Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up is an illustrated coffee table book containing thirty of Russia's most horrifically hysterical nursery rhymes translated for an English speaking audience. Each rhyme is 2-4 lines, with an innocent title and a horrible ending. Each rhyme is accompanied by a brightly colored yet twisted illustration of the scenario described to add humor. Each two-page layout has the illustration on one side, and the title of the rhyme, the English text, the Russian text and the Russian transliteration (using English letters) on the other. For example, The Woods: "A little boy found a machine gun. Nothing lives in the woods anymore." The rhymes are grouped in seven ironically titled chapters: Moral Messages, Parenting Pointers, Classic Cooking, Aquatic Adventures, Close Calls, Cheery Children and Explosive Endings.
, colour illustrations
, colour illustrations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First off, I am happy to see this book make it from Kickstarter to reality in such a short time! A fun book that highlights some of the Russian "children's poems" that may make you scratch your head but WILL make you laugh! It is a great collection that is artfully illustrated and will certainly not gather dust like so many coffee table books tend to do.
#Note: I bought it through Kickstarter and the author was very responsive, informative, and hands-on throughout the process.
OK, so these are more like Russian expressions than true nursery rhymes, but that said, what an insanely cute/funny book! The illustrations are great, and they are accompanied by English and Russian translations along with phonetic pronunciation for the Russian.
This will make a perfect gift for any Russophiles in your life.
As we all know, there are various kinds of humor in the world. And different people comprehend humor in many different ways. This book is a presentation of a very specific sector of a Russian Dark Humor. They called nursery rhymes, because the main characters are children. The humorous effect arrives from two things: 1) It is a play on combination of innocence and craziness/ horror. 2) Little children or nursery like rhyming enhances the humorous effect. They are part of the fun. That is why the author is using transliteration to convey the rhyming and rhythm. Like I said before, this sector of humor is very specific. Yet this book is a gem for humor lovers, who collect samples of humor from around the world. Book has absolutely beautiful and funny illustrations. I liked the book. And I admire the author, who had enough courage to undertake the difficult task of conveying very specific sector of Russian humor to the English speaking audience.
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