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‘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)
Little Trulsa's Birthday
by Ester Ringner-Lundgren
Age Range: 6-8
Mr Plodalong is a kind old troll, who travels around selling all sorts of pretty trinkets to the trolls who live in Morning Fresh Wood and the surrounding countryside. One day he stops at Little Trulsa's house as Mother Troll needs to purchase some threads and material. Little Trulsa is very excited and longs to find out whatís hidden treasures are in the old manís bag. The best goods are two necklaces; one has beads as golden yellow as sunshine and the other is green that sparkles like birch leaves in spring. Little Trulsa admires the jewellery, particularly the yellow one made with sunflower seeds. Mr Plodalong tells Little Trulsa the item is already sold but gives her a sunflower seed telling her to plant it, water it and wait until it grows.
Itís Little Trulsa's birthday and she receives two wonderful surprises; her best friend Vippa gives her a lovely ring with a yellow stone and her little sunflower seed has now grown into a beautiful plant.
The series of Little Trulsa books by Swedish author Ester Ringner-Lundgren (1907-1993) about a world inhabited by trolls and anthropomorphic animals are delightful and the characters very well-defined and endearing, many of which appear in all of the stories about Little Trulsa including her cat Prrr, who ties a knot in his tail to remember things, Mrs Bumblebee who sells honey, Mrs Woolwist, who is always ready to help and the quarrelsome Mrs Bitter Grey.
The story is further enhanced by the appealing delicate and expressive black and white illustrations by May BŁhler, evocative of the Scandinavian tradition similar to the artwork featured in Moomin books by Tove Jansson, and a perfect match with the simplicity of Ringner-Lundgrenís text.
Written between 1961 and 1975 the series included 24 titles and they were used as a teaching aid in Swedish primary schools during the 1960s and 70s. Other titles featured on the website are: Little Trulsa (1965), Little Trulsa's Tea Party (1966) and Little Trulsa's Secret (1967).