Rating: (1-5, 5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Picture book,
What did you like about the book? This Swedish book was originally published in 1929. Author/Illustrator Elsa Beskow shares her old fashion charm, simple dialogue and her distinctive artwork with very unique shadow cutouts in the adventure tale and travels of Peter and Lotta. The value based advice of Uncle Blue to be kind to nasty people was lived out in the tale of the children visiting Washerwoman Wendy and their journey to return back home. The book’s simple message comes full circle, with the children being rewarded for their honesty and pure hearts. Author and Illustrator Elsa Beskow should be added to other early nature writers/artists for children, like Beatrice Potter, etc. in creating a simple story through the eyes of innocent children, pets and people.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The scary aspect of getting lost, being robbed and left naked is very harsh for young children, and reminds me of difficulty with Grimm’s fairy tales being too extreme unless the child is old enough to understand broader concepts and parents effectively frame the story.
To whom would you recommend this book? Swedish parents and grandparents, value based educators, art historians and educators
Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, families of Swedish heritage
Where would you shelve it ? picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Diane Neylon, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Date of review: 1/23/17