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

Posts tagged ‘seasonal-spring’

Lotta’s Easter Surprise

Astrid_LESLotta is a fun girl.  She’s not as accident-prone as Emil, not as grown-up as Pippi, and not as sweet as the Children of Noisy Village.  Yet she has aspects of all these characters in her.

In Lotta’s Easter Surprise (originally Visst ar Lotta en glad unge, 1990), Lotta discovers that the candy store in town is going out of business.  Vasilis, the Greek dude who runs the shop, accuses the Swedes of not eating enough candy.  He’s heading home.  He has a bunch of leftover Christmas candy that he’s going to throw out, so he gives it to Lotta.  Lotta hides it.

At home, Lotta later realizes that the Easter bunny won’t be able to visit this year due to the shop closing.  In a bold move, Lindgren blows the secrets of Santa and the Easter Bunny in one fell swoop.  Lotta decides to share all her Christmas candy from Vasilis and hide it around the yard like the Easter Bunny would do.

This is a sweet book, especially considering Ilon Wikland’s excellent pictures.  However, I wouldn’t recommend it for young children because it does blatantly give away secrets that are best not divulged to the intended audience.  I’m not sure why Lindgren felt the need to include such details.  It seems out of character for Lindgren to take some magic away when all her previous books have worked to pump some magic back into the world.

On a side note, Lotta, Jonas, and Maria dress up as Easter witches and seem to be trick-or-treating during one scene.  Turns out this is a thing in Sweden (further information).  Who knew?

Best line: Dad was always good to have around, but Lotta didn’t want to have him all mixed up with the Easter bunny and the real Santa.


Springtime in Noisy Village

Astrid_SINVSpringtime in Noisy Village (Var i Bullerbyn, 1965) was my first view into the Noisy Village world.

At first, the world can feel overwhelming, not because the world itself is so vast (it is rather small) but because there are so many characters.  The book is narrated by Lisa, making it the first book by Lindgren that I’ve found to be written in the first person.  Lisa goes on to (kind of) introduce Britta, Anna, Karl, Bill, Olaf, and Kerstin.  Given that while reading the book, I have a pretty clear idea who Lisa is, and that Kerstin is the toddler, that still leaves me with six main characters to learn in one short picture book – a very different situation from The Red Bird, for example, in which there are only two main characters.

Nevertheless, despite the occasional confusion, the book is humorous with fun language and situations.  The great illustrations of Ilon Wikland capture the joys of being a child in the spring.

Like The Tomten, I can find no information on who, if anyone, translated this book.  If you can point me to this information, please get in touch with me.  Thanks!

Lindgren’s books might have trouble being published for the first time today due to our overly-litigious and over-protective society.  In this book alone, a toddler plays with a wild animal for fun, children jump off a woodshed roof for fun, ride on a bull for fun, and walk across the top of the barn roof for fun.  Lindgren’s writing is a reminder that childhood used to be fun.

Truer words have never been written than this short passage:
“Who said we must only walk on the road?”  Karl asked afterward.
“Some grownup, I suppose,” said Bill.
And that’s what I think too.