Monday, February 3, 2014

As We Were Flying on a Rocket Story (1961)

Another Russian children's book about spaceflight, will they never end?  This one is about the dreams of a boy and his space toys as they explore the solar system. As usual I have no knowledge of the Russian language so any translations or other hints about the text will be welcome.

It is a 1963 reprint of a 1961 book, 32 pages of imaginative photographs. Here is the Russian text as best as I can copy:

Баруздин С.,
 Гортинский  В. 
Как мы на ракете летали.
Фотоиллюстрации В. Гортинского. М.,
 Детский  мир. 1963г.
 Мягкий  переплет, энциклопедический формат. 

My reader's contribute a rough translation:

Baruzdin, S. (Author)
Gortinski, v. (Photos)

How we flew in a rocket
A fairy tale voyage
Photos by V Gortinski
Children's world 1963
32 pages, illustrated

The chief delight is the adventures of these toys:

The Russian flavor is evident all through these books. What is even more interesting to me is how the photographer chose to reproduce certain "iconic" space flight images from earlier books

This image of a round space station with the red star reminds me of many other space station docking illustrations (although I could not find a round space station). Then they go on to the moon.

I have a few more to share from this book later this week. 

Part 2 here:


  1. Here's my very rusty translation of the bibliographic data and first page

    Baruzdin, S. (Author)
    Gortinski, v. (Photos)

    How we flew in a rocket
    A fairy tale voyage
    Photos by V Gortinski
    Children's world 1963
    32 pages, illustrated
    Soft cover, encyclopedic format

    How we flew in a rocket
    A fairy tale voyage

    It's the end of a holiday/festival
    In the windows, no ________ is seen
    What might not happen
    After such a good day?

    For instance, the toys
    Lying together with a flag...
    And suddenly beside your own pillow
    Becomes a rocket drome

  2. Hi John,

    Loved your post about the Russian space book for kids. Any idea how I could find a copy today?


  3. 10th picture:
    Well, 55 Years since... Maybe someday we'll be able to see someone pick up one of those...

    bookmarked, hoping some friendly russian can supply a translation!

    Jens from Hamburg

  4. Is it a dream or not?
    Sometimes dreams are great!
    A rocket took off in the air,
    Stars can be seen around.

    I was read to from books
    How rockets fly upwards,
    And here it is, weightlessnes!
    Now watch out! Hold on!

    We got used to it a bit,
    And weightlessnes is easy!
    Now let's get on with the journey!
    Pull on the lever more!

    We're flying to distant planets,
    And turn on the screen.
    Is it Mars I see there?
    Or maybe Uranus?

    And now, look there!
    Is it our Sputnik?
    Exits from the hatch,
    the space ship crew.

    And true, Sputnik under us
    flying. And a star on it!
    When we return home,
    I'll tell mum about it.

    Now we're speeding up,
    Hold on tight to the wheel!
    Faster to the Moon,
    Where a Soviet pennant is laying!

    The first stop!
    I'm turning of the motor.
    We're landing nicely,
    Next to the moon mountains.

    On the curvy moon
    It's not so easy
    To go!

    A little bit!
    And a little bit more!
    We need to find,
    the pennant.

    There it is
    familiar, own.
    A piece of our Earth
    A piece of our home
    So far from home!

    Here are some better scans of the same book, just found with a bit of googling.

  6. As always, you have managed to bring a great big smile to my face. Thank you.