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DAGFRID, VIKING GIRL by Agnès Mathieu-Daudé


Secret Viking Wishes

From the Dagfrid, Viking Girl series, volume 2

by Agnès Mathieu-Daudé ; translated by Nanette McGuinness ; illustrated by Olivier Tallec

Pub Date: April 4th, 2023
ISBN: 9781646908059
Publisher: Arctis Books

Viking girl Dagfrid struggles against gender roles.

Dagfrid’s sheltered older brother, Odalrik, is kept home while the other boys “burn and pillage villages.” Instead, he lounges on his boat and occasionally practices for his warrior future by running and yelling at livestock. Meanwhile, Dagfrid’s kept busy with endless chores. When her grandmother announces she has the honor of preparing a codfish feast for the chieftains (all the village’s men), she asks her parents why she must work while her brother relaxes and hears stories about the ridiculous vows to Thor her parents made before marrying. Odalrik, who’s bored beyond belief at not being allowed to do anything useful, tells Dagfrid about yet another set of silly parental vows—all concerning duties for male and female children. The siblings go behind their elders’ backs and join forces to cook the feast, giving Odalrik a break from boredom and a chance to learn something and lightening Dagfrid’s workload. Countering the silly, restrictive vows from before, the siblings vow to each other that they’ll allow any children they have to choose their own activities. Readers of this French import will enjoy Dagfrid’s modern, pragmatic mindset juxtaposed with the puerile, unquestioning adults—and that the kids tackle these conflicts themselves. In expressive, active spot illustrations, all characters are White.

Wily, undercutting narration translates drudgery into problem-solving.

(Historical fiction. 6-9)