Moscow; Leningrad: Detizdat, 1937. 24 pp.: ill. 27x20,5 cm. Original illustrated cardboards. Very good condition. Congratulatory inscription on the back of the front cover (1937). Photomontage by Mikhail Makhalov.
With: Lopatin, P. Puteshestvie po electricheskoi lampe [i.e. Travel Inside of Electrical Lamp]. Moscow; Leningrad: Detgiz, 1962.  pp.: ill. 28,5x22 cm. Original illustrated cardboards. Very good condition. Photomontage by Efim Pernikov.
This two editions are the excellent representation of the way the cine-prose editions for children have traveled from 1937 to 1962.
The original edition from 1937 could be regarded as one of the peaks of photomontage books of the 1930s: Makhalov’s use of retouch on the multi-sized images is inch-perfect, also the whole process of publishing the book reminds more of a cinema process: especially for this the actors of the Moscow children’s theater M. Vakhonina and A. Burova.
Mikhail Makhalov, the photographer before this edition known only for providing the photos for such editions as ‘Tragediynaya Noch’ (1st edition, 1931, by Bezymenskiy, partly designed by Solomon Telingator) and ‘V strane Dzin-Dzin’, this time has created the entire visual part of the edition.
In the times when the majority of the Soviet photography was under ideological censorship, this particular edition could be seen as the escape from the propaganda that was dominating the photo-montage of the late 1930s, and allowing the room for the experiment.
The story itself shows the changing perspective towards the electricity: if in the 1920s it’s regarded as a somewhat unknown and mysterious bit of technology, by 1937 the children decide to fix the broken father’s lamp themselves and for that decide to decrease. Almost dying in the process however didn’t help them to fix the lamp but the return of the father with a new bulb solved the problem.
The edition from 1962 is the second edition of the same story, re-written by one of the authors, Pavel Lopatin, into a longer version.
The allusion to cinema is underlined again, as the title-page shows the bulb, wrapped around the cinema tape. The book is definitely a photomontage reply to 1937 edition - the photo and montage are by Efim Pernikov (1903-1966), Belorussian, VKHUTEIN graduate (class of Favorskiy), poster designer and quite active photo-montage book designer of the 1930s. He has designed the second edition of ‘Tragediynaya Noch’ by Bezymenskiy in 1935, together with Vladimir Gruntal. He is also responsible for the design of another photo-montage book from our catalogue - Potolok mira [i.e. The Ceiling of the World] (Item # 24).