World Book Day

You know when things just work out.... With my youngest poorly at home, needing lots of mummy cuddles, I found it was the perfect opportunity to dig out some of my beloved Swedish childhood books to look at with my little one.

I love children's picture books and for me the illustrations are the best part! Books were part of shaping me all through my childhood in Sweden and I feel strongly that traditional Swedish children's picture books are a wonderful part of the Swedish heritage. If you are interested in Swedish lifestyle and culture I can highly recommend looking at some Swedish children's books as they really can give you a sense of Sweden and it's history.

Elsa Beskow is one of my all time favourites and despite that she lived over a hundred years ago her books and illustrations are still dearly loved and treasured in Sweden and all over the world.

Elsa Beskow: Lingonberry and blueberry children, Swedes love roaming the forrest, picking and eating berries and mushrooms.

Elsa Beskow: Girl singing to a lamb and troll king listening entranced to her sweet voice the back ground.

Elsa Beskow: FIKA, having coffee and baked goods, was and still is a much loved Swedish tradition!

Astrid Lindgren, need I say more?! A wonderful Swedish children's book author who manages to capture the essence of childhood in her stories. Her books are also oozing with Swedish-ness as this illustration above proves!

Here in Britain her stories about Pippi Longstocking are well known... Pippi, the strongest girl in the world is legendary, you just have to love it!

Swedish picture books can also be very humorous. The books about Pettson and Findus (picture above)his cat are hilarious. The pictures contain endless details so every-time you look at them you might spot another little creature doing something funny. Again quite an old fashioned Swedish image... Swedes just are traditionalist at heart despite all their very modern and trail blazing ways.

By the way, on the picture Pettson and Findus are having FIKA eating PANNKAKSTÅRTA 'pancake cake'. This is made with pancakes (obviously) layered up with cream and your choice of fruit and berries and maybe even ice cream!

Last, but not least, I leave you with some beautiful picture from DALAHÄSTEN' (the Dala horse), a book by another Swedish author Annie Bergman. This is about as Swedish as it gets!

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