Cover of T'Sirk

By Samuil Marshak, Raduga, 1928



Written by Samuil Marshak

Illustrated by Vladimir Lebedev

Leningrad [St. Petersburg], Raduga, 1928

International Institute of Social History, online access

During the decade after the Russian Revolution, a brilliant group of experimental writers and illustrators, led by poet Samuil Marshak and artist-designer Vladimir Lebedev, produced a steady stream of affordable children's paperbacks. These graphically adventurous books aimed not only at promoting basic literacy but also at nurturing a sense of participation in a revolutionary experiment. Even a book as playful as this one subtly conveyed lessons in Bolshevik ideology. The depiction of people of color underscored the revolution's much-vaunted egalitarian credo, while a well-trained elephant's teamwork was singled out for mention as behavior worthy of admiration by all pioneers.

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Interior page of T'Sirk

By Samuil Marshak, Raduga, 1928

Photos accessed from "T'sirk."  International Institute of Social History. Accessed June 27, 2018.http://www.iisg.nl/collections/sovietchildren/2091-23.php