Kiev: Yidisher Folks Ferlag, 1919. Item #235
16 pp.: ill. 16x12 cm. Original wrappers designed by Lissitzky with integral illustration on each cover. Fine.
First edition. Extremely rare.
Yiddish children’s book with 11 illustrations by Lissitzky. The Kultur-Liga in Warsaw reprinted this book in green and red in a slightly larger format in 1922. It is unusual to find a copy of any of these Yiddish books without the 1948 «withdrawn» stamps.
Ben Zion Raskin (1880-1930), translator, author of children’s books in Yiddish. Lissitzky first work with children’s books happened in the first years after the revolution. At that time in various cities of the former Russian Empire there were many very interesting and uniquely designed children’s books in Yiddish. The desire for renewal of Jewish culture was due to causes not only aesthetic, but also social. The people, who had lived quietly and closed in Russia for a long time got equal rights with others and felt the need to go «... from the darkness of the underground to the sunlight of the world culture», without losing their national identity. An important role in this process was supposed to play Kultur- Lige (League of Jewish Culture), founded in 1918 in Kiev. Lissitzky was one of the founders of that avant-garde formation. He also became one of the founders of the founders of the avant-garde Jewish book illustration. Apter-Gabriel. 92.
WorldCat locates copies in Getty Research Institute and Yale University Library.