The young jackdaw

St. Petersburg: Kornfield, 1911-1913


The satirical children's weekly magazine GalchŽnok (The young Jackdown) was published for the first time in November 1911 by a group of satirical writers and cartoonists under the direction of Aleksei Radakov. They decided to create a fundamentally different children's magazine containing everything: literary novelties - stories, poems, drawings, comics - and notes "about everything in the world", sometimes translated from foreign children's magazines, and intellectual and creative assignments. Even dry information from natural science literature and fresh newspaper chronicles (placed in the "Newspaper" section). The contributors to the journal would only publish the best children's stories and illustrations on given topics. They even invited children to give their ideas in the form of a competition. The prize was a free subscription of the journal. This initiative provoked extremely sharp criticism of the supporters of the traditional attitude towards children and children's literature, who thought that this would lead to dangerous free-thinking.The assertion of the editor and authors of the magazine that "a child must learn by playing" seemed blasphemous to prudes and teachers.Under pressure and as a result of real persecution, Radakov left the magazine. The new "correct" edition changed the position of the magazine. It lost its readers, and in 1913 it was closed, having existed for only 2 years. The influence of the innovation in children's literature however was lasting. This magazine, of which Vladimir Lebedev was one of the illustrator, was the first in a playful poetic tradition that would inspire the highly innovative children's books that Marshak and the same Lebedev would design and published in Leningrad in the 1920s.


Reference: V.V. Golovin: The journal Galchenok (1911-1913 as a literary experiment. in Detskie Chteniya, 6:2 (2014), 23-37