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Dunno's Adventures: Dunno Takes Music…
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Dunno's Adventures: Dunno Takes Music Lessons

by Nikolai Nosov

Other authors: Boris Kalaushin (Illustrator), Margaret Wettlin (Translator)

Series: Dunno's Adventures (2)

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Dunno - Незнайка, meaning "don't know," in the original Russian - returns in this second picture-book adventure, once again demonstrating that he deserves his name. Lazy, in addition to being ignorant, Dunno decides that he would like the acclaim that musician Trills receives for his performances, without any of the work of learning to play an instrument. Demanding the loudest instrument that Trills possesses - a big brass horn - Dunno proceeds to make a nuisance of himself, blowing it all over town, and earning the displeasure of his fellow Mites, who aren't (he concludes) grown up enough to appreciate his playing...

One of ten picture-books in this series that I found on sale at a rummage sale, Dunno Takes Music Lessons is an interesting foray, for me, into the world of Russian children's literature. Незнайка is apparently a very popular figure in that tradition, so I am happy to become acquainted with his adventures, although I cannot say, exactly, that I enjoyed this one on its own merits. It felt just a little too preachy - work children, you have to work hard, if you want to accomplish anything! - which, given that it was written 1954, in the former Soviet Union, is probably not all that surprising. I wish I knew a little bit more about the publishing history of this series - was it originally a series of picture-books, as it is here in the English version, or was it a one-volume story that was broken into separate volumes later? I suspect the latter, but am unsure.

In any case, this is one I would recommend to those, like me, who are interested in the development of children's literature, around the world. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 16, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nikolai Nosovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kalaushin, BorisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wettlin, MargaretTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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"Dunno never could do anything right. He never got beyond reading in syllables, and he could only write printed letters..."
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