Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up is an illustrated coffee table book of thirty of Russia’s most horrifically hysterical nursery rhymes translated for an English speaking audience. Each rhyme is 2-4 lines, with an innocent title and a horrible ending. Each rhyme is accompanied by a brightly colored yet twisted illustration of the scenario described to add humor. Each two-page layout has the illustration on one side, and the title of the rhyme, the English text, the Russian text and the Russian transliteration (using English letters) on the other. For example, The Woods: “A little boy found a machine gun. Nothing lives in the woods anymore.” The rhymes are grouped in seven ironically titled chapters: Moral Messages, Parenting Pointers, Classic Cooking, Aquatic Adventures, Close Calls, Cheery Children and Explosive Endings.
This is a rather interesting book. I don’t know that I have read dark humor before but thought I would check this one out since each “chapter” was a short nursery rhyme. I thought some of the rhymes were pretty good and others were downright disturbing. But that is why it is called Dark Humor. It all depends on what tickles your funny bone.
Here are a few of the pages from the book
We give this 3 paws up and if you like these examples you will probably like this book!
About the Translator/Author
Ben Rosenfeld is a comedian and writer who has appeared on FOX’s Laughs, CBS This Morning and Rooftop Comedy. He is the creator of “Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up,” an illustrated coffee table book which has spent time on Amazon’s Top 100 for Dark Humor Books. Ben has been featured as TimeOut New York’s Joke of the Week, twice headlined at Caroline’s on Broadway, hosted at the Lincoln Center and performs nightly in New York City. Each week he co-hosts “The Passive Aggressive Podcast” and recently released his first comedy album, “Neuro Comedy,” both of which are available on iTunes.