Hannah likes me to read to her, so in the course of a day she will generally bring me each one of her board books at least once. Her favorites make multiple appearances. Sometimes I hide “Bunny and Me” so I can get a break from it. Is that so wrong?
Today instead of “Bunny and Me,” Hannah mercifully brought me one of my own books, “The Historical Atlas of Russia.” She demanded that I read it to her, so I did. I picked a part at random, and we read three pages about the Russian conquest of the Caucasus region. I trust we were both edified and enlightened. Hannah then carried the book around and spent a fair portion of the afternoon perusing maps of Russia and the former Soviet republics, as you can see in the picture below.
I’m not sure where this sudden fascination originated. It’s not genetic. As I recall, geography was my least favorite part of Prof. Kotkin’s “Soviet Republic” class, mostly because at the beginning of the semester he gave us this killer geography quiz, which was essentially a huge blank map of the continent and we had to draw in obscure borders and towns and rivers and whatnot. It was designed to weed out the chaff and it worked. I stuck with it in spite of my dismal performance on the quiz and the rest of the class was pretty good.