A Calf for Christmas (originally Nar backhultarn for till stan, 1951) was translated by Barbara Lucas and illustrated by Marit Tornqvist.
This book tells the story of Johan and his family who have just lost their only cow. They are very poor and losing Emma the cow is a huge deal for them. The local rich guy, on the other hand, has no such misfortune and comes to town to buy a calf. He gets tipsy on the way home and the calf ends up in the ditch where Johan finds her and brings her home. Johan’s father insists on finding its owner, but in the end they can keep the calf. It’s a good lesson on what to do when we find something that isn’t ours and it’s a good lesson on charity.
A Calf for Christmas is a cute story with a happy ending and absolutely gorgeous pictures by Tornqvist. Her style is well-suited to the farm stories (she also illustrated The Day Adam Got Mad/Goran’s Great Escape).
Favorite line: And Johan’s dad spent the whole morning trying to explain to his son that God has other things to do than sit around throwing calves down into country ditches.