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Kashtanka: Kashtanka: Bilingual Edition (English-Russian) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

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Kashtanka Hardcover – September 15, 1995

7 customer reviews

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Hardcover, September 15, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spirin brings his lush, luminous art to the Russian master's strange tale of a lost dog. Rescued by a stranger, Kashtanka is brought to a new home, which she shares with a goose, white cat and pig-all performers in a circus. The dog, too, begins to learn tricks and games, but the novelty of her new life is tempered by her nostalgia for her first home, with a cabinetmaker's family. When the cabinetmaker and his son attend the circus on the night of Kashtanka's debut, the dog must choose her destiny. Trading the saturated spreads and highly wrought borders of his recent works (The Nose; The Children of Lir) for full-page watercolors faced by vignettes and asymmetrical silhouettes, Spirin breathes movement into the pages. Perspectives shift rapidly, subtly conveying Kashtanka the dog's disorientation. Without cashing in on the buffoonery that hovers just beneath the surface of the text, Spirin captures the camaraderie among the animal friends. Kashtanka's new life is presented as an almost surreally solemn carnival whereas her old life, wrapped in misty snow and woodshavings, has the ethereal quality of a dream. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?A quietly sentimental tale of a lost dog, splendidly paired with luminous illustrations to produce a cohesive and richly imagined picture book. Spirin's eye for detail ideally complements the text, which has been adapted from a contemporary translation. The usually opulent style of his art is considerably subdued here and perfectly suited to the tale's urban 19th-century Russian setting. The result is a book that is far more accessible to children than Barry Moser's handsome version (Putnam, 1991; o.p.). Kashtanka is separated from her master on a busy street one evening. Taken in by a kindly stranger, she is immersed in an odd new environment that features costumed, dancing, acrobatic animals. The stranger, it turns out, is a circus performer. Though Kashtanka wistfully recalls the wonderful smells and playmates of her old home, she quickly adjusts to her exciting new surroundings. In the end, she is heartwarmingly reunited with her previous owners. Spirin's design visually reinforces Kashtanka's transition from old master to new, and makes the humorous antics of the latter seem more pronounced. Children will respond well to the endearing return of a lost pet, though many listeners will be curious about what becomes of the good-natured circus clown who simply fades away after the reunion. Altogether, this is a beautifully rendered, thoroughly appealing title and another feather in Spirin's already crowded cap.?Jennifer Fleming, Boston Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152005390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152005399
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Samerdyke on June 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very charming book. Not only is there Chekhov's fine story about a lost dog getting involved in a circus act, but the illustrations are wonderful. Surely this is the way 19th Century St. Petersburg looked!
My daughter first found this book in the library when she was six, and it quickly became one of her favorites.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely way to introduce young children to classic writers. Kashtanka is a happy ending story of a little lost dog. The Spirin illustrations are terrific as always. We happened to have a long haired red chihuahua that is a little fox like in appearance just like Kashtanka. You will love the very Russian feel of the story because of the Russian names.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RedDwarfFan on August 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for the illustrations. Gennady Spirin's illustrations are truly breathtaking and inspirational (for artists). Well, in a few words, this book is a work of art.
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By Beernadette M. Connors on September 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not illustrated. Copy of a book.
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