Category Archives: Astrid Lindgren

When Dad Showed Me The Universe

When Dad Showed Me The UniverseA boy’s father one day decides it is time that his son is introduced to the universe. They travel afar to reach the universe. They go to a supermarket to buy treats to eat on their journey, walk past a park, a hardware store, a fish shop, and jump over a creek before they reach their destination. The son believes that he has found the universe when he looks at the dog park. His father tells him, “Don’t be silly,… You’re supposed to look up.”  Looking up he finds thousands of stars in the sky. Captivating soft colored pencil illustrations along with the brush of abstract thinking and low comedy will engage early readers. ema
Title: When Dad Showed Me The Universe
Author: Ulf Stark
Illustrator
: Eva Eriksson
Publisher
: Gecko Press
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Julia Marshall
Original Title
: När papa visade mig världsallet
Original Publisher
: Bonnier Carlsen
Original Copyright
: 1998
ISBN
: 978-1-927271-81-0
Hardcover pages: 32
Age range
: 4-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Author’s residence
: Sweden
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Sweden
Awards: Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, August Prize (Illustrator)
Subjects
: Fathers, Sons, Stargazing, Universe

Out And About: A First Book Of Poems

Out and AboutEighteen simple poems tell about young Katie and her baby brother, Olly, experiencing the weather and the seasons. They go “out and about” in shiny boots and “slither and slide” in the mud in spring. Throughout summer and fall, they build sand castles and harvest fruits, nuts, and berries. In winter, they hope for a Christmas surprise. Exuberant, realistic pen and watercolor paintings highlight people and their activities in each season. The poetry is fresh and filled with beautiful language. mjw
Title: Out And About: A First Book Of Poems
Author: Shirley Hughes
Illustrator
: Shirley Hughes
Publisher
: Candlewick Press. Somerville, Massachusetts
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
Original Copyright
: 1988
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-7644-5
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 2-7
Genre
: Poetry
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: London
Awards
: Author has won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice. 2010 shortlisted for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. 1984 Eleanor Farjeon Award
Subjects
: Brothers and sisters, Children’s poetry, Outdoor life, Seasons

My Happy Life

my happy lifeDani is excited and nervous about starting kindergarten. She lives with her dad. Her mother has passed away. She starts school and finds Ella, who becomes her best friend. They eat triangle and square sandwiches together, play with Ella’s pet hamster Partyboy, and they each wear half-heart friendship necklaces. However, not everything in Dani’s life is happy. When Ella moves away, Dani’s new loneliness reminds her of her mother’s death. Happiness comes and goes during Dani’s day-to-day life. The story ends positively. There is always something to rejoice in. Dani and Ella write letters to each other and plan to spend a weekend together at Ella’s new home. Difficult subjects are handled in a caring way in this charming story. With its simple language, twenty short chapters, and fine pen-and ink drawings on just about every page, My Happy Life is a great first chapter book. mjw
Title: My Happy Life
Author: Rose Lagercrantz
Illustrator
: Eva Eriksson
Publisher
: Gecko Press,  Wellington, New Zealand
Copyright
: 2013
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Julia Marshall
Original Title
: Mitt Lyckliga Liv
Original Publisher
: Bonnier Carlsen Bokforlaget, Stockholm, Sweden
Original Copyright
: 2010
ISBN
: 978-1-877579-35-6
Hardcover pages
: 136
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Novel
Book setting
: Sweden
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Author’s residence
: Sweden
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Sweden
Awards
: Both author and illustrator have received the Astrid Lindgren Prize
Subjects
: Best friends, Death, Grandmothers, Grief, Happiness, Loss, Kindergarten, Optimism, Primary school, Single fathers.

The Children of the King

children of the kingJust prior to the London Blitz, siblings fourteen-year-old Jeremy and twelve-year-old Cecily, along with their mother, are being evacuated northwards to their Uncle Peregrine’s Lancastrian mansion. Jeremy is angry because he wants to stay in London with his father to help the war effort. Cecily is spoiled and selfish, but somewhat likable. On the way, they pick up a younger, lower-class evacuee named May Bright who is thoughtful, tough, and wise beyond her years. Author Sonya Hartnett is a master of magical realism and of telling a story within a story. After dinner, Uncle Peregrine tells a tale related to the nearby ruined Snow Castle where the children have encountered two brothers (ghosts?), dressed in velvet jackets, who speak of spies. The tale is recognizable as the story of Richard III and his nephews, the Princes in the Tower. This complex and introspective narrative is beautifully written and reminiscent of C.S. Lewis. mjw
Title: The Children of the King
Author: Sonya Hartnett
Publisher
: Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts
Copyright
: 2014
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Penguin, Australia
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-6735-1
Hardcover pages
: 272
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: English Countryside, north of London
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Awards
: 2008 Astrid Lindgren Award
Subjects
: Adventure, Bravery, Death, Duty, England, Evacuation, Great Britain, Nobility, Power, World War II

The Best Singer In The World

The Best Singer in the World Book CoverThe six-year-old narrator of this well-told, sensitive story sings his funny made-up rhyme to his little brother and they both think he is the best singer in the world.  When he is chosen to perform as a mole in his school spring concert, he discovers that he can only sing to a small audience.  He becomes more and more afraid.  His little brother helps him face his fears and he bravely amazes his audience, with his little brother by his side.  Soft-focus, warm pencil drawings capture the boy’s fear and triumph. mjw

Title: The Best Singer In The World
Author: Ulf Nilsson
Illustrator
: Eva Eriksson
Publisher
: Gecko Press
Copyright
: 2012
Original language
: Swedish
Translator
: Julia Marshall
Original title
: Ensam mullvad på en scen
Original publisher
: Bonnier Carlsen Bokförlag
Original copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-1877579127
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5 up
Genre
: Picture book
Author’s residence
: Sweden
Illustrator’s residence
: Sweden
Awards
: Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, August Prize (Illustrator)
Subjects
: Bravery, Children’s stories, Europe, Northern Europe, Singing, Stage fright

Fruitloops And Dipsticks

When her new teacher mistakes twelve-year-old Simone for a boy, the excitement and complications of her double life begin.  Quirky and eccentric characters; amusing episodes; and themes encompassing teenage identity, sexuality, gender, intergenerational friendships, and death make this an interesting and entertaining story.  Simone’s world of fruitloops and dipsticks includes an impulsive and artistic mother, ducks in the classroom, lost dogs, and kooky friends.  First published in Sweden in 1984, this beautifully written first person narration is a product of its time with a real Scandinavian flavor. mjw
Title: Fruitloops and Dipsticks
Author: Ulf Stark
Publisher
: Gecko Press
Copyright
: 2010
Original language
: Swedish
Translator
: Julia Marshall
Original publisher
: Bonniers Carlsen
Original copyright
: 1984
ISBN
: 978-1-877467-58-5
Paperback pages
: 152
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Sweden
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Author’s residence
: Sweden
Awards
: Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Subjects
: Europe, Families, Humorous stories, Intergenerational relations, Northern Europe, Sweden