- Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev star as children in a new coloring book
- The publishers produced it for Putin's 59th birthday
- They expect it to be less controversial than last year's sexy calendar
They may be swapping Russia's two top political offices in real life, but they are just children riding trikes together forever -- at least in a new kids' coloring book.
The creators of a scandalous sexy calendar for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have revealed a new gift for him at his 59th birthday: a children's coloring book with the main characters Dima (short for Dmitry) and Vova (short for Vladimir), closely resembling President Dmitry Medvedev and Putin, working and playing together.
The book's publishers, Maksim Perlin and Vladimir Tabak, presented the book Thursday ahead of Putin's birthday on Friday. They said they would send the premier a copy.
The authors said 25,000 copies of the 14-page coloring book will be printed and will sell for 150 rubles ($4.62).
"When children are asked who they want to be when they grow up, they often respond "Dima and Vova," Perlin said. "So we decided to create a coloring book for kids where the two leaders of the state would be their age."
Vova, according to the book, wakes up at 6.45 a.m. and does exercises in front of a map of Russia. Dima has a bed with a teddy bear, a poster of Deep Purple and a portrait of Steve Jobs, two of Medvedev's favorites. Dima loves apples and Vova loves porridge (the authors believe it will help Vova to become stronger and smarter).
The two boys ride tricycles and play badminton together, and are shown working at the Russian White House and the Kremlin.
Vova, who got a new school case this year with an All Russia's Children Front emblem on it, spends his days giving wise advice to other kids in a "white building with a flag on the rooftop" -- a "difficult job no one else apart from him is able to do," the captions under the book's pictures read. His friend Dima is busy with "making people happier."
Last year, the same authors released an erotic calendar for Putin's birthday in which students from Moscow State University posed in lingerie with captions such as "You put out the forest fires, but I'm still burning."
The calendar was briefly on sale in Moscow supermarkets for 260 rubles (about $8.50) but was pulled from shelves after public outcry over the racy photos and innuendo.
"Girls on our calendar caused too much negativity," said Pavel Petukhov, the artist of the book. "We have chosen a different target audience. But I think that both adults and children will like this book."
"It's a fun, beautiful project. I think Putin will like this too," Perlin said