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Soviet Children’s Literature

Arbuz [The watermelon].

Moscow: Poligrafichesko-kartonazhnaia F-ka Frunzenskogo Raipromtresta, 1948. Octavo (20 × 16 cm). Original pictorial card wrappers; a single leaf printed to rectos and versos, folded into 12 pp. and tipped into rear wrapper. Text and illustrations on each page. Very good.

The first and only children’s book by Nikolai Sergeevich Berendgof (1902-1963; in some sources 1900-1990), the Russian expressionist poet and later member of the "Nichevoki" (Nothingist) group. He has also been classified among the "vizionisty" ("visionists"), an obscure literary movement that included other lesser-known poets such as Adalis, Piast, and Zubakin. Berendgof published six books of poems during the 1920s including “Tsel’ smelykh”, “Doktor noch”, “Bunt veshchei”. See Turchinskii, "Russkie poety XX veka, 1900-1955", p. 110. Starting in the 1930s Berendgof focused almost entirely on song lyrics, including songs for children. Published shortly after WWII, the vibrant illustrations and pastoral theme of this children’s book are typical of the post-war reconstruction period. The illustrator, Viktor Ivanov (b.1924) is a Soviet and Russian monumental painter, best known for his large-scale works. He created the illustrations for this book while a student at the Surikov Academy in Moscow.

As of January 2022, KVK, OCLC show only one copy in North America.

Book ID: 51796

Price: $225.00