Jeremy Estes put up an insightful review of Tales for Little Rebels at PopMatters. The paperback edition is brand new!
The model the editors point to is the New England Primer of 1690, in which Puritan children learned simple lessons like, “In Adam’s fall / We Sinned all”. While that’s an idea a little more complex than something like “A is for apple”, it’s nothing compared to 1935’s ABC for Martin which originally appeared in a communist publication produced both in the United State and Great Britain. With its praise of Stalin and examples like “M is for Marx, whose teachings proved true”, the primer is decidedly pro-Soviet, but its inclusion isn’t likely to put the book or its editors on any black lists. The aim is to illustrate how such primers “distill revolutionary ideas into their simplest forms”. Any subject in its simplest form ignores the nuance and complexity of the truth, which may give some modern parents pause before exposing their kids to a primer that praises both the rights of workers and dictators.