Still, some books from my childhood left deep impressions, and I was happy to find some of them in a stack at our dacha (summer cottage). One of the books I read over and over was Rukavichka (The Mitten) from 1981:
(image from http://bob-many.livejournal.com/35475.html)
In anticipation of Anna's visit to Siberia my mom bought several essential Russian children's books. Most of them are new editions of time-tried classics with illustrations by great Soviet artists, and yet these books leave much to be desired in terms of design and typography.
I've been struggling to sum up why I dislike almost everything I see in the stores and trying to define the prerequisites of a tasteful and loveable children's book, and then I found this article on a Russian publisher's website:
To sum up the article, bookstores are looming with bright and glossy children's books; their covers are too busy, illustrations are at odds with the text, the characters are "cute" and unrealistic, the colors are toxic and the pages have little or no negative space. In the meantime, a good book-cover would be saying "Open me" rather than "Buy me," the colors would be made of natural pigments and look harmonious, there would be a tight relationship between illustrations, text and design... The article also warns against the marketing gimmick of "compiling" several books under one cover – something I've resented instinctively. It also mentions the impossibility of buying a beautiful children's toy or even a rattle... Better not get me started on THAT topic!