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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Sun's Storehouse (The)
by M. Prishvin
Age Range: 9-11
This is a collection of four stories by Russian author Mikhail Prishvin (1873-1954).
The Sun's Storehouse is about two orphaned siblings, ten-year-old Mitya and his twelve-year-old sister Nastya who live in a village near the Bludon Marsh outside the town of Pereslavl-Zalesski. Their mother has died following a short illness and their father is fighting away at war. One day they decide to go out to the marshes in search of cranberries. They remember the advice their father gave them about taking a compass with them so that they can find their way back home. Halfway through their journey the children have an argument about the quickest way of reaching their destination and split up, each going a different way which results in Mitya facing great danger when he gets stuck in the swamp.
Arctic Honey is a story about how bees were transported to the north of Russia and how an Apiary works, while the third story, Woodland Masters, is about a boy who sets fire to a tree and is taught a very important lesson of how to nurture and have respect for nature, particularly the trees and woodland from hearing the story of Dead on the Roots. The final story, Vasya Veslekin is an autobiographical account of how Prishvin's dog was saved by a farmer when chasing the geese.
Prishvin was a well-known Russian author for children and famous for his sharp observation and description of nature and animal life. His stories provide vivid descriptions as well as factual and historical information subject and are accompanied by remarkable vivid colour illustrations by V. Kirillov.