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How Dunno Became An Artist by Nikolai Nosov
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How Dunno Became An Artist

by Nikolai Nosov

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

Series: Dunno's Adventures (3)

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The third in a series of picture-books that set out the adventures of Dunno - Незнайка, meaning "don't know," in the original Russian - How Dunno Became an Artist follows the same narrative structure as its immediate predecessor, Dunno Takes Music Lessons, which featured the story of Dunno's unsuccessful effort to become a musician. Here, our insouciant hero decides that he will become an artist, like his fellow Mite, Blobs, but rather than taking lessons, he just decides to start painting. His unflattering portraits of his house-mates, although humorous, set off a series of confrontations, and Dunno decides that, much as his fellow Mites were incapable of appreciating his "music," so they are unable to understand his "painting."

One of a set of ten picture-books about Dunno that I found at a rummage sale a few months ago - I believe that these picture-books are actually individual chapters of the original, longer work, broken up this way for the English translation - How Dunno Became an Artist is a book I read more from academic interest - I am a student of international children's literature, and am always happy to discover works translated into English from other languages - than because I expected to enjoy it greatly, on a personal level. The stories here - and I have now read three of them - are just too didactic for my taste, although this one was a little more humorous than the last. Given their status as classics of Russian children's literature, I suspect that they must be more appealing, in the original. That said, I did enjoy the artwork by Boris Kalaushin, which has a cute vintage sensibility to it.

Recommended, at least in these translations, to those who have an interest in Russian children's literature from the 1950s. ( )
  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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"Blobs was a very good artist. He always wore a long shirt called a smock..."
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