Today, it is my honor and privilege to let you in on a little know secret...Pippi Longstocking's author wasn't a one hit wonder. At least she shouldn't have been. Astrid Lindgren was actually a quite prolific author in Sweden, and her works and are quite popular, although not all of them were translated into English, and none ever equaled Pippi's fame here in the States. Here's some more about the author you might not know:
Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and dozens of other world-famous characters, has thrilled three generations of children with her storytelling. She is the only children’s author with a literary prize, a theme park, a museum, a satellite, and a minor planet named in her honor. (After this last honor, she suggested changing her name to “Asteroid Lindgren.”) A jury appointed by Swedish Radio’s Culture Department to elect the “Author of the Millennium” voted Astrid Lindgren second after William Shakespeare. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and heaps of other awards and honors.Pretty impressive, yes? I had no idea. And this picture of her just captives me. I wish I could have met her
So back to Rasmus and the Vagabond. What a treasure! Really, if I could end my review there, I would, because that pretty much sums it up. How have I never heard of it before? Honestly, I don't think I ever read Pippi Longstocking, but you can bet that now I will. Here's a bit more about Rasmus before I gush on too much:
After running away from an orphanage, nine-year-old Rasmus finds the world a cold and unfriendly place until he befriends an extraordinary tramp called Paradise Oscar. Together they meet more adventure than they ever imagined, solve a mystery, and catch the culprits. Reassume dreams of finding a family and a home someday. But when he does, will he be able to part with his new friend and life on the road?
Rasmus is such a great character, and the book is just so well written. Written in 1956, the language is rich and the settings reflective of simpler times and more complex cares and concerns. Rasmus longs for a family of his own but he runs away from the only home he has in order to find it. In the end, he finds both family and home in a most unexpected way.
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