A story about biodiversity “Cheburashka walking in the woods”



  • Cheburashka Project (Frontier Works. Inc and other affiliated companies)


  • 03/04/2013


  • Global


  • In 1966, “Cheburashka” was introduced as a character in children's literature, and since 1969 its stop-motion animated films have been among the most popular cartoon films in Russia. In 2006, the “Cheburashka Project” was launched by Frontier Works Inc., and other interested companies that own the copyright (outside of Russia) to the Cheburashka character and image. Cheburashka is now extremely popular both within Russia and beyond its borders, and there are several licensed products on the market, including children's educational books and stuffed toys. Since the first episode hit the screen, Cheburashka has been increasing in popularity across Russia and the former Soviet Union, and has now become very popular in Japan and around the world. The original story also depicted environmental destruction such as water pollution and deforestation, and hence has contributed to raising awareness of the importance of environmental issues since 1969. Following close consultation with its creator, the Cheburashka character has been used to promote biodiversity in Japan since 2010. For its case study contribution as a new IPSI member, Frontier Works Inc. has prepared a picture book about the story of biodiversity and Cheburashka, which tells about the value of positive linkages between our daily life and biodiversity conservation by following Cheburashka as he goes mushrooming with his friend, Gena the crocodile.


  • woods, mushrooms, biodiversity, coexistence, Cheburashka

  • LINK:

  • Original Page (Japanese)
    Other Chebrashka's activities (Japanese)

Cheburashka and Gena the crocodile are visiting a dacha. Dacha is a Russian word that describes a vacation home with a private garden. They spend peaceful time together here, taking care of their vegetables and fruits, going to pick mushrooms and raspberries in the neighboring woods, making jam, cakes and pies, swimming in river, reading, etc.

Today, the weather is so nice, and Cheburashka and Gena are in the garden to pick onions.

C: Hmm, it’s so hard to pull up this onion. –Wow!

G: Cheburashka, are you all right?

C: Yes, I am all right.

Look Gena, it is such a big one!

G: That is a big one indeed! I bet it grew so big because you cared for it with all your heart. Suppose we stir-fry those onions with some mushrooms? Doesn’t it sound wonderful?

C: Yeah, it sounds so wonderful!

G: Then, Cheburashka, why don’t we go walking in the woods and pick mushrooms?

So Cheburashka and Gena went out for a walk in the woods.

They find an entrance to the woods located on the north side of the dacha where they can walk down a road full of white roses.

As Cheburashka and Gena silently walk down the road, they glance at a bumblebee flitting from flower to flower, and finally reach the woods.

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Side by side, Cheburashka and Gena walk through the woods, where the shade is nice and cool.

G: I would like to remind you of some important things when you are picking mushrooms.

C: What are those important things?

G: Firstly, one should stay calm and not be hasty when walking in woods. You must look carefully to find mushrooms.  Secondly, try to be a good friend to Mother Earth.  You can become good friends with forest, enjoying the smells of the woods and listening to the sound of the dried leaves you step on. Then the forest may give you some hints about where to find mushrooms.

C: I understand, Gena.

Oh, look! I found some mushrooms!

G: Did you?  Now I see them too.  They seem to be lyophyllum decastes.

This type of mushroom often grows in the passage in forested areas or on grassy lawns.

This is not the one we were looking for today, so let’s leave it for now and maybe come back another day.

Cheburashka and Gena keep walking on and on, while appreciating the fresh air and beautiful songs of thrushes in the branches overhead.

Gena stops when they reach the riverside.

G: Cheburashka, shall we take a shortcut across this river?

C: Well, I don’t think I can swim, Gena.

G: It is totally fine if you can’t swim. There is a log bridge over there and you can follow my lead. I will walk across this bridge first.

Even though he is walking across the bridge very carefully and slowly, Gena starts wobbling about and it seems like he might fall down at any minute.

G: Cheburashka, I may be a very bad model for you! –Ah!

Gena falls off the rustic bridge into the river with a big splash.

Worried about Gena, Cheburashka keeps his eyes on the surface of the water. But Gena, a semi aquatic crocodile, swiftly returns to Cheburashka since he is such a good swimmer. As Gena takes off his soaking jacket, a cute little frog springs out right before Cheburashka’s eyes.

G: I have three pieces of pleasant news to share with you. First, it was nice and clean water, so I only got soaked. Second, I formed a new friendship in the river.

C: Hello, Mr. Frog.

G: Since this is a river that wastewater from plants never drains into, everyone can happily swim in the water.

The frog jumps cheerfully back into the river.

C: Good bye, Mr. Frog. –Gena, what was the last one thing?

G: There. Do you see those mushrooms under the log bridge?

C: I see them. But they look different in shape from those mushrooms we found in woods.

G: There are many kinds of mushrooms with lots of different shapes.

Those are called oyster mushroom and are usually found on dead trees in damp places. This log bridge is very slippery and covered with moss. We should abandon this shortcut and let’s take the way we usually walk.

G: Cheburashka, don’t you feel the humidity in the air around here?

Some mushrooms like this kind of damp place.

C: Gena, here I see a white mushroom.

G: Well you found a new one! This mushroom is…

Gena takes out a pocket guide and thumbs through the pages.

G: Probably this mushroom is called a destroying angel.

Hmm, it’s got such a lovely white appearance, but it’s a deadly poisonous mushroom. Let’s just leave it here.

OH, where are you, Cheburashka? I can’t see you.

Gena looks around, and finds Cheburashka chasing after a damselfly, running into the marsh, which is dense with reeds. He hastily chases after Cheburashka.

G: Be careful not to get stuck, Cheburashka! C: Wow! Gena, come over here!

G: What is it, Cheburashka? –OH MY!

Cheburashka and Gena stand still, speechless.

A great number of clear blue damselflies are flitting about above the marsh, which stretches as far as their eyes can see.

C: Gena, this is beautiful.

G: Yes it is just so beautiful, indeed. It feels as if we have stepped into a painter’s masterpiece.

After staying by the marsh for a while, they head deeper into the woods.

Cheburashka and Gena have now arrived deep in the woods.

G: You come here and see, Cheburashka.

C: –Ah! I have never seen so many mushrooms before.

G: Lots of mushrooms easily sprout up on damp, shady earth like we have here.

C: This red mushroom looks very pretty.

G: That is fly agaric. It is also called “the fortunate mushroom.”.

Now something good may happen for you, Cheburashka.

C: Then let’s bring this back home and share it with everyone!

G: Well, I am sorry, but fly agaric is poisonous. For today, –oh, there they are, would you help me picking this type of brown mushroom? It is quite a delicious mushroom and is called boletus edulis. I guess we can make everyone back home happy by sharing this mushroom.

C: I see it.

Carrying their baskets around, Cheburashka and Gena begin picking mushrooms.

Opening up his hand suddenly, Cheburashka carefully compares each mushroom one by one.

C: Gena, now I see that each mushroom has its own character even though they all have the same name.

G: Exactly. Today we have seen mushrooms with thin stalks, wide caps, different colors and different shapes.

C: This one has a huge cap. Gena, you are big and I want you to keep this one.

G: Thank you very much. Well, I guess this is enough.

C: Gena, I see there are still a lot of mushrooms left.

G: The point is, Cheburashka, we have enough for our supper tonight. If we had picked all of the mushrooms we found without leaving any, what would happen to those who expect to have stir-fried mushrooms for dinner in the future? Moreover, what if no more mushrooms were to ever grow here? Then I don’t think we could come back here again and expect another good meal with mushrooms.

C: Will those mushrooms all be gone?

G: I think we have to be very careful, so let’s not take too much.

C: I see.

G: Why don’t we go back to the dacha and prepare for supper, then? Cheburashka, would you help me with the cooking?

C: Sure! I will peel onions, and you can cut the onions into pieces, Gena.

G: OK. I should prepare goggles for swimming.

C: Why?

G: Somehow I can’t stop shedding tears when I chop onions. Well, at least that’s what happened when I made a stew before…

Hand-in-hand, Cheburashka and Gena head for home, walking through the silent woods.

(C)2010 Cheburashka Movie Partners/Cheburashka Project