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Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up
     

Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up

by Ben Rosenfeld (Editor)
 

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/30/2015
“In my childhood, my mom gouged out my eyes/ So that I wouldn’t find the jam./Now I don’t watch movies and I don’t read fairy tales, / But on the bright side, I smell and hear really well.” Thus begins Rosenfeld’s collection of translated Russian nursery rhymes. Rosenfeld grew up in the Soviet Union, and his father would always get him laughing by reading him some of these rhymes. Cannibalism, murder, patricide, and mutilation abound. People are run over by lawn mowers, plowed into by trains, and bit by rats lurking in toilets. Each rhyme features an illustration, its original Russian version, an English translation, and a transliteration. Sinister and grim, the rhymes are translated without rhyming, which unfortunately robs them of much of their original appeal. They are also not served by the illustrations, which never quite suit the tone of the rhymes and often seem too silly. In all, this is an appealing project that never quite comes together, like a less funny version of Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies. (BookLife)
From the Publisher
"'Russian Optimism', so simple, yet so wise, and a great gift for your friends, but probably not your mom." -The Interrobang

"So Disturbing You Can't Help But Laugh" -Fan Girl Nation

"If you enjoyed Adam Mansbach's Go the F**k to Sleep, you just may be amused by some Russian nursery rhymes guaranteed to make you laugh. Or feel suicidal." -The Political Carnival

"Dark and morbid, but also hilarious" -Gear Diary

"A rather interesting book... some of the rhymes were pretty good and others were downright disturbing." -Storeybook Reviews

"Reminded me of how happy I was to not be stuck on a cattle car headed to a concentration camp." -Rise Up and Write

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780990855200
Publisher:
Benjamin Rosenfeld
Publication date:
01/01/2015
Pages:
68
Sales rank:
732,006
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.31(d)

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