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Nearly a decade in the making, this book would not have been possible without the help and support of dozens of colleagues, librarians, and institutions in the field of Russian children’s literature. First and foremost, we would like to thank all of the writers and publishers of children’s and young adult books in Russia and beyond who met with us to discuss their work and whose essential contributions are credited throughout the text. Many individuals provided on-the-ground research and invaluable input at various stages, including Ekaterina Asonova, Svetlana Maslinskaya, Marina Aromshtam, Anna Godiner, Natalia Medved, Kseniia Moldavskaia, Olga Maeots, Svetlana Mitsul, and Tat’iana Rudishina. We are indebted to them and to the librarians, administrators, and bibliographers at the Pushkin Central Municipal Children’s Library in St. Petersburg, where much of the early research for this book was conducted. We would also like to thank Jan Adamczyk and other research librarians at the Slavic Reference Service at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for fielding our most vexing and obscure questions.

We are eternally grateful to colleagues and friends who read the manuscript and provided thoughtful feedback: Sibelan Forrester, Ainsley Morse, Sara Pankenier Weld, Jenny Kaminer, Maria Mayofis, and Teya Rosenberg. Their generous and candid suggestions pushed our thinking and made this a better book; any remaining oversights are our own.

Between 2012 and 2019 we presented material from select chapters on panels and roundtables at annual conventions of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL), the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA), and multiple conferences in Moscow and St. Petersburg. We are grateful for these opportunities, and to members of the Childhood in Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Russia (ChEEER) working group, who generously lent their insights to our work in progress. Special thanks to Marina Balina, Raquel Greene, Larissa Rudova, Martina Winkler, and Caterina Balistreri for being thoughtful partners over the years.

Finally, we are grateful to our wonderful copyeditor, Heather Grennan Gary, and to Ivo Romein, Diethard Sawicki, and Uwe Meier at Brill and Ferdinand Schöningh for bringing this book into being.

Andrea Lanoux: I am grateful to Connecticut College for the generous support for this project through the R.F. Johnson Faculty Development Fund, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Charles E. Shain Library, and the Elizabeth S. Kruidenier ’48 Endowed Chair. Special thanks to Laura Little and Petko Ivanov for their unflagging support; to Emily Aylward, Ashley Hanson, and Andrew Lopez for their indefatigable research assistance; and to alumni Nate Pope, Kayla Cogle, Jyoti Arvey, Sasha Wolf, Dagna Bilski, Tara Law, and Elizabeth Petersen, with whom I had the pleasure to discuss Russian children’s books when they were students. I am also thankful to Karen Gonzalez Rice, whose early comment about artistic responses to trauma has been influential; to Mónika López-Anuarbe for creating a thriving writing community; to Irina Shchemeleva for her help during research trips to St. Petersburg; and to Suzuko Knott for her support and leadership of CISLA during the final stretch.

Many thanks to the extraordinary group of scholars from the 2013/14 fellows seminar at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, where the first chapter took form; to William Mills Todd III and Stephen Lassonde for allowing me to sit in on their excellent classes; and to Alison Woodman for putting me up during research trips to Cambridge.

And to my family—Veronica Lanoux, Bill Lanoux, and Chris, Adrian, Daria, and Scarlett Colbath—I am forever grateful for your encouragement and support.

Kelly Herold: I would like to thank Grinnell College, the Grinnell College Libraries, the Institute for Global Engagement, the Committee for the Support of Faculty Scholarship, and the Dean’s Office for support of this project. I am so grateful to Patty Dale, Travis Renze, Carol Ver Ploeg, and Laurie Wilcox, who helped with travel arrangements to Russia and the East Coast for research trips. Many Grinnell College students aided my research, including Sam Burt, Stella Gatzke, Sara Ashbaugh, Brodin Mikuta, Peter Sills, Emily Rhodes, and especially Mayuko Maeda and Maria Ciupka. I am thankful for my colleagues, Anatoly Vishevsky and Raquel Greene, for covering classes and making me laugh. My parents, Alice and Richard Herold, and sisters, Kate and Kara, provided much appreciated emotional support and necessary childcare; I love you all endlessly. Thank you to my brother-in-law, Moin Syed, my nephew Quinn, and nieces Penelope and Zahra, for making St. Paul a home away from home. Many thanks to Leonya Ivanov for his comments on early drafts. Grinnell College alum and honorary big brother, Aamir Walton, stabilized the home front when I was on the road. I am grateful for my partner, Philippe Moisan, who listened to more than he ever bargained for about Russian young adult fiction and who nevertheless supported my work. Finally, I couldn’t have written a word without the support of my children, Anna and Eli Ivanov, who occasionally had to fend for themselves while I worked on this project. Special thanks to Anna for her help with sources and statistics at Harvard. I am so proud of you both.

Olga Bukhina: I am grateful to my husband, Karsten Struhl, for his input, comments on early drafts, and constant help with all the a’s and the’s of the English language. Many thanks to my mother, Maya Faddeevna Bukhina; to my sister and collaborator on many translations and literary projects, Galina Gimon; and to her children, Timofei, Ilya (Iona), Dmitry, and Sonya Gimon. Special thanks to Sonya for her assistance with images in the eleventh hour. Without you all I never would have become so deeply involved in children’s literature.