Friday, February 03, 2006

Svenska Frågor

If any Swedes or Swedophiles out there on the Internets happen to see this ... is there some Swedish folktale or popular story about a sad teddy bear?

Back in December, we discovered Lena Anderson's kids books when we found a copy of Tick-Tock (in Swedish: Tick-Tack) at the Belgian Christmas thing at Riversdale. It's a cute time-telling book with great illustrations, and Celeste really likes it. Between Tick-Tock and Helen Oxenbury's I Hear, Celeste really started paying attention to clocks ... particularly my watch, which she wanted to carry around/chew for a while.

After a little while, I started poking around and found that Rabén & Sjögren's English-language imprint, R&S Books, was bringing over several of Anderson's books (along with other Swedish children's books), including a few that feature the same characters as Tick-Tock. For Christmas, Celeste got a copy of Tea for Ten (in Swedish: Lilla Kotten får besök), and last month I found a copy of Hedgehog's Secret (in Swedish: Kottens hemlighet). The latter is particularly timely since it's about [SPOILER ALERT] a new baby keeping Hedgehog from being able to give her friends as much attention as she would like to/used to. Now, I just have to wait for Lilla Kotten sjunger to get translated ...

Back to the sad teddy bear — in both Tea for Ten and Hedgehog's Secret one of the characters who appears is a little teddy bear who's crying. Is there some Swedish fable about a sad bear? Or is this just a very underdeveloped character that Anderson has popping up in her books? Or maybe it refers to some other children’s work she's done, maybe her Stina or Kanin books?

I guess I need to go dig through all those books they don't let you buy at Ikea ...

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