Nordic 80s Children’s Literature

13 Jun

I’ve been back to the flea market and got some children’s books today. I’m clearly addicted to Swedish Astrid Lindgren’s production. Today I got her ‘Pekka Peukaloinen’ (Nils Karsson-Pyssling) to add to my collection! To my surprise this little book contains not just the story about Pekka but 9 other lovely short stories about little people.

I was also more than pleased that I found an old ‘Mikko Mallikas’ (Alfons Aberg) book by Gunilla Bergstrom from the 80’s.  I love Mikko Mallikas stories – Mikko lives alone with his dad and does all sort of little mischief. The illustration is quite basic 80’s style but features real images too!

Both Mikko Mallikas and Astrid Lindgren’s books were my childhood favorites and I cannot wait that I get to read these for MiniMoose.  I’ve already got various books of  ‘Melukylan lapset’ (Swedish, Bullerbyn), Vaahteramaen Eemeli (Swedish, Emil i Lonneberga) and Peppi Pitkatossu (Swedish, Pippi Longstrump/Longstocking), together with Mikko Mallikas (Swedish, Alfons Aberg), Pekka Topohanta (Swedish, Pelle Svanslos/Peter-No-Tail by Gosta Knutsson), Minttu (Finnish, by Maikki Harjanne) and Moomins (Finnish/Swedish, by Tove Jansson) waiting for MiniMoose to be able to sit still for more than 30 seconds.

As you can see from the list, many traditional Finnish children’s books are translated from Swedish. I’ve decided to take Pekka Peukaloinen and Pippi Longstocking to my summer reading list! I keep my eye out for more of these treasures at the flea markets, since many of them are out of print these days.

Moomins and Astrid Lindgren’s production (at least) are also available in English and can be found on eBay or Amazon for instance. I do hope that they have kept the original illustrations by Bjorn Berg, Eva Billow, Ingrid Vang-Nyman and Ilon Wiklund etc. in the Astrid Lindgren’s books, but it seems that at least the covers have been ‘localised’ and changed in some of the English editions, which I personally don’t like.

Peppi illustration by Ingrid Vang-Nyman

Do you remember these books from your childhood too?

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4 Responses to “Nordic 80s Children’s Literature”

  1. Kate Hayden-Ellis June 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    They look brilliant ! xx

  2. yvra June 17, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Of course I do! I was indoctrinated with these books – in a positive way, of course.

  3. Louise June 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I don’t remember any (did see the film version of Pippi Longstocking but somehow missed the books) but you are making me want to jump on a plane and go to Finland just to find some old kids books. I always end up with a swag of children’s books when I go to op shops – I just can’t help myself. Thankfully I now have a child to cover for my obsession…

    • nordicmum June 20, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks for your comments all! Just thought that strictly speaking these are not 80’s literature but date back to 70’s and 60’s at least…

      I know what you mean Louise, I’m completely hooked and since writing this I’ve got 2 more books already, I think I’m beyond any help with these now. I have hardly any time to read them myself and I doubt my son will be that interested as some of these books might be somewhat girly and at least they’re not very modern, but represent my childhood in any case and therefore he’ll get his bit ;o)

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