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Children of the Forest

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The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. They collect wild mushrooms and blueberries and shelter under toadstools when it rains. They play with the squirrels and frogs, and when fall comes, they collect and prepare food to see them through the long winter, until the warm spring breeze starts to blow. A mini gift edition of Elsa Beskow's classic The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. They collect wild mushrooms and blueberries and shelter under toadstools when it rains. They play with the squirrels and frogs, and when fall comes, they collect and prepare food to see them through the long winter, until the warm spring breeze starts to blow. A mini gift edition of Elsa Beskow's classic story.


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The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. They collect wild mushrooms and blueberries and shelter under toadstools when it rains. They play with the squirrels and frogs, and when fall comes, they collect and prepare food to see them through the long winter, until the warm spring breeze starts to blow. A mini gift edition of Elsa Beskow's classic The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. They collect wild mushrooms and blueberries and shelter under toadstools when it rains. They play with the squirrels and frogs, and when fall comes, they collect and prepare food to see them through the long winter, until the warm spring breeze starts to blow. A mini gift edition of Elsa Beskow's classic story.

30 review for Children of the Forest

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Although I do at least somewhat wish that this English language version of Elsa Beskow's 1910 classic Tomtetobarnen had adhered to the poetry, the lyricism of the original (I have a copy of it, but as my Swedish is extremely rudimentary and self taught, I do not understand all that much of it), I also can and do very much respect and understand the reasons why translator, or perhaps more to the point adapter, Alison Sage has decided to turn poetry into prose (it is often very difficult and somet Although I do at least somewhat wish that this English language version of Elsa Beskow's 1910 classic Tomtetobarnen had adhered to the poetry, the lyricism of the original (I have a copy of it, but as my Swedish is extremely rudimentary and self taught, I do not understand all that much of it), I also can and do very much respect and understand the reasons why translator, or perhaps more to the point adapter, Alison Sage has decided to turn poetry into prose (it is often very difficult and sometimes even nigh impossible to successfully translate poetry, to keep as close as possible to the lyricism and spirit of the original without resulting textual awkwardness, and I have recently read some rather problematic poetry to poetry translations that have made me increasingly appreciative of good, solid, verbally flowing prose adaptations). The basic plotline of Children of the Forest is simple enough, but sweet and engaging, showing the four frolicking gnome children's escapades and adventures throughout the seasons, from cavorting with bats and frogs to picking berries and supplies for the winter (not sure if I agree all that much with the rather gratuitous killing of the snake, especially considering that the type of viper depicted is now increasingly rare in Western and Northern Europe and is generally not considered dangerous, but attitudes have changed since 1910, and at the turn of the 19th century, snakes were often still mostly negatively depicted and approached in both culture and lore). That being said (and also being vaguely familiar with the German language adaptation of Tomtetobarnen, Die Wichtelkinder), I really do not understand Alison Sage's need to expand the narrative to include personal names (Tom, Harriet, Sam, and Daisy for the four children, Buffo for the frog, Renata for the bat, even the viper has a personal name). Part of the charm and magic of the original (and the German translation I have recently skimmed) is the anonymity of the four gnome like children and their environs (and naming them kind of destroys this a bit, kind of lessens the magic somewhat). The detailed and lush illustrations (in the Swedish original, both text and illustrations are by Elsa Breskov) are magical and ethereal, providing not only a sweet and descriptive accompaniment to the narrative, to the text, but also more often than not, expanding on the same. The four children are simply darling and in many ways cuteness personified (although I do have to admit that at first, the red and while fly agaric like caps the four children don, reminded me somewhat of the kind of gaudy bathing caps my grandmothers used to wear). A bright, caressing and yes sweetly loving little gem, Children of the Forest is highly recommended, my issues regarding certain aspects of the narrative quite majorly notwithstanding!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    At Foyles' foreign language department the other day, I optimistically picked up two children's books in languages I don't know well, operating on the principle that, if I chose something I already knew by heart in another language, I'd be able to figure it out. It worked fine for Struwwelpeter in German, but this was, alas, a complete failure. My Russian appears to be even worse than I'd thought, and I could hardly understand a word. Damn. There are really only two things I can tell you about th At Foyles' foreign language department the other day, I optimistically picked up two children's books in languages I don't know well, operating on the principle that, if I chose something I already knew by heart in another language, I'd be able to figure it out. It worked fine for Struwwelpeter in German, but this was, alas, a complete failure. My Russian appears to be even worse than I'd thought, and I could hardly understand a word. Damn. There are really only two things I can tell you about the Russian version of this much-loved Swedish classic. First, the translation seems to be very free; if it were a bit more literal, I'm pretty sure I'd be doing better, and the few lines I can understand are far from the Swedish originals. More interestingly, there is a complete change of metre! In Swedish, it's DAH DAH-dah DAH-dah DAH-dah ("DJUPT UNder TALLens RÖTTer") In Russian, as far as I can make out, it's dah-dah-DAH dah dah-DAH-dah dah-DAH-dah dah-DAH ("gluboKO pod kriVImi kornYAmi sosNI") This feels very weird! I'm trying to imagine how it can have the same emotional resonances for Russian kids: instead of a cheerful little nursery rhyme, it sounds to me like a tearful lament. But most likely this is just further evidence of my complete ignorance concerning Russian literature. _________________________________ Our dinner guest last night, a translator at the UN, is fluent in Russian. She looked at this book and read us a few verses. It sounded much pleasanter than I had expected, but I was also comforted to find that it contained several words she didn't know. Evidently, Russian children's books are trickier than one would think!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Every small Swedish child is read this classic picture book in verse, about the family of little tomtar (roughly, pixies or leprechauns) who live under the old pine tree. It's so sexist that a line from one of the early verses is often quoted by Swedish people as shorthand for gender stereotyping: Och far är stark och modig, och mor är blid och rar - "Father is strong and brave, and mother is sweet and kind". You shudder. And yet the book is utterly charming, and Swedish kids grow up to be the Every small Swedish child is read this classic picture book in verse, about the family of little tomtar (roughly, pixies or leprechauns) who live under the old pine tree. It's so sexist that a line from one of the early verses is often quoted by Swedish people as shorthand for gender stereotyping: Och far är stark och modig, och mor är blid och rar - "Father is strong and brave, and mother is sweet and kind". You shudder. And yet the book is utterly charming, and Swedish kids grow up to be the least sexist people in the world. I wish I could explain the paradox. The issue of non-PC language in children's books isn't as simple as is sometimes claimed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chantal

    Not only has this book beautiful artwork, it also has a cohesive story. The kids are charming and everything it thought of by the writer of this book. Loved it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    4.5 stars. 5 stars for the artwork; 4 stars for the story. I absolutely loved the charming Scandinavian style of the artwork and the beautiful forest settings; adorable but also nature-based and realistic--for although I have never seen a small forest family playing games with squirrels or attending a school taught by an owl, Beskow manages to make it seem real. They are cute without being made "cutes-y"--not really sure how to describe it. The story is nice, too, spanning an entire year for the 4.5 stars. 5 stars for the artwork; 4 stars for the story. I absolutely loved the charming Scandinavian style of the artwork and the beautiful forest settings; adorable but also nature-based and realistic--for although I have never seen a small forest family playing games with squirrels or attending a school taught by an owl, Beskow manages to make it seem real. They are cute without being made "cutes-y"--not really sure how to describe it. The story is nice, too, spanning an entire year for the wee forest family. Definitely worth checking out if only for the artwork!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Children of the Forest, translated by Alison Sage. This delightful little picture-book fantasy from Elsa Beskow - first published in Sweden in 1910, as Tomtebobarnen ("Tomte Children") - is a celebration of the natural world, and of the seasons of the year, as seen by a family of tiny woodland brownies. Mother, Father, and four children - Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy - all live together in a snug little house "under the curling roots of an old pine tree." The four siblings have many adventures in Children of the Forest, translated by Alison Sage. This delightful little picture-book fantasy from Elsa Beskow - first published in Sweden in 1910, as Tomtebobarnen ("Tomte Children") - is a celebration of the natural world, and of the seasons of the year, as seen by a family of tiny woodland brownies. Mother, Father, and four children - Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy - all live together in a snug little house "under the curling roots of an old pine tree." The four siblings have many adventures in their forest home, playing with their animal friends, attending the school taught by Mrs. Owl, and working together with their parents, to gather the food they need for the long winter. Over the course of one year, these "children of the forest" learn a few lessons - like never harming any creature, unless it poses a danger - and have lots of fun. With an engaging narrative that blends fantastic and realistic elements - the tomtar may be creatures of myth (or are they?), but the other flora and fauna depicted here are true to life - and charming illustrations, Children of the Forest is the ideal selection for the child who looks for brownies or fairies in the world around them, or who enjoys walking in (and dreaming of) the woods. It is my third book by Elsa Beskow, one of Sweden's most beloved picture-books artists, but it will surely not be my last! Highly recommended to all young fairy-tale lovers, and to anyone who appreciates Beskow's artwork.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Elf Children of the Woods, translated by Zita Beskow. "Deep under the roots of a pine tree, in the quiet of the woods, there lives a tiny elf with his wife and children. Four chubby wee children there are, and all are dressed in huge red caps with white polka dots." So begins this classic woodland fairy-tale from renowned Swedish children's author and illustrator Elsa Beskow, for whom Sweden's Elsa Beskow Plaque, given to the best-illustrated children's books, is named. What follows is a gentle b Elf Children of the Woods, translated by Zita Beskow. "Deep under the roots of a pine tree, in the quiet of the woods, there lives a tiny elf with his wife and children. Four chubby wee children there are, and all are dressed in huge red caps with white polka dots." So begins this classic woodland fairy-tale from renowned Swedish children's author and illustrator Elsa Beskow, for whom Sweden's Elsa Beskow Plaque, given to the best-illustrated children's books, is named. What follows is a gentle but enchanting story, in which the four "elf children of the woods" work and play throughout the seasons of the year. Friends with the squirrels, the frogs and the bats, they enjoy games in their own pine tree and at the nearby woodland pool. There are dangers in the forest as well, from the deadly snake their father kills to the ogre whose lair they frequently creep past. They must work to gather mushrooms and berries for their winter food store, and cottongrass to be made into sweaters and blankets. Games with the ethereal fairies, school with Mrs. Owl - these round out their days until winter comes, and they enjoy the beauty of the snowy world. When spring finally arrives again, it brings a rebirth of the woodland world, and an addition to the elf family... Originally published in 1910 as Tomtebobarnen, this Swedish classic is one I first encountered through the Floris Books edition, Children of the Forest , which contains the Alison Sage translation, originally from 1982. I was therefore quite interested to see what I would think of this 1932 edition, published in New York by Harper & Brothers, and containing a translation done by Zita Beskow. Given the name of the translator, I thought at first it must be a daughter, but as Beskow only had sons (six of them!), perhaps Zita was a daughter-in-law or niece. I find it unlikely that she was no connection at all. Leaving that aside, I found this edition delightful. The story is engaging, with lots of fascinating little details about the elf family's life, and the artwork is (of course!) lovely. When I did a page-by-page comparison with Children of the Forest , I found some fascinating things. Wereas in the Sage translation the children are named at the beginning of the tale - Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy - they are not in the Beskow translation, and only two of them - Tommy and Katie - are named later during the course of the story. While in this edition the family are described as elves, in the Sage they are simply called "forest people," and the term 'elf' is not used. These differences are interesting, and in the case of the elf vs. forest people contrast, no doubt indicate the fact that there is no direct English equivalent for the Swedish word (and category of being) 'tomte.' That said, these minor differences don't really effect the story and its overarching tone that significantly, unlike some more significant distinctions later on in the narrative. The 1932 Zita Beskow translation has a number of descriptions and phrases that feel a little old-fashioned, maybe even outdated, making me wonder whether Alison Sage changed or omitted these elements, to make the tale more palatable to contemporary readers. It's tempting to think the Beskow translation, because it is older, and because it is done by a Beskow, is closer to the original, and a more accurate representation of it than the Sage. As someone with little to no Swedish however, it's impossible for me to say that this is the case with any certainty. Some of the more significant differences include tha fact that the father goes off to actively hunt the snake in the Beskow, but only fights him when he first attacks the children, in the Sage. In the Beskow the children gleefully carry the dead snake to Mr. Hedgehog, whereas in the Sage they are thinking of burying him, when Mr. Hedgehog comes along. More significantly, in the Beskow the boy elves know that one day they will have to hunt the snake, and they practice on the ants, whereas in the Sage they simply poke the ants' nest, with no commentary offered as to why they might have been doing so. When their mother comforts them afterward, in the Beskow she simply binds up their wounds, whereas in the Sage she admonishes them, telling them to "never hurt the creatures of the forest, unless they mean you harm" Where has Sage come by this admonishment? Is it in the original text, or did she add it, in order to add a salutary message to a potentially disturbing incident? If her intention is to depict the elf family as being more at peace with the woodland world, why then, in the next episode involving the ogre, does the Beskow describe the creature as "a kind old thing" that doesn't mean any real harm, when she (Sage) describes him as laughing, because he doesn't have many chances to "give someone a fright"? These and other differences - notably, in the episode involving gathering mushrooms, the father spanks his children for picking the wrong ones in Beskow, but only gives them a talking to in Sage - make for interesting comparisons, if one has access to both versions. In the end I find both translations appealing, and am curious to see how I will react to the other two English versions with which I am familiar, The Little Elves of Elf Nook , translated by Sonja Bergvall, and Children of the Forest , adapted by William Jay Smith.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    This book is precious, but not in a gooey way. The illustrations are lovely and amazing. The animals and nature theme are very appealing, as are the children of the forest and their family. I guess kids can have fun speculating about a few things after they’ve reached the last page of the book. The story is told in an interesting manner. On the left side pages there are black and white drawings and the story text, and on the right side pages are glorious full color illustrations. My favorite illu This book is precious, but not in a gooey way. The illustrations are lovely and amazing. The animals and nature theme are very appealing, as are the children of the forest and their family. I guess kids can have fun speculating about a few things after they’ve reached the last page of the book. The story is told in an interesting manner. On the left side pages there are black and white drawings and the story text, and on the right side pages are glorious full color illustrations. My favorite illustrations were the color one of the school class with the forest children with all the animals and the black and white one of the forest children feeding the animals during the winter season. The overall effect is utterly charming, although I do think I’d have been more captivated when I was a small child.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Bratrud

    Lovely, realistic illustrations. A world full of tiny details, like pine cone armor and creamy white sweaters of spun cotton grass, makes the children of the forest real and delightful, yet not precious. I never read this as a child but I know I would have loved it, because what child doesn’t imagine little people or fairies in the woods? This is exactly the kind of story I’m looking for to encourage Mary’s imagination as she grows and learns about the seasons and the woods. I particularly love Lovely, realistic illustrations. A world full of tiny details, like pine cone armor and creamy white sweaters of spun cotton grass, makes the children of the forest real and delightful, yet not precious. I never read this as a child but I know I would have loved it, because what child doesn’t imagine little people or fairies in the woods? This is exactly the kind of story I’m looking for to encourage Mary’s imagination as she grows and learns about the seasons and the woods. I particularly love that the children’s work and play and learning are centered on the home. Without saying so, it’s clear that children are as vital to nourishing the home and the members of its place as mom and dad are. A bonus: Moses read this as a young kid and lit up at the mention of it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Our whole family loves this book. The pictures are gorgeous, the text is playful, and the intimacy with the natural world that it espouses is definitely appreciated. Elsa Beskow also follows my "Rule Number One" of reading to my four-year-old son: never ever ever mention something interesting in the text that you do not intend to include in the illustration. (It's so frustrating to have him interrupt constantly: "But where's the [fill in the blank]?!") Every animal, object, person, or event she Our whole family loves this book. The pictures are gorgeous, the text is playful, and the intimacy with the natural world that it espouses is definitely appreciated. Elsa Beskow also follows my "Rule Number One" of reading to my four-year-old son: never ever ever mention something interesting in the text that you do not intend to include in the illustration. (It's so frustrating to have him interrupt constantly: "But where's the [fill in the blank]?!") Every animal, object, person, or event she writes about is represented beautifully in the pictures. Hurray!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Polly Batchelor

    47/1001 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up "You must never pick a mushroom unless you know it is good to eat." 47/1001 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up "You must never pick a mushroom unless you know it is good to eat."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    The Little Elves of Elf Nook, translated by Sonja Bergvall. The eponymous little elves enjoy the beauty of all four seasons in their woodland world in this classic Swedish picture-book, first published in 1910 as Tomtebobarnen. Playing with their forest friends, attending Mrs. Owl's school, helping their father and mother gather winter stores, the little elf children are out and about in the world, working and playing. When the wheel of the year brings them back to spring, they find that their fa The Little Elves of Elf Nook, translated by Sonja Bergvall. The eponymous little elves enjoy the beauty of all four seasons in their woodland world in this classic Swedish picture-book, first published in 1910 as Tomtebobarnen. Playing with their forest friends, attending Mrs. Owl's school, helping their father and mother gather winter stores, the little elf children are out and about in the world, working and playing. When the wheel of the year brings them back to spring, they find that their family has increased, and that there is an additional little elf in their number... There are at least four different English versions of this story, that I am aware of, beginning with the 1932 Zita Beskow translations done for Harper & Brothers, Elf Children of the Woods . Then there is this, The Little Elves of Elf Nook, translated by Sonja Bergvall and first published in Stockholm in 1966. The adaptation done by American poet William Jay Smith, published as Children of the Forest in 1969, was published next, followed by Alison Sage's 1982 translation, also published as Children of the Forest . Of the three versions that I have read - this, the Zita Beskow and the Alison Sage - the Bergvall translation contained here is the first to present the story in poetry rather than prose. It may be that this reflects the format of the original, but as I do not read Swedish and have never picked up a Swedish edition, I am unable to say for sure. What is certain is that this version simply doesn't read well, with an awkward and clunky structure, and a rhyme scheme that feels forced. Consider this verse from the scene in which the elf children play with their fairy friends: "The elves are plump and chubby, the fairies light as air / They tried to play at see-saw, but oh! it wouldn't do. / The fairies were too light to succeed, though they were eight / In balancing the children who were not more than two!" Unfortunately, the entire text is just as stilted as this, greatly detracting from my reading enjoyment. The artwork is the same as in other editions, so I couldn't really dislike the book, given my delight in Beskow's illustrations, but this is definitely not a version I would recommend. That said, I did find it interesting that the copy I read, which came to me through inter-library loan, was given by William Jay Smith to the library at Hollins University. Smith is, of course, the poet who worked on the 1969 Children of the Forest , the only English-language version of Beskow's classic (that I know about, anyway) that I have yet to read. Perhaps Smith used this version, when working upon his own? Whatever the case may be, this unexpected coincidence has left me all the more interested in picking up Smith's version...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Children of the Forest, translated by Michael Jay Smith. The children of the forest work and play their way through the four seasons of the year in this translation of a classic Swedish picture-book. Whether they are see-sawing with fairies or catching a ride with bats, helping to gather mushrooms and berries or listening to their father's stories, the rhythms of the natural world drive all that they do. When a year passes and spring comes again, they find that there is a baby sibling who has enl Children of the Forest, translated by Michael Jay Smith. The children of the forest work and play their way through the four seasons of the year in this translation of a classic Swedish picture-book. Whether they are see-sawing with fairies or catching a ride with bats, helping to gather mushrooms and berries or listening to their father's stories, the rhythms of the natural world drive all that they do. When a year passes and spring comes again, they find that there is a baby sibling who has enlarged their family circle... The fourth English translation I have read of Beskow's Tomtebobarnen, originally published in Sweden in 1910, Children of the Forest (not to be confused with the Alison Sage translation of the same name) is the second, after Sonja Bergvall's 1966 The Little Elves of Elf Nook , to be presented in verse. I speculated in my review of the Bergvall that this might reflect the original form of the book, and that idea seems borne out here by the statement on the cover (and title page): "Verse and Pictures by Elsa Beskow." Whatever the case may be, I found the text here to be superior to the Bergvall version, which I thought quite awkward and stilted. The text here still leaves something to be desired, but it is an improvement. I did wonder a bit at Smith's choice, in the scene involving the children playing in the snow, to describe them as "Peter, Tim and Tommy," when one of them is clearly a girl, but leaving that aside, I didn't find much to remark upon in the text. The artwork is beautiful, as always, but I thought the reproductions here were a little drab, compared to the other three versions I have perused. Having now read all four of the English versions of this original Swedish woodland fairy-tale that are known to me, I can say that overall I preferred the prose versions, done by Zita Beskow and Alison Sage, to the poetic ones done by Sonja Bergvall and William Jay Smith. Of the two prose versions, it is the Sage that is widely available, so I would recommend that version, unless one is intent on comparing translations, as I was.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Luisa Knight

    Positively darling! I can’t believe I just found out about Elsa Beskow - so glad I did! Originally published in 1910 in Sweden, this is an old children’s classic that I’m happy is still in print, or at least easy enough to find. The text is rich with description (thank you, good translator) and the illustrations are so dreamy. It’s hard not to gape for long spells; only the call of the next page keeps you going. Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy or people of the woods, and with their parent’s guidance, Positively darling! I can’t believe I just found out about Elsa Beskow - so glad I did! Originally published in 1910 in Sweden, this is an old children’s classic that I’m happy is still in print, or at least easy enough to find. The text is rich with description (thank you, good translator) and the illustrations are so dreamy. It’s hard not to gape for long spells; only the call of the next page keeps you going. Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy or people of the woods, and with their parent’s guidance, do all kinds of harvesting, chores and delightful play throughout each of the seasons. Ages: 4 - 10 Note: it is a little longer than most picture books. Cleanliness: there is a picture/short scene with a troll (image is slightly scary). Short scene with some fairies.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I fell in love with Elsa Beskow's art when I first saw it at an antique show. The colors, the subjects, the children at play in the forest ... everything was enchanting. The original printings of the postcards and books are much nicer than the reprints. Unfortunately, they're rather expensive for use with children. So we read the modern versions ... Usually, the children are given wise advise about living in a forest. For example: "Never hurt the creatures of the forest, unless they mean you harm. I fell in love with Elsa Beskow's art when I first saw it at an antique show. The colors, the subjects, the children at play in the forest ... everything was enchanting. The original printings of the postcards and books are much nicer than the reprints. Unfortunately, they're rather expensive for use with children. So we read the modern versions ... Usually, the children are given wise advise about living in a forest. For example: "Never hurt the creatures of the forest, unless they mean you harm." "You must never pick a mushroom unless you know it is good to eat." (And the red caps with white spots that the children and mother wear on their heads are Amanitas, a poisonous mushroom.) I wonder, ... Does the English translation capture the spirit of the original Swedish text?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    A very cute story. The drawings are very sweet and captivating, and the idea of little mushroom-hatted people living in the forest is absolutely charming. The only thing to note for sensitive readers, is that there is a dangerous snake that the father kills to defend his family. (that sounds much worse than it comes across though). If you have the time, this is a delightful little book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    A classic of children's literature in Sweden. This magical book is sweet and I think might instil a child with the importance of their natural world. Lovely! A classic of children's literature in Sweden. This magical book is sweet and I think might instil a child with the importance of their natural world. Lovely!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Markie

    An idyllic tale of a family of somewhat magical diminutive people living a quiet life in the forest. But for the ubiquitous gender stereotyping, Children of the Forest is a lovely tale of the seasonal cycles of the year that invites the reader to take a closer look at the world around them and notice how it continues afresh every spring.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    My youngest daughter really enjoys this book. We've read it three times this week at her request! My youngest daughter really enjoys this book. We've read it three times this week at her request!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ken Yuen

    A nice story with timeless art. Read the Japanese version so it was a good way to practice my vocabulary.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    4.5 stars --I've long had a soft spot for things in miniature. As a child, I liked to build little houses and such out of popsicle sticks and wood scraps furnish them with nutshells and other natural items. The itty-bitty characters in this book brought back memories of that, with their wonderfully creative world lived out on the forest floor. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book as a child, save for the one page when the father kills a snake, which I would have NOT liked. Aside from the snake 4.5 stars --I've long had a soft spot for things in miniature. As a child, I liked to build little houses and such out of popsicle sticks and wood scraps furnish them with nutshells and other natural items. The itty-bitty characters in this book brought back memories of that, with their wonderfully creative world lived out on the forest floor. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book as a child, save for the one page when the father kills a snake, which I would have NOT liked. Aside from the snake scene, this is a sweet and gentle book that teaches gentleness and compassion for the tiniest and most humble creatures. The pen-and watercolor illustrations are a joy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emkoshka

    This is an utterly gorgeous Scandinavian story of a little family that lives under the roots of an old pine tree and dresses in red mushroom caps. Each illustrated adventure has a gentle lesson to impart to young readers, whether it be not harming forest creatures unless they mean you harm, which forest mushrooms are safe to eat, and the importance of hard work at harvest to prepare for the long, cold winter. I wish I lived a simple life like this!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    Elsa Beskow is a genius in my opinion. Love her books - drawings, poems and all

  24. 5 out of 5

    Quinn Swartzendruber

    I’m not going to be in a habit to rate and review picture books because I’ve read so many, but I’d like to highlight my favorites. I love this one because of the personalities the author gives the flowers and weeds. It is the perfect book to read on the summer solstice. Reading this to my daughter has helped her to recognize many of the flowers in our neighborhood.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lora

    I can’t really explain what the magic formula is that makes this book irresistible to my kids, but it has captured them all. I have read it at least one time a day for the last week. Usually with all of them crowded around me. I guess it’s got just the right combination of nature, fantasy, drama, and everyday happenings. It is simple, but strangely enchanting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristal

    Watched a reading of this book on YouTube. Others have commented that this book in the original language rhymes and therefore something is lost in translation. With that being said, judging the version I listened to, it was an alright story. I am not a nature-y person so it wasn’t super engaging for me, but I’m perhaps the wrong audience.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eloisa Garcia

    It's an excellent nature book that catch the eyes of little ones, my son followed the story with attention and he wanted to hear and see it again and again. Beautiful illustrations in a vintage fashion It's an excellent nature book that catch the eyes of little ones, my son followed the story with attention and he wanted to hear and see it again and again. Beautiful illustrations in a vintage fashion

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ender

    A Swedish, fantasy children's tale front the early 20th century about the tiny peoples of the forest. A Swedish, fantasy children's tale front the early 20th century about the tiny peoples of the forest.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Middlestead

    Lovely illustrations with a slightly quirky, yet charming story. First published in Swedish in 1910!

  30. 4 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    Beautiful story that combines fantasy with a beautiful bit of reality. Who doesn't want to live in the forest? Great book for all ages. Beautiful story that combines fantasy with a beautiful bit of reality. Who doesn't want to live in the forest? Great book for all ages.

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