PUPNIKS by S. Ruth Lubka


The Story of Two Space Dogs
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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Newcomer Lubka relates the true story of two Russian dogs, Belka and Strelka, who were the first living animals to orbit the earth, along with several other smaller creatures on the same Sputnik satellite mission in 1960. The chronological told text includes details of the dogs’ training and treatment in space, as well as their recovery after their capsule returned to earth. One of Strelka’s puppies, Pushinka, was given to President Kennedy and his family, and this connection is explained, supplemented by a copy of Kennedy’s thank-you note and a photo of the dogs with the Kennedy family. Lubka’s illustrations in colored pencil project a naïve charm and include some Russian, monuments and a few words in Russian with translations. The overall effort tries to include too many elements, particularly with the attempt to relate the Firebird myth to Russia’s space program, but the combination of space exploration and canines will appeal to children. (author’s notes, glossary) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7614-5137-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003