a book blog about reading all of astrid lindgren's books

Posts tagged ‘my nightingale is singing’

My Nightingale is Singing


My Nightingale is Singing is a terrible book.

If Werner Herzog wrote a children’s book, it would be My Nightingale is Singing.

And you wouldn’t guess it by the title, right?  Birds!  Singing!  Happiness?


I’ve been pretty open about books I don’t like . . . I was not a big fan of the Children of the World series, but that had more to do with it not aging well.  This book goes so far beyond those books.  I’d rather be subjected to a hundred pages of Randi, Dirk, Matti, Sia, and all those other losers than have to read this book again.

Check out this opening paragraph/sentence: Long ago, in the days of poverty, there was a poorhouse in every parish, where all the poor of the parish lived: the old who could no longer work, the sick, the spent and destitute, the half-crazed, and homeless children whom no one would take care of – all of them gathered together in that place of sighs which was the poorhouse.

It goes downhill from there.  Really.  It gets MORE DEPRESSING.

Maria’s parents just bit it and so now she’s gotta go live in the poorhouse.  Everything just sucks for her.  She becomes obsessed with planting a linden tree and having a nightingale come sing.  I get it, we all need escape.  Especially readers after suffering through this book.  Anyway, so Maria gets her tree but it’s not full of life and she realizes she has to give it her breath.  And poof, Maria disappears and the tree bursts into full life.  Yeah.  Whatever.  I like trees too, but. . .

The book was originally titled Spelar Min Lind (1984) and was translated by Patricia Crampton.   The pictures are by Svend Otto.  Presumably everyone involved needed therapy after working on this.