Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
A Calf for Christmas
by Astrid Lindgren
Age Range: 6-8
The snow is falling heavily and it is the last day of school before Christmas. As Johan heads to school on his sleigh he can’t stop thinking about the terrible thing that happened yesterday -- Emma his family’s only cow died, and they have no money to buy another one.
Farmer Peter Jonsson has come to town for the Christmas market and to buy a calf. However, he is rather fond of a drink and spends most of the day, until late afternoon, at the local Inn. Being rather inebriated he forgets all about the calf and loses it on the sleigh ride home! Next morning when Johan heads out to clear snow, what does he find? Maybe he’ll have a happy Christmas after all.
This is a charming story by acclaimed author Astrid Lindgren, set in a traditional Swedish landscape. Lindgren avoids sickly sentimentality and shows a deeper undertone to this story. At one point Johan thinks that the world is so unfair and no one helps poor people, “Terrible things happen and no one cares, not even God”. He feels angry with God because he should make sure that cows don’t eat nails. Lindgren also injects subtle humour when dealing with adult subjects such as the drinking of Famer Jonsson.
The wonderful atmospheric illustrations by Marit Tornqvist bring this classic to life for a new generation of children to enjoy.