Well, here begin the books by Anna Riwkin-Brick and Astrid Lindgren. Riwkin-Brick was a famous photographer, and Lindgren was the editor of the press that was publishing her books. When Riwkin-Brick could not find someone to write the text to accompany her photographs, Lindgren wrote it, beginning a long collaboration. As far as I can tell, they worked together on nine books in total, although this series is very difficult to find information about.
Honestly, I can see why. This series (sometimes titled online as “Children’s Everywhere” – what?!) is a fun look back in time, but it hasn’t aged well. The black and white photos and small storylines would be hard-pressed to enrapture a child. The clothes and customs of other countries are vaguely interesting. I find the series enjoyable in a quaint way, but I’m strange.
Marko bor i Jugoslavien (1962, no translator listed – the book says, helpfully “translated from the Swedish edition” – oh really?), or Marko Lives in Yugoslavia, is a cute story of seven-year-old Marko and his little brother Petor’s quest to track down their pig who ran off. Along the way they get distracted with adventures such as a secret cave and a wedding (what?!). Finally they return home, sad that they did not capture the pig. They are amazed to learn that in their absence, the pig returned home all on his own.
There are not a whole lot of redeeming qualities to this book other than the final page, which seems totally out of place with the tone of the rest of the story:
Everyone goes home when night begins to fall. Little pigs, too. “Outings are a nice change now and again. But I, at least, have sense enough to come home for the night,” said the pig.
Thank you, Astrid, for saving this story with that final line.