Why does Astrid Lindgren set Sweden apart from the rest of the world?
When thinking about the costs of moving to Scandinavia, one thing I really didn't think I'd miss are the kids books, nursery rhymes and baby songs from the UK. Yes, even the really annoying English babysongs like Wind the Bobbin Up (nobody under 80 knows wtf a bobbin is, so let's stop pretending).
We got a couple of English books out of the local library in Stockholm (which is gigantic compared to the libraries with 5 books nobody wants to read you find in London). But by-and-large, I've been keen to get more into the local Nordic 'child literature' as it's called here (to make it sound fancier).
Swedes take their kid books very seriously. At the centre of the world of Nordic kid literature is Astrid Lindgren and her Pippi Longstockings stories. Then follows the dozens of other characters and worlds that sprang from Lindgren’s pen, and then further culturally iconic authors that followed in her footsteps to make a unique brand of stories for Nordic kids.
So far, I’ve been warmed, shocked and confused by the stories that Nordics read their kids. What is acceptable and even expected in children’s books here in Sweden is very different from what we get in the English speaking world, and it might even play out into how they kids see the world.
Moving from London to Stockholm, this blog is about learning to become a Nordic Dad as I settle Little Bear into his new home
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