Intricately detailed illustrations and a brief text show a hundred years of Russian history as lived by generations of ordinary people in the same living space. Talk about a sense of place! The cut-out views of the few rooms in a house-turned- apartment, and all the people and some of the objects within, are chronicled over the course of a century, all while giving readers a sense of the times in which they are living, including political events that often drastically impact their lives. Although this ingenious book is mostly a visual experience, it is not a quick read, requiring careful examination of the illustrations to follow multiple storylines in addition to reading the textual narrative. The author and illustrator use a few devices to slow readers down and to give them a focus: the extensive “family tree” of the apartment’s residents, the red arrows and question marks that signify you can find this object on future pages, and, of course, the chronological order of each spread. This has the charm and appeal of a dollhouse, and the weight of Russian history as lived by common people. ©2020 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Antonina W. Bouis.
Translated from the Russian. Originally published in Russia.
CCBC Age Recommendation: Ages 9-13
Grades 3-5 (Ages 8-10)
Politics and Political Systems
Russians and Russian Americans
Publish Year: 2019
CCBC Location: Non-Fiction, 947 Litvina
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