The World of Childhood

Virtual exhibition of children's books in the Yakut language, Latin script, dedicated to the International Children's Day

Gulliver in LilliputNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

During its existence, the Yakut writing system changed its graphic basis several times and was repeatedly reformed.

Gulliver in LilliputNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

There are 4 stages in it's history: Until the early 1920s. - writing based on the Cyrillic alphabet; 1917-1929 - S. A. Novgorodov's writing, based on the Latin alphabet; 1929-1939 - a unified alphabet based on the Latin basis; Since 1939 - writing based on the Cyrillic alphabet.

Suruk-bichikNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In 1917, a Yakut student at Petrograd University, S. A. Novgorodov, compiled the Yakut alphabet based on the international phonetic alphabet.

Suruk-bichikNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

This alphabet didn't have capital letters, diacritics and punctuation marks, which, according to Novgorodov, should have made the alphabet more convenient for quick writing. Novgorodov's writing had to be strictly phonetic - as it is heard, so it is written. 
In the 1920/21 academic year, this alphabet was officially introduced into school teaching. In 1923, fonts were made for the "original" version of Novgorodov's alphabet and book publishing was transferred to a new font, including children's books.

The Ugly DucklingNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In the 20-30s of the XX century, a campaign was launched in the USSR to translate the written languages ​​of the peoples of the USSR into the Latin alphabet - Latinization.

The Ugly DucklingNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Latinization began with languages ​​that used a written language based on the Arabic alphabet, and in 1926, at the first Turkic Congress, a decision was made on the desirability of applying the experience in Latinization in other republics and autonomous regions of the USSR.

Little storiesNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In 1931, the "Single Northern Alphabet" was approved on a Latin graphic basis, final adopted at the 1st All-Russian Conference on the Development of Languages ​​and Writing in 1932. At the same time, a project for creating a writing system for 14 literary languages  of the peoples of the North was approved, and work began on republishing existing textbooks and creating new textbooks based on new graphics. ​​

Little storiesNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The 30s became a period of significant growth of Yakut children's literature, the appearance of the first major works for children in the genres of prose and poetry. It was facilitated by a number of important organizational measures by the party and government to strengthen literature for children. It was in the 30s that exceptionally great care and attention was paid to questions of children's literature. 

Little storiesNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In the Decree of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of December 29, 1931 "On the publishing house" Molodaya Gvardiya it was said: "The sharpest Bolshevik weapon on the ideological front - to literature for youth and children". 

At the outpostNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Following this Decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) in September 1933, the world's first specialized publishing house for children's literature was created, the creation of which made a decisive turn in the development of children's literature throughout the country. In the national republics and regions, special attention has also begun to be paid to the development of children's literature on the ground, issues of publishing books for children in national languages.

At the outpostNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Much attention was also paid to translation from Russian into Yakut. Here the central publishing houses (the Educational-Pedagogical Publishing House and the Children's Literature Publishing House - Uchpedgiz and Detizdat) rendered great help, under which a significant number of translated and original works were published. 

The Adventures of Baron MunchausenNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Among them, starting in 1936, Uchpedgiz began to publish the series "Library of Yakut Literature for Junior High and Secondary Schools" and the Geographical Series of translated works. Children published about 80 titles of translated works for primary school age. 

The Brave Little Tailor The Brave Little Tailor (1938) by Brothers GrimmNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Among them are the tales of the peoples of the USSR, Russian tales, tales of foreign writers - H. K. Andersen, V. Gauff, br. Grimm, C. Perrot, R. Kipling, classical works of foreign children's literature - "Gulliver at the Lilliputians" by D. Swift, "The Mysterious Island" by J. Verne, "Gavroche" and "Cosette" by V. Hugo and many others.

GavrocheNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

In Soviet times, the stories "Cosette" and "Gavroche" were widely known and had a huge success. The stories were presented as excerpts from the novel "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo, but in fact they were not translations, but transcriptions of episodes of the novel.
The story "Gavroche", published in 1936, was translated into the Yakut language by the writer Georgy Mitrofanovich Vasiliev from the Russian translation by Chatskina Sophia Isaakovna. 

Grimms' Fairy TalesNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

At all times, the enduring role of children's books in shaping the spiritual and intellectual image of future generations was clear.
The children's book, throughout the history of its development, has been the basis of spiritual culture, a means of communication, emotional and mental development of a growing person, and the formation of personality.

Brother Rabbit Conquers LionNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

The 1920s and 1930s were the "golden age" of Russian children's books, the period of its rapid development and unprecedented experiments with form and content.
During these years, children's literature received strong support from the state, on an unprecedented scale. There was a process of the formation of Soviet children's literature, a radical renewal of the circle of children's reading.

Big and small animalsNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

And the illustrations for these children's books themselves need special admiration.

Book illustrations teach to perceive the beautiful, educate in their own way, influence the ability to create. They are very important, since children perceive books in books as images that will later be stored in their memory for many years.

Big and small animalsNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

For the Yakut literature of the 1920s-1930s, the time of formation and development of an original national and regional artistic culture, experiments in the field of form and style in general.
The pioneers Elley (1904–1976), K. Urastyrov (1907–1990), S. Vasiliev (1907–1975), A. Abaginsky (1907–1960) and others, based on oral and poetic traditions and creative assimilation of the experience of Russian literature, created your original unique style.

SnowdropNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Books in Latin graphics represent one of the most interesting pages in the history of the formation of children's literature in Yakutia. 

SnowdropNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

These books are still being studied by bibliologists and bibliographers. Books are interesting to readers, interest in them doesn't fade away, but on the contrary, increases.

SnowdropNational Library of Republic Sakha (Yakutia)

Despite the significant circulation even by modern standards, many publications have become a bibliographic rarity after decades. And we are glad to present these unique copies in the Electronic Library of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Credits: Story

Alexey Ivanov
Author and coordinator of the project "Culture of Yakutia in the world space", initiator of support for the Yakut language and languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of the North in machine translators, researcher at the Research Center of Book Monuments of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Aitalina Ivanova
Head of the Research Center of Book Monuments of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Valentina Neustroeva
Librarian of the Research Center of Book Monuments of the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

Source List: 
Yakutsk children's literature (1923-1980): bibliographical guide / A. E. Zakharova; [ed. V. N. Pavlova]. - Yakutsk: Yakutsk book publishing house, 1981. - 148, [2] p. https://e.nlrs.ru/open/15605

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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