CHILDREN’S BOOK – SERBIA: У гостима код мајмуна [U gostima kod majmuna / Visiting Monkeys].
An unusual Serbian version of a Soviet children’s book in a form of a series of 40 loose photomontages, depicting a story of a boy who flew to visit a human-like family of monkeys, was made to educate children in personal hygiene.
Author: [Nina Pavlovna SAKONSKAYA (Antonina Pavlovna Sokolovskaya, 1896 –1951) author] Vera Stepanova ARNOLD - L. K. ZYUZIN, illustrators.
Place and Year: Belgrade: Prosveta 1949.
4°: 40 loose photomontages in turquoise tones, each with a script in Serbian Cyrillic on the back, inserted in an original paper folder with flaps and illustrated cover (minor foxing and staining in margins of some of the cards, wrapper slightly worn and stained, otherwise in a good condition).
This unusual and rare series of 40 photomontages with verses in Serbian verso, tell a story about a boy, who does not like to wash. A magic carpet takes him to a far away land, where a family of human-like monkeys washes him in cleans him, because he is too dirty for the jungle. After a few adventures, the boy returns to his mother and starts washing himself. The book was published to encourage the personal hygiene of children.
The original version (В гостях у обезьян) was published in the Soviet Union, in 1942. The text was written by a popular female writer of mostly children’s books Nina Pavlovna Sakonskaya (real name Antonina Pavlovna Sokolovskaya, 1896 –1951) and the photomontages were made by Vera Stepanova Arnold and L. K. Zyuzin. The project was sponsored by the Central Institute of Health Education of the People's Commissariat of Health of the USSR.
Sakonskaya’s name was omitted from the Serbian version and the series is very rare today. One of the reasons is probably the 1948 Tito-Stalin fall-out which caused for Yugoslavia to ban all the connections with the Soviet Union and with the communist countries of the Eastern bloc.
Worldcat lists this title with no recorded examples in institutions. Two examples are held in Serbian libraries (Faculty for Teaching and Library of Serbian Matica, both in Belgrade).
References: OCLC 443543106
Availability: In stock