An Illustrated Collection of Nordic Animal Tales — Review

Thought for the Day:

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.
~ Bob Dylan ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Minor characters are awfully important to our stories. How dull they would be with only one character — well, unless you’re Gary Paulsen. HERE on Writers in the Storm is a great article by Ellen Buikema that will help you with Writing Minor Characters that Matter.

Inner conflict should be found all over your stories, and that is pretty easy to show with the point-of-view character, but how do you get there with non-point-of-view characters? HERE Kathryn Craft has a good article on Writer Unboxed on Exposing Inner Conflict in Non-POV Characters.

K. M. Weiland always has helpful information. HERE she has 7 Tips for How to Add Complexity to Your Story.

I never should have written that we were finally getting some good rain. As soon as I did, all rain disappeared from the forecast, and there is none in sight. Sigh. I really should know better. That said, the clear weather has made it easier for getting around and finishing shopping and for my daily walks. My daughter Maggie is flying in from New York on Christmas Eve, just in time for my other daughter, Sara, to celebrate her birthday. We will have a nice family dinner and then watch It’s a Wonderful Life, Sara’s favorite movie. It’s lousy to have to share your birthday with Christmas, so whatever she wants, she pretty much gets. With holidays and visiting family, I’m planning on taking two or three weeks off from blogging, so I won’t be posting until sometime in the new year. I’ll take this moment to wish all of you Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year.

I saved this book for this time of year. It is a great gift book — one of the most beautiful I have had in my hands this year. Just look at that cover! And it is such a sweet book. An Illustrated Collection of Nordic Animal Tales is written and illustrated by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin and translated by Jill Timbers. This is a great book to cuddle with little ones and read aloud or hand to a middle-grader who loves fairy tales and animal tales. But to me, it is really a wintery book. Here is the review I wrote for the Portland Book Review.

The forests of Finland are full of wonderful, wild animals that interact with each other and with the people and domesticated animals who live on the farms butting up against the wooded areas. Bear, Fox, Wolf, Hare, and other woodland creatures populate the area and are the actors in these folktales. Bear is powerful, Fox is sly and cunning, Wolf seems to be easily taken in, and Hare is quite clever. Their strong personalities make for interesting interactions and fun stories. Children love animal stories, and this wonderful collection, based on Scandinavian folktales, will delight youngsters with lots of silly situations as some of the creatures try to outwit and trick the others.

Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin

Author and illustrator Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin has chosen twenty-six of her favorite tales to retell here, some as short as a page but none longer than a few pages, perfect for a bedtime read. Many pages have beautiful, detailed illustrations, most full-page illustrations in color, and most spot illustrations in black and white. The thick binding, heavy paper, and ribbon marker will make this a welcome gift book.

Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

9 thoughts on “An Illustrated Collection of Nordic Animal Tales — Review”

  1. Many happy returns, Rosi! Thanks for the book recommendation, the articles and seasons greetings laugh! You’re right to spoil your daughter! I watch It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas myself! 🙂 Look forward to hearing from you again some time in the New Year!


  2. This looks gorgeous! Will bookmark for my granddaughter! I love Scandinavian stories — reviewed The Christmas Wish series a few years ago that were beautifully photographed in Norway. Great share today!


  3. This does sound like a wonderful book. And I am so happy to hear that you will all be together to celebrate Sara’s Birthday and Christmas.


  4. Kids really do love animal stories and this one is unique and a great one to share. I’ll keep it in mind for a future gift to one of my nieces or nephews. The links are very enticing this week but will have to wait when I have more time to take a look next week. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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