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