2017 Russia

Let us grow with the book!

In my early childhood I loved to build houses out of blocks and all sorts of toys. Instead of a roof I often used a children’s book with pictures. In my dreams I climbed into the house, laid down on the bed made of a matchbox and looked up at the clouds or at the starry sky. It all depended on which picture I liked the most.

I have intuitively followed the rule of life of every child who seeks to create a comfortable and safe environment for himself. And a children’s book really helped me accomplish this.

Then I got older, I learned to read, and a book in my imagination started looking more like a butterfly, or even a bird, than a roof of a house. The book pages resembled the wings and rustled. It seemed that the book lying on the windowsill would rush out the open window into unknown spaces. I took it in my hands and began reading, and the book began to calm down. Then I rushed myself to other lands and worlds, expanding the space of my imagination.

What a joy to hold a new book in one’s hands! At first you don’t know what the book is about. You resist the temptation to open the last page. And how good it smells! It is impossible to divide this smell into components: printing ink, glue… no, it is not. There is a particular smell of a book, an exciting and unique one. The tips of some pages would stick together as if the book had not woken up yet. It wakes up when you start reading it.

You are growing up and the world around is becoming more complicated. You are facing the questions, which not even any adult is ready to answer. However, it is important to share your doubts and secrets with someone. And here a book comes along again to help. Many of us have probably caught ourselves thinking: this book was written about me! And the favourite character suddenly appears to be like you. He experiences the same problems and tackles them with dignity. And another character is not like you at all, but you want him to be your role model, you wish to be as brave and resourceful as he is.

When some boys or a girl says, “I do not like to read!” that makes me laugh. I do not believe these kids. They eat ice cream, play games and watch interesting movies. In other words, they like to have fun. And reading is not just hard work towards the development of feelings and personality, but it is first of all a great pleasure.

Specifically for that purpose children’s books authors write their manuscripts.


Written by: Sergey Makhotin, translated from Russian by Yana Shvedova
Poster illustrated by Mikhail Federov

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