Books by Astrid Lingren

Released: April 5, 2002

This small story, written in 1949, illustrated in the '70s, and recently translated into English, is a sweet, though strange, one about imaginary friends and homely reality. A little girl named Barbara talks about her imaginary twin sister, Lalla-Lee, who is queen in the Golden Hall beneath the rose bush in the garden. Lalla-Lee is hers alone, for her father likes her mother best, and her mother dotes on her little brother. The girls play with their black poodles, Ruff and Duff, and their little white rabbits, ride upon their horses Goldfoot and Silverfoot, escape from the Frights in the Great Horrible Forest, and eat caramels and cookies from the Kind Ones in the meadow. Lalla-Lee tells Barbara that when the rose bush dies, so will she. When Barbara reluctantly returns home from under the rose bush, she finds that her parents have gotten her a poodle just like Ruff, and with that addition to her life, the rose has withered and the hole to the Golden Hall has disappeared. The illustrations are fanciful and a wee bit pyschedelic, etched in the acid colors of their time, full of flowers (some with faces), anthropomorphized birds and beasts, and lots of vernal squiggles. An odd take on childhood needs from the recently deceased Lindgren, whose Pippi said it so much better. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >