Scandinavian children's literature - the best bedtime reading
Scandinavian literature is very often associated with the Nordic Noir trend - dark, mysterious stories for adults. Meanwhile, the Scandinavians, and especially the Swedes, are also experts in creating incredible children books. What is the phenomenon of Scandinavian children's literature and why is it worth to familiarize our little ones with it?
Scandinavian children's books tell the story of real life in a simple way to small readers. Exaggerated metaphors and advanced vocabulary – there is nothing like this. Things are being called straightforward. This ensures that toddlers really understand it and learn a lesson from the evening fairy tale, and for us, parents, it provides comfort of easy explanation of things too complicated for the little head.
Astrid Lindgren „The Children of Noisy Village”
In Scandinavian fairy tales, the world usually looks exactly as every baby sees it every day. These books describe the real problems of both children and adults, who sometimes go through a hard time. At the same time, toddlers get advice how to solve the problems and prepare them for various life scenarios.
Pija Lindenbaum „Doris drar“
Despite the fact that Scandinavian literature shows real life, it does not limit children's imagination - it touches the subject of dreams and teaches not to be ashamed of one's thoughts and desires, but also fears. It teaches children that it is important to deal with things around us, as well as to deal with things that are hidden in our heads.
Pija Lindenbaum ”When Owen's Mom Breathed Fire”
Why has my friend got beautiful long hair and I have short and curly hair? How does my body looks like compared to other children? Why do some children live with their mom and dad and others only with one parent? Why do I have a different skin colour than my friend? The Scandinavian mentality does not judge and teach self-acceptance. Scandinavian fairy tales show how different people are and how different life situations can happen. They explain that all these situations are completely normal.
ACQUAITANCE WITH DIVERSITY
The world is huge, but nobody can show their child all its colors. We cannot predict who our children will meet on their way, so it's good to prepare them for the diversity that life is full of. In Scandinavian literature people look different, have different points of view and must deal with various and unusual situations. They live in different places with different people. Parents sometimes get divorced and sometimes become single parents. In Scandinavia, there is no bad family - they are simply different.
I'm sure you know Pippi. It's a story about a girl living without parents, strong enough to pick up a horse without any problems, able to deal with two thieves at once, and also so self-confident. There is no clear division of social roles according to gender in Scandinavian homes - both mom and dad (or two moms or two dads) take care of children, wash, clean and make a career. Sweden is a country of feminism, so you will find Swedish book heroines as the examples of great strength and inspiration for every little girl.
Astrid Lindgren „Pippi Longstocking”
SATISFACTION OF CURIOSITY
What happens when someone dies? Where do children come from? What are the differences between boys and girls? Why do we poop? There are no taboos in Scandinavia. Children's curiosity is a natural thing and should be satisfied: materially, but accessibly, calling things by their name. Scandinavian literature for children tells about the most complicated issues for children with a great deal of empathy and understanding.
Pernilla Stalfelt „The poop book”, „The death book”
CHILDREN TREATED SERIOUSLY
But most importantly, Scandinavian authors care about children and take them seriously - they don't give young readers a steak of incomprehensible nonsense, don't use advanced metaphors, don't moralize them. Scandinavian books respect the inner and outer life of young people and provide entertainment in a thoughtful, balanced way.
Amanda Eriksson „The pink life”
When you read Scandinavian children's literature, you don't get the impression that these fairy tales were written for adults, as it was often the case with fairy tales that we remember from our childhood. For Scandinavians, children are simply small people who must be respected, and their proper development is a guarantee of a good future and the highest value for all of us.
And we totally recommend such an attitude!