, and Davy has to help his father and fly the plane.

“The Last Inch” is a wonderful story about the relationship between parent and child, strength of mind, determination and other qualities that are necessary for raising a good person. By the way, the author at one time was fond of underwater photography and, like his hero, filmed sharks. He also knew how to fly an airplane – during the Second World War, Aldridge was a bomber pilot.

“Gifts of the Magi” by O. Henry

I would also like to recommend the instructive story “Gifts of the Magi”. His main idea is very simple: there is no better and more valuable gift than sincere love, which is manifested in the willingness to sacrifice the most dear. This is what the main characters do – the spouses Jim and Della.

They live very poorly and cannot afford expensive Christmas presents. To please her husband with a platinum chain for his only valuable possession – a gold watch – Della sells her luxurious hair. And Jim, unknowingly, sells a watch to buy his wife the expensive tortoiseshell combs she dreams of.

The story was first published in December 1905 on the pages of a New York newspaper. A year later, he entered the collection of short stories by O. Henry “Four Million”.

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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