Sunday, October 10, 2010

more finds at the fair

the Gosta Berling saga, by Nobel laureate Selma Lagerlof , this edition appears to be in german. She is from the upper side of Europe, almost Lappland and her imagination and the folk resources she draws from are very Scandinavian. Although I cannot say much about this saga, besides the fact that evolves around the eccentricities of the upper class, what made me familiar with her existence was another book she wrote later, The wonderful adventures of Nils Holgerssons, a kids book she wrote as a sort of geographic text book for schools. However, when I read it, I did not detect any academic tone whatsoever and it didn't help me geographically either, but I can say with confidence it is one of the most magic and evocative pieces of young adult literature that to this day I remember with fondness and gratitude.

Birds and beasts,by William Jay Smith,with woodcuts by Jacques Hnizdovsky. The poems are cute and simple, the woodcuts I wich I had gigantic posters to put up all over the house. The artist emigrated from Bohemia to America in the 1900's and his first book named Flora Exotica is another one I would decorate schools' walls with. Here some examples


  1. I haven't read much of Selma Lagerlöf. However, I'm familiar with the type of images and topics from the scandinavian tradition she uses. Swedish literature, and particularly children's literature, is amazing. Everybody knows Pippi, but not many people (at least, not in the US) know other fantastic books of hers such Mio my Mio or The Lionheart Brothers. Do you?

    As for "Birds and beasts", I would buy it immediately.

  2. hey Violet good to hear from you! no I haven't heard from Mio nor the lionheart brothers, I'm intrigued...

  3. They are both wonderful books.
    I read Mio to my daughter when she was eight, and at one point I got so scared myself! She had nightmares. It reminds a little of Tolkien.

    The Lionheart brothers is a fantastic story about death, sorrow, the power of friendship and love. My daughter read it at age nine.

    Check this out:,_My_Son