Monday, May 07, 2007

Making Children Books

One day I read something on the news about this guy that climbed a 30-foot tall tree to retrieve his very expensive parrot. I didn't say he retrieved it, just tried. Instead, he fell down and had to be treated for bumps and bruises. Almost immediately, I came up with a little story that I told Mark. Since he's too little to understand or remember it, I wanted to write it down. Then I decided that if I make it into a scrapbook-style storyboard and somehow introduce my parents and Mark as main (and really the only) characters, it'd make a fine gift for Dad. That was back in late March. I just finished the project this weekend and only because Mom and Dad were visiting and spending enough time with their grandson to allow some spare time for me. The book is entirely in Russian. But here are the snap-shots of each page along with the translation.
Once upon a time there lived Grandpa and Grandma. They were having a good life and getting on each other's nerves just a little bit, but not too much. Grandpa had a parrot, named Kesha; this parrot was Grandpa's best friend. Kesha lived in a birdcage and spent time munching on nuts. And Grandma had a little kitty-cat, Tyoma. Tyoma was red and very furry.

One day Grandpa and Grandma forgot to close one of the windows in their house and Kesha flew away. He perched on top of the highest branch of the tallest pine tree that grew near the house. Cat Tyoma started chasing Kesha and climbed up the pine tree. He sat on a branch just under the parrot, but couldn't climb down because he was so afraid of heights. "Mew-mew", - cries Tyoma...

Grandma heard Tyoma and ran outside to check on him. She climbed up the pine tree to rescue Tyoma. She climbed so high, almost up to the branch where Tyoma was sitting. But she couldn't climb down because she also got scared. "Help! Help! Save us!", cries Grandma. Grandpa heard the noise and ran outside: "What's going on?! What's all the rukus?". Grandpa set up to save Grandma and started climbing up the pine tree. He almost reached her, but got scared of heights and couldn't even climb down. It was a good thing that Grandpa had a cell phone with him. He called "911" and cried for help.

The rescue squad arrived very quickly. And with them the youngest, most handsome, most bravest of all the rescuers - firefighter Mark. "Don't be scared, Grandpa! Don't be scared Grandma! I'll rescue you!", said Mark. He took the tallest ladder, leaned it against the pine tree and started climbing. He climbed higher than the roof and saved Grandpa. Climbed again, higher than the chimney, and saved Grandma. Then he climbed again, high above all the other trees, and saved cat Tyoma. Finally, he climbed so high, straight through the clouds, and saved parrot Kesha.

He saved them all! Kesha was very happy. He sat on Mark's shoulder and kept saying: "Good Marrrk! Brrrave Marrrk!". Tyoma walked circles around Mark, purring: "Purrrfect rrescuerr!". Grandma baked an apple pie just for Mark. And Grandpa invited Mark to sit in the most comfortable chair and brought him a bottle of ice-cold...lemonade.