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Today’s Doodle celebrates the life and work of Sofia Mogilevskaya, a prolific Russian author of stories for children and young readers. 

Born in Moscow on this day in 1903, Mogilevskaya was raised in a musical household. Her father was an accomplished cellist and music teacher who taught her to play piano. Childhood memories of him performing for Leo Tolstoy made a deep impression on her, especially when the young musician changed her focus to journalism and eventually literature. 

After ending her studies at the Moscow Conservatory, Mogilevskaya began contributing articles and essays to magazines, translating fairy tales, and writing fiction. Once she settled on becoming a writer, her writing habits remained a daily practice for more than 40 years. In 1941, her first children’s book Mark of the Country Gondelupy was published. Later, her experience working in an orphanage during World War II inspired her 1949 book House in Tsybiknur.

Whether she was writing a fairy tale, a historical work like her books on important figures from Russian music and theater, or educational works like Girls, This Book is for You!, Mogilevskaya’s writing always showed a deep respect for children. Queen Toothbrush was the first of her works to be adapted to the screen as an animated film. Her Tale of the Loud Drum, about a boy during the Russian Revolution, was initially rejected by publishers but later became a bestseller that was also later adapted into a feature film. 

“To tell the truth, I am surprised at myself,” the author once wrote, “what a dashing courage I had!”

Happy 116th Birthday, Sofia Mogilevskaya!

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