Swedish children's book author, Astrid Lindgren, is one of my alltime biggest heroines in life. I grew up with her books. She didn't write about princesses waiting for princes to kiss them, save them or marry them. She wrote about girls, who lived in the forest by themselves or in their own villa with a horse on the front porch; girls, who were strong in a physical sense, but also strong enough to challenge authorities; girls who stood by their friends through thick and thin. (I wrote about two of them; Pippi and Ronia in this post.)
As I grew up, the author behind these books started to interest me; and reading books about her and not by her was just as inspirational. I became as big a fan of her as I had been of her many fictional characters. She was a fierce supporter of children's right to be taken seriously, not talked down to, and to simply be children.
She didn't sugarcoat anything. The idyllic childhood stories about the children in Noisy Village were accompanied by the story about the Brothers Lionheart, a book which taught children about death, brotherly love, and courage.
Näs, Lindgren's chilhood home
Most summers I go to Astrid Lindgren's hometown, Vimmerby, Sweden, to visit her childhood home, Näs; visit her grave, and spend time in the park created in honour of her many characters, Astrid Lindgren's World, with my niece and nephew. I'm always transported back to my childhood and return home with the highest respect for the woman who created them. I highly recommend all her books - they are filled with wisdom, inspiration, and a wonderful sense of humour.
"What should a good children’s book be like? If you ask me, I can tell you after thinking long and hard: It must be good." - Astrid Lindgren.
More quotes from Lindgren here
Top image by Ulla Montan, the rest by me.