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A CALF FOR CHRISTMAS by Astrid Lindgren


by Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Marit Törnqvist, translated by Polly Lawson

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-86315-785-1
Publisher: Floris

The creator of the Pippi Longstocking series penned this holiday story first published in Sweden in 1951. The story is set on a Swedish farm just before Christmas. Young Johan and his parents are heartbroken because their only cow, Emma, has died. When their neighbor loses a newly purchased calf from his wagon after a night of drinking with his friends, Johan finds the calf in the ditch, and the kind neighbor lets Johan keep the calf. Although on the long side, the tale is humorously and believably told in a touching and not-too-sentimental fashion. Meticulous watercolor illustrations bring the 19th-century Swedish farm community to life, with scenes of farmhouses, barns and the nearby town. Törnqvist uses lots of white space in her paintings, highlighting the snowy ambiance and reflected light. She also includes interesting tiny details, such as cats (and mice) in the barn and patches on all the farmer’s pants. The volume’s wide design adds perspective to expanded views of farm fields and town streets. (Picture book. 5-8)