Lotta’s Christmas Surprise (in Swedish, Visskt kan Lotta nastan allting, 1977) lists no translator. It’s a pleasant Christmas story about Lotta’s family and the tree shortage in town. Lotta and her siblings Jonas and Maria are incredibly upset that they might not have a Christmas tree. In her usual way, Lotta explores the town and happens upon a Christmas tree.
I have grown to really appreciate Lotta. Her books are frustrating in that they have been released under so many titles. This book was once titled Of Course Polly Can Do Almost Anything. There are multiple editions of most Lotta books, which makes figuring them out really difficult — but they’re so worth it. It’s incredible how Lindgren has captured the joys and sorrows and foibles of such a young child.
One recurring character I’ve enjoyed is Teddy – or, in other Lotta translations, Bamsie Bear – a stuffed pig. I prefer the translation to be Bamsie Bear, because it’s sillier. I wish I knew what the Swedish name for Bamsie Bear/Teddy/the pig is.
This pretty much sums up Lotta’s attitude on everything: “You can come along,” she said to Teddy. “We’ll take the sled and have some fun, even though we’re all miserable.”