Last night I sat up flipping through books I grew up with – figuratively speaking. I was digging them out for a kid I like. This was a stab at re-educating her and showing her Blyton and Rowling aren’t the only ones. There they were – the What Katy Dids and the Little Women and the Black Beauties. And right behind were the Russian books. Yup I am from back when 'Faraway Tree' was still, well faraway.
When I was 6-7 the only English books available were the horrible IBH productions or the gorgeous, illustrated books procured from floating Soviet circuses and travelling book exhibitions. I am linguistically challenged so obviously they were translated versions. ‘The Adventures of Dennis - Twenty Years Under the Bed’ (Victor Dragunsky) and ‘When Daddy was a Little Boy’. They are stories about real boys, kids who know how daft grown-ups can be. Man, I love them…and you know there is nothing childish about these books. I can read them again and again, and I learn something new - mostly what sort of grown-up I ought not to be.
None of that flying broomstick shit, no fluffies, no slave elfs and none of that hogwart hogwash, these are kids the way they used to make ‘em. Before the telly and the Internet. The kid I once was – cept I wasn’t a boy. Where are these Russian authors? Were they deported for their insidious views? Or do they thumb through their books and reminisce on life behind the Iron Curtain. Where are the ‘Uncle’ books?
I cannot believe I actually found The Adventures of Dennis online. God Bless Google. Read this chapter