There are some childhood favourites one never forgets and when one has children of one’s own, these old books just creep into mind and to the reading schedule.

Eduard Uspensky’s Crocodile Gena was one of my all time favourites as were Uspensky’s other books: Uncle Fedya/Fyodor, His Dog and His Cat, The Little Warranty People and Vniz po volšebnoi reke (Down to the Magic River) for which I couldn’t find an English title.

They all exhibit hilarious and extraordinary imagination by the author. Eduard Uspensky is a Russian children’s book writer. His best-known books were published in the 1970’s, while Russia was still known as the Soviet Union. In fact, he was forbidden to publish his works for ten years, because it was deemed that his books were lacking the soviet ideology.

I’d say they are exceptionally smart books. One might see in them criticism of the soviet regime and its deliriousness, but it is very much possible to just read them as incredibly enjoyable fantasies for children and adults alike. They are full of humour – both straight forward and ironic kind. But above all, they are thoroughly humane stories, with more understanding of people and life than is ever found in many literary fiction novels.

Thus, I warmly recommend Uspensky’s books for every Bookworm’s Wishlist.