THE RED BIRD by Astrid Lindgren

THE RED BIRD

by , illustrated by , translated by
Age Range: 8 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this first English language edition of Lindgren’s 1959 tale, two orphaned children escape their sad world of forced labor and grinding poverty by following a red bird to a hidden doorway, beyond which lies Sunnymead, a warm, bright land where children play and a Mother provides lavish amounts of food and love. In Törnqvist’s new illustrations the orphans, Matthew and Anna, are small figures, hunched and grey in their drably wintry rural setting, but standing straighter, and clad in red, once they enter Sunnymead’s lambent, grassy woodland. Crampton’s translation conveys a lyrical tone—“All the loveliness of spring burst over them in one exultant instant: A thousand little birds sang, rejoicing in the trees;”—in keeping with the author’s metaphoric contrast between the landscape of idealized childhood and its grim, colorless, “real” counterpart. In the end, knowing that their act cannot be undone, Matthew and Anna close the door on that ugly world forever—a choice that will seem reasonable to younger readers, and will also resonate with fans of Oscar Wilde’s sentimental, symbolic fairy tales. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-62796-6
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2005




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