New York: Philomel Books, 2000. Slim quarto, measuring 10 x 8 inches: . Original color pictorial laminated boards, red endpapers, original unclipped color pictorial dust jacket. Color illustrations throughout text. Signed by Gennady Spirin in gold ink on half-title.
First edition of this English adaptation of Philipok, a classic of Russian children’s literature, collected in Leo Tolstoy’s 1875 New Primer (Novaya Azbuka). Eager to go to school with his older brother, little Philipok slips out of the house one day to find the village schoolhouse: “there was nobody on the porch. Philipok could hear the voices of the children inside. He started to go in, but suddenly he was afraid.” Russian-born illustrator Gennady Spirin, who loved the story of Philipok as a child, produced the detailed watercolors that accompany the simple story, and has signed this copy on the half-title. A fine signed copy of a beautiful book.