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MIRABELLE by Astrid Lindgren


by Astrid Lindgren & illustrated by Pija Lindenbaum & translated by Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: April 14th, 2003
ISBN: 91-29-65821-7
Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Mirabelle is a very special doll, and not just because she was grown from a seed. “Plant this seed in your garden, and if you water it properly every day, you’ll see something funny,” a kindly old man tells young Britta. Indeed, it’s not long before a small red cap is poking up out of the ground, followed by a plump little figure in a red dress. Better yet, she opens blue eyes, announces her name, and proceeds to become a spirited, sometimes wild playmate—except when Britta’s parents are around. The story was published over 50 years ago; Lindenbaum gives it new illustrations for its first US edition, dressing her characters in dowdy country clothing, but tucking in plenty of lively details, from Mirabelle’s telltale flyaway blonde tresses to a sometimes-beleaguered pet chicken. The translation has a fresh feeling too: “Now I’m coming to the weird part,” the young narrator confides, “I can’t explain how peculiar it was.” (Picture book. 6-8)