Grigory Kruzhkov is one of those children’s authors whose books are equally enjoyed by adults. Kruzkov is also a brilliant translator of English-language poetry and a literary scholar.
His children’s works are noted for his fantastic imagination and inventiveness, they are loved by readers for their gentle humour and kindliness, and show his profound knowledge of children’s psychology. His work embraces the entire European fairytale culture and truly speaks to children of the 21st century of any age group.
In the introduction to the cycle of his short fairytales “Where Things Came From” Kruzhkov assures his little readers that he translated those tales from various exotic languages such as bears’ language, and that of dandelions, and extraterrestrials, and magicians’.
In his long fairy tale “Guillaume the Gnome and the Moon Kitten” the poor gnome learns to his horror that he has only one thousand years left to live. He decides to stop the time by damaging the main World Clock. So he decides to collects all the omission dots, mainly from verses which abound in them as you know, and pour them into the clock’s mechanism.
In 1996, Kruzhkov received an Honour List Diploma from the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People). He also won a number of top Russian prizes for his translations and children’s books. In 2000, he defended a PhD at Columbia University (“Communio poetarum: W. B. Yeats and Russian Neo-Romanticism”), but then returned to Moscow where he has since been teaching at the Russian State University. He has a dozen children’s books to his names: Cabbage Manuscript, Rainy Island, Letter from the Boat, Cloud with a Porch, to name a few.
Manuscript Found among Cabbage Leaves
Guillaume the Gnome and the Moon Kitten.
This is a story about the Gnome’s passion for the Moon Kitten and their turbulent friendship. The Gnome is a great inventor with most original ideas which seem to gush out of his mind all the time. For example, when he learns to his horror that he has only one thousand years left to live he decides to stop the time by damaging the main World Clock. He has an idea to collects all the omission dots, mainly from verses where they abound, and pour them into the clock’s mechanism.
We also meet the Gnome’s friends and enemies, such as the fireman Mr. Smokey, the apothecary Mr. Valerian, the Parrot Morgan and many others. The tale includes love adventures, some philosophy, mysterious kidnapping, modest miracles, and a happy ending.
Where Things Came From, a cycle of short fairytales translated from various exotic languages such as bears’, dandelion’, extraterrestrials’, and magicians’, to name just a few.
The author pretends he had translated those tales from the language of some extraterrestrials, who were collecting tales of the Earth, including those of balloons, dandelions, magicians, etc. They kept the author prisoner for some years and gave him a chance to work in their library. In actual fact, the author invented the tales trying to imagine a primitive civilization such as that of the bugs and a lofty civilization such as that of the balloons. What stories do they tell their baby bugs or bear kids?
Sailing with the Rosophila Fly.
This is a ship-log which is written by Captain Hawk. He leads the Icebreaker Murmansk to the North Pole. Rosophila, an ordinary domestic fly, got trapped in his bag and this way she happened to get on the ship. At the end of the journey Rosophila becomes a true sea-dog.
The Rainy Island.
This is a lyrical-detective story about the little magic manikins Yan and Yana appearing and disappearing through the boots which happen to be passages to an underground labyrinth. Finally the Yan and Yana lead their earthly friend to this other world of adventure and miracles.
The story is somewhat reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland but with Russian settings and characters. All the mysteries transpire at the very end of the story.