The Children on Troublemaker Street is where I first met Lotta. Although this story does not focus on Lotta, I will count it as a Lotta book. This is the story of Lotta, Jonas, and Maria (the narrator).
The version I read was translated by Gerry Bothmer with pictures by Ilon Wikland, who I’m coming to regard as the illustrator who best captures the characters that Lindgren creates. Its Swedish title is Barnen pa Brakmakargatan.
The story follows the family throughout a full year of adventures and mischief. None of the adventures are terribly exciting, but when seen through children’s eyes, they are.
One consistent theme that I find in Lindgren’s works is sibling cooperation and love. In every book I’ve read so far, if there are siblings, they love each other and play together with few to no problems. This trio is another example of that flawless camaraderie.
Books like these capture childhood as it once was – a time when children were not attached to screens. Jonas does not have a Nintendo; Maria does not have an iPod. It’s good for our culture to have books like this so we can remember what life was like, back when people actually lived.
“So you’ve been to Mrs. Berg’s?” Mother said. “Was she glad to see you?”
“Oh, yes, answered Jonas. “She was glad twice – first when we came and then when we left.”