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Our friend Taylor guest blogs for us once again!

mioI love exploring new children’s literature, but I’ll admit I have a soft spot for classic lit as well.  In particular, I am a huge fan of Astrid Lindgren (author of the world-famous Pippi Longstocking series).

In Mio, My Son, Lindgren writes the tale of Mio, an orphaned boy living in foster care in Stockholm.  He has one friend and longs to know his father.  Eventually, through a series of supernatural events, he is whisked away to Farawayland, where his father is king.  There, he experiences unconditional love for the first time in his life.  However, like all fairy tales, there is adversity; Mio discovers that he is destined to fight the cruel Sir Kato in the Outer Kingdom.

What I love about this book is not its sophistication; it is a pretty simple and standard fairy tale.  What stands out about this book is the relationship between Mio and his father the king.  As I wrote about in my review of Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter, Lindgren does a superb job of creating excellent unromantic relationships in which unconditional love is the central feature.  Even when Mio is in the hateful Outer Kingdom and doubts his father’s love, he hears a whisper of his father’s voice and gains the strength to continue his quest.

So, regardless of how you feel about fairy tales and genies, this book is worth giving a try if only to take in Lindgren’s excellent writing about the kind of relationships we all long for.

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We are pleased to welcome our friend Taylor as our first ever guest contributor. Taylor is a teacher in Cambridge, MA who loves children’s literature. 

ronia

Are you looking for a work of splendid writing about a simple friendship?  If so, then look no further than Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter.

As a child, I devoured Astrid Lindgren’s most popular works, her Pippi Longstocking series.  I loved reading about the carefree, nonsensical Pippi and the adventures she created for her and her friends.  However, while Pippi appealed to me, I always passed by Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter, thinking it would be a slow-paced, impossible-to-believe fantasy (I am not an avid fantasy reader) that would put me to sleep.

I was in for a delightful shock.

Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter follows the story of two rival robber gangs—Matt’s gang and Borka’s gang.  Ronia is the daughter of Matt, while Birk is the son of Borka.  While their fathers’ robber bands work tirelessly to prove they are the reigning band in the forest, Birk and Ronia sneak out to develop a new and satisfying friendship.  When their parents find out about their friendship, Ronia and Birk must decide what is more important to them—their families’ love or their love for each other. (more…)

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