When I was a young girl, my second home was an old stone farmhouse. It was set deep in a valley, right in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors.
This farmhouse was the home of one of my best friends, and where I developed my love for the work of the late Swedish author and illustrator Elsa Beskow.
My friend didn’t have a TV, but what she did have was much more valuable to my young and hungry imagination.
My friend had stacks and stacks of Beskow’s books. It didn’t take me long to develop an infatuation for her stories, all of which are set in the Swedish countryside.
I would spend hours with one book alone, pouring over the pages, and relishing the sumptuous imagery and tender tales of forest folk, animals and elemental beings.
My family came into possession of several Beskow books over the years, though they were expensive at the time, (this was before the internet) and we were not well off, so each one was truly treasured and kept in immaculate condition.
The other day, I visited the library in Borås for the first time, and was eager to check out their collection of Beskow books.
It was a wonderful thing to see the books in their native Swedish, (all the Beskow books of my childhood had been translated into English) and I had to pick one up to bring back home and fully enjoy.
Tripp Trapp Trull contains a handfull of Beskow’s tales, including Solägget (or The Sun Egg), songs and verses, along with page after page of gorgeous illustrations.
The Swedish language is truly beautiful, and thumbing my way through Tripp Trapp Trull is providing more than enough encouragement to get it mastered.