Friday, August 9, 2013

Joyous Carousel

How ant hurried home, 1967

I discovered the illustrations of Lev Tokmakov a few years ago, 
thanks (unsurprisingly) to 50 Wattsand was recently very pleased to stumble 
upon a large treasury of his children's books on a Russian website. 

 What looks like the Moon, 1961

Tokmakov was a Russian artist born in 1928 who produced lithographs and paintings
 and illustrated almost 300 children's books. His bright, cheerful, witty and graceful illustrations
 graced the pages of books by most of the important authors of Russian children's literature
as well as Gianni Rodari and Astrid Lindgren. He also worked on a large number of Russian folk tales,
and other tales from Italy and China

Boris Zakhoder, School for Baby Birds, poems for children, 1970

Tokmakov taught for many years illustration at the Russian State Children's Library. 
He believed that it's harder to illustrate children's books than books for adults, 
"because you have to use more life force energy". In 1958 he began to collaborate
 with the famous children's magazine Murzilka, and became one of its best artists

Irina Tokmakova, Carousel, poems for children1971 

Moldavian folk songs1987 

About furry and feathered1989 

In his later books, sometimes Tokmakov revisited his subjects using a different technique,
 as you can see from the turtle below. In 2010, the same year he died, he was awarded a special diploma
 for outstanding achievement for his book Amusing walks across Moscow at the Moscow book festival
His works are in the collections of numerous museums, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, 
the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Bratislava.

As always, I invite my dear Russian readers to correct 
any terribly translated title you find in this post!


  1. Hi Laura!
    If you ask, there are some translations (I'm not sure in my English though):
    На что похож месяц - What looks like the Moon. ;)
    Школа для птенцов - School for baby birds.
    Not so terrible, vive le google!

  2. Великолепно! Обожаю наши русские старые книги и иллюстрации! Благодарю за чудесный пост!

  3. Oh, these are SO WONDERFUL!! Thank you so much for your blog!!

  4. joyful works, love this artist..!thanks for sharing



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