Wer ist eigentlich Stanislav Vostokov? Und was mag/macht er für Kinder- und Jugendbücher? Drei Fragen an den Autor aus Russland.
– How did you start to write books for children (and young people)?
My first attempt to write a tale was in primary school. I had copied famous Russian fairy tale “Frog the traveler” and have put my name on the title. It was my main contribution to the text.
Then was a big pause (twenty five years) in my literature work. My first book appeared as result of my Moscow Zoo experience. It was ”Do not feed and do not tease!” with illustrations of mine. So my skills developed at College of Art proved to be very useful! I have tried to show in this book unexpected and funny sides of keepers’ routine. All characters there (including animals) are real. They acted under their real names in the first edition. But some keepers didn’t like it. And I had to change their names for the second edition. Animals did not show any displeasure. So they still act under their real names.
Danach folgte eine lange Pause (25 Jahre) in meinem literarischen Werk. Mein erstes Buch entstand aufgrund meiner Erfahrungen im Moskauer Zoo. Es war “Bitte nicht füttern und nicht ärgern” mit Illustrationen von mir. Meine Fähigkeiten, die ich an der Kunsthochschule entwickelt hatte, erwiesen sich also als sehr nützlich! In dem Buch habe ich versucht, unerwartete und witzige Seiten der Tierpfleger-Routine zu zeigen. Alle Figuren (inklusive der Tiere) gibt es wirklich. In der ersten Ausgabe treten sie mit ihren echten Namen auf. Ein paar der Tierpfleger mochten das jedoch nicht, so dass ich die Namen für die zweite Auflage ändern musste. Die Tiere äußerten kein Unbehagen, so dass sie weiterhin unter ihren echten Namen auftreten.
– Which of your books should everybody be familiar with (and why)?
It would be untruth, if I say that such universal book-for-everybody exists in my bibliography. But I would safely recommend “Frosia Korovina” to broad sections of the public. At least it is most popular book of mine and it was translated abroad. The story is accompanied by short article, which describes life of our forefathers at so called house-yard on the Russian North. Such kind of houses had enormous sizes and included chambers, bedrooms, barns, haylofts, coach-houses and cowsheds collected under one roof. Owners of such “building” could live in several months not going out.
– Which theme or motif would you love to work on in a children’s book some day?
The life in countryside is very attractive theme for me. I live in the village, you see. And it seems very strange for me, that books about countryside are rare in our modern children literature. The other important theme is nature protection, what is closely associated with life in village of course. We have old tradition of such literature in our country and I try to continue this line.