Years ago in Sweden, on an Easter morning, Goran the bull escaped from his barn and might still be at large if 7-year-old Karl hadn't come by and offered to scratch his head.
This charming story, published in Swedish as part of a collection in 1950 and later translated, illustrated and republished on its own in English (The Day Adam Got Mad, 1991), gets new life with Lawson's translation, which smoothes and slightly modernizes the English. From the beginning, readers are invited into the story with “Let's find out what happened.” This version offers a quiet lesson, when Karl explains: “I'm used to bulls...you just have to be nice to them.” Törnqvist’s meticulous watercolor illustrations again complement the story. They show an old-fashioned farm, the farming family, hands and neighbors, the central action and, at the end, the heroic “small Swedish bullfighter” high-stepping home “among the pale, pale green birch trees.” There are lovely touches of humor: a sock half off a boy at breakfast, a cat stealing a shoe, the farmer holding his torn pants and a chicken following young Karl with his basket of eggs. Front and back endpapers show different neighbors watching the raging bull.
From a beloved author, a tiny gem for reading aloud or reading alone. (Picture book. 4-7)