[Moscow]: izd. i f-ka iunosheskoi knigi izd-va «Molodaia gvardia, 1937. Item #293
114,  pp.: ill. 27x17 cm. In original illustrated cloth binding with blind and faded gilt lettering. Near fine, some light rubbing, a couple of pencil underlinings.
First and only edition. One of 10000 copies. Rare.
This a remarkable book about creation of children’s parks intended for organizers and workers of such parks, playgrounds, ‘organizers of children in squares and boulevards’, etc. Most of attractions and constructions from the book can be build in the city and village, even in pioneer summer camp. The edition is richly illustrated with drawings and plans for visibility providing us with an amazing material to study.
The book consists of several chapters: Planning of children’s park, Equipment of the park, Attractions, Decoration, Sports, entertainment and games. At once the author says «All sorts of planning and standard projects of children’s parks will only be harmful. On the site it is always clearer what can be more interesting for children, what and where to build...» (which sounds unusual for 1937 in Soviet Union where everything should be planned and according to the rules of the mighty). The idealism of this book («At every step in the park kids should meet wonderful surprises») echoes the idealism of the era. People were still very enthusiastic about building communism, for example the Stakhanovite movement just appeared in 1935. Soviet people were eager to build and organize themselves and their children. Besides lacking entertainment in the past people used to invent things. This book continue the tradition.
First thing to build in a park is a stadium for sports which can include anything - football field, solarium, tennis and volleyball courts, crocket field, etc. A pool should be build if there is no natural water reservoir. The second place in author’s hierarchy take attractions which are better to install in one place in a shape of horseshoe. Next step is building areas for quiet games and reading. Laboratories, shooting galleries, theatre, preschool playgrounds are also described in the planning section along with service blocks (canteen, buffet, first-aid post, restrooms, etc.).
Chapter ‘Equipment’ provides plans and algorithm of building sporting grounds including track, skating ring, basketball court, bowling alley; among attractions to build are pole for walking by plumb, swings, ‘steep slide’, ‘flamethrower’, ‘spiralball’ and other unusual and easy-tobuild entertaining activities.
On designing park’s decoration the author again declares that standard project of decoration is unnecessary because there are many of ways to do it and one can invent whatever they like. He gives examples on how to do it with illustrations of slightly bizarre objects like an alcove in a shape of big scissors, or green sculpture of a dragon, or geographical flowerbed. This was supposed to give inspiration and ideas.
Probably the most interesting and valuable part of this book is description of games: Chinese billiards ‘biksi’, pushball, ‘belki’ [i.e. squirrels] - national game of the north regions, pioneerball and many others.
Amazing how this book includes all kinds of drawings and designs for constructing next to very attractive drawings which are actually part of the book design. There are also a few photographs, including a rare shot of Archimedes Club in Gorky park.
No copies at the Worldcat.