We read about Belarus about 2 weeks ago and I kept postponing this post in the hopes that we will at least put our mini-book together, and I can make some pictures. We looked at some images of Minsk, my city of birth, on the net – I’ve passed through this square called Victory Square every day for 10 years on the way to school! We read about the most famous person from Belarus Mark Chagall, and painted Chagall style.
We also read a book that is supposedly set in Minsk – How Mama Brought the Spring by Fran Manushkin. I had mixed feeling about the book, since illustrator Holly Berry must have decided to illustrate something from the 19th century even though the story is clearly set in the late 20th century. Very few people in Minsk live in houses, especially with ancient stoves. Minsk has been completely destroyed during WWII, and now is a modern city with beautifully clean and green streets. Snowfall is not a disaster like in NYC, and people don’t freeze in their houses (well, OK, sometimes central heating breaks down ). Overall, even though the story was OK, it was just simply not a city I came from. I wonder how many people feel the same reading the books set in their native lands?