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Can anyone recommend easy Russian books?

Hello! I'm loving the Russian course, thanks for all the hard work. Looking forward to it being made available on the app.

Sorry if this has been asked before, but would anyone have any book recommendations for a beginner that I might be able to source in the UK/online? I use other things alongside Duo like Memrise, flashcards and a dictionary, but don't really know where to start with fiction and I think reading would particularly improve my skills.

I'm thinking something for very young children/babies! (red face...)

November 25, 2015



Здравствуйте! I found this open book http://elibrary.bsu.az/books_aysel%5CN_296.pdf You can read and do simple exercises by this book.

http://book-online.com.ua/index.php?cat=46 by this link you can read on-line Russian books for kids. Hope it will be helpful for you. Удачи!


bookbox has some that are good.


I found this: http://www.russianforfree.com/texts.php
Simple Russian texts with audio (for very beginners).


Definitely helpful but I don't know most of the words still. Do you know of any books for Russian 2 years old learning to read? I think that's about my level :)


I'm sure, you do not want such books. They are not intended to be actually read by a child, even if there are some text in them (e.g. picture1, picture2). Parents sing small poetry called потешки, read folk tales, etc. Those are good for learning melodic of Russian language, but there are many cute but outdated words you will hear only in child tales.

Examples of потешка:
picture3, picture4
Козушка-белоногушка по лесу ходила,
Волка дразнила:
— А я волка не боюсь,
Я серого не страшусь:
Я от серого волка
Под берёзкой схоронюсь.

Examples of folk tales: "Сказка о репке", "Курочка-ряба", "Вершки и корешки" (or "Мужик и медведь" link)

Children are expected to read in the age of 6, however, their level may be very poor at this age. This is a step-by-step process.
First, they learn to speak.
After that, they learn letters. At this stage, it is not about "reading simple texts". It is about connection between sounds and letters. The books for this stage are called "азбука". But again, usually, the texts in these books are specific poetry to learn pronunciation, not reading. They do not read it; they only listen. Example: http://i.imgur.com/bWRgWmt.png
Then they learn syllables and begin actually to read. The same poetry, tales or songs they heard many times before (and even tell you for themselves), but the text is formatted to be read by a child, not by parents, i.e. there are large letters, stress marks and syllables separation: "Ма-ма мы-ла ра-му" (I do not know how to make stress marks on computer :) )
And then, first grade (age of 6-7). You can see the recommended texts for these age by the link provided by nataein in this discussion.

Besides потешки and folk tales you may want to try children poetry of Корней Чуковский (e.g. "У меня зазвонил телефон") or Самуил Маршак. They are very popular for age 1-6.


That's really useful, thank you!


The entire website is interesting, by the way. Not only the texts.


Hey kb_81 I recommend you read comics or manga because is easy to understand for beginners and easy to found for many languages. Then you can read in your language in parallel.

So I recommend you read a fun manga called one pice: http://www.mangareader.net/one-piece-colored/1 and in russian: http://manga24.ru/onepiece/001/

Comics are more fun and motivational to start.


This little reader (Irina Ivanishko) is a good one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1475120664 There are seven little readings and they ramp up nicely from very simple declarative sentences in the first one to greater variety by the end. It has an English translation on the facing page, vocabulary lists and questions with answers. It's idiomatic and (at least as far as I can tell) reads as if it were written in Russian for Russians to read, just at an easy level.


You can try excellent children's stories by Сутеев Владимир Григорьевич (e.g. "Кто сказал «МЯУ»?" (link)) or by Усачев Андрей Алексеевич (e.g. his series of short stories "Умная собачка Соня"(link)).


Okay, just the titles of those are already making me go awwwwwww I wanna meet the clever dog! And the cat (I assume) who's saying miaow. Yes, I am a child at heart!


With the disclaimer that I can't say this is exactly a personal rec, 'cause I've only ordered books from the first and have to wait till they come back in stock, these are the two I found when I was googling to buy paperbooks in Russian within the UK:


I'm pretty sure I saw readers etc by level in the first, and I'd be more surprised if there weren't also in the second.

PS: never be embarrassed about needing something easy at first. You can already read more Russian than most Brits will ever be able to :)


Thank you all, so helpful!


The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks). This is by far the best Russian book I could find!


Я еще рекомендую аудиосказки, это классная вещь, я использую их, особенно часто сказку "Фиксики" ставлю, так как она очень нравится старшему сыну, я его понимаю, тоже в детстве любил эту сказку, она уже навека, можно так сказать. Я всем могу порекомендовать ресурс с аудиосказкой про Фиксиков https://web-skazki.ru/book/fiksiki , которые реально классные, всем очень рекомендую их послушать)


I once found this link that had Russian literature in comic book form... Anna Karenina was one of them... and the language was simplified. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

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