What Is It?
Russian Optimism is an illustrated coffee table book of thirty of Russia’s most horrifically hysterical nursery rhymes translated for the first time for an English speaking audience.
Each rhyme is 2-4 lines, with an innocent title and a horrible ending. Each rhyme is accompanied by a brightly colored yet twisted illustration of the scenario described to add humor.
For example, The Woods: “A little boy found a machine gun. Nothing lives in the woods anymore.”
All of these are REAL rhymes that Russians tell each other. I have not made any of them up. Russia has a very dark culture.
The rhymes are grouped in seven ironically titled chapters: Moral Messages, Parenting Pointers, Classic Cooking, Aquatic Adventures, Close Calls, Cheery Children and Explosive Endings.
Illustration and Design Examples
Book Design & Layout:
The book will be about 62 pages: A foreword, a dedication page, 30 illustrated pages and 30 pages of text.
Each two-page layout will have the illustration on one side, and the title of the rhyme, the English text, the Russian text and the Russian pronunciation on the other. The background color of the text page varies to compliment the accompanying illustration’s color palette (see examples above).
The book will be a hardcover, full color coffee table book that's between 6” x 6” and 9” x 9”.
My Moment Of Insight
Last year, I was in a funk and visited my dad. To cheer me up, he started reading me dark Russian nursery rhymes. The stories were so crazy and over the top that I laughed and laughed. I realized my life wasn’t that bad and the joy came back. Shortly thereafter, I decided to share these horribly funny rhymes with the English-speaking world.
It’s my hope that translating and illustrating these classic Russian rhymes will help the English speaking audience appreciate their Russian colleagues, friends, lovers and the culture at large.
These poems are a dark way of saying, “Don’t be so sad, things could be worse. At least nobody you know has (insert rhyme).”
Please fund this so we can cheer up the people in our lives.
Funding Reached Update:
I'm beyond thrilled that we've reached our funding goal with a few days left!
If we reach $4,000: I will upgrade the book designer AND add five additional rhymes and illustrations (ten additional pages).
If we reach $5,000: I will add another five rhymes (ten more pages).
The original thirty rhymes of this project were chosen from a list of sixty three rhymes that I really liked, so there are plenty of hilariously dark rhymes left.
Risks and challenges
The main risk is in delays. If funded, this book will be created. But it's possible I'm underestimating the amount of time illustration, design, physical printing and/or rewards fulfillment will take.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)