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Children of the Forest by Elsa Beskow
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Children of the Forest (1910)

by Elsa Beskow

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"Deep in the forest, under the curling roots of an old pine tree was a small house", 25 Feb. 2016

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This review is from: Children of the Forest: Mini Edition (Hardcover)
The beautiful story of a little family of forest people living under a tree. The four children wear red and white bonnets like toadstools, and this is an account of their days among the trees - playing with squirrels, riding on a bat, meeting a toad by the pool. There are dangers - father has to don his pine-cone armour to do battle with a viper, and when the boys poke an ants' nest they get stung. Not to mention the troll...
Then there's picking fruit and mushrooms for the winter.
Gradually summer comes to an end. "Mist settled in the hollows like white breath and the children played at leapfrog with the rabbits until it was time for bed." Time for the children to go to Mrs Owl's school and for Father to weatherproof the home; but also fun in the snow, harnessing a hare to their sledge and taking food to their neighbours.
And then spring returns - birds nesting, a chance to paddle in the thawed stream, and "they had a new, round, pink baby brother of their own." (Lovely b/w drawing of the whole family out walking, father in his pinecone hat, an axe over his shoulder, while mother has baby tied to her back and children follow behin.)
This could easily have turned into a sentimental, sickly work. After all, there's no major storyline. And yet the author manages to keep it an absolutely delightful read which any little girl (or adult, come to that!) would adore. ( )
  starbox | Feb 25, 2016 |
This delightful little picture-book fantasy from Elsa Beskow - first published in Sweden in 1910, as Tomtebobarnen ("Brownie Children") - is a celebration of the natural world, and of the seasons of the year, as seen by a family of tiny woodland brownies. Mother, Father, and four children - Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy - all live together in a snug little house "under the curling roots of an old pine tree." The four siblings have many adventures in their forest home, playing with their animal friends, attending the school taught by Mrs. Owl, and working together with their parents, to gather the food they need for the long winter. Over the course of one year, these "children of the forest" learn a few lessons - like never harming any creature, unless it poses a danger - and have lots of fun.

With an engaging narrative that blends fantastic and realistic elements - the tomtar may be creatures of myth (or are they?), but the other flora and fauna depicted here are true to life - and charming illustrations, Children of the Forest is the ideal selection for the child who looks for brownies or fairies in the world around them, or who enjoys walking in (and dreaming of) the woods. It is my third book by Elsa Beskow, one of Sweden's most beloved picture-books artists, but it will surely not be my last! Highly recommended to all young fairy-tale lovers, and to anyone who appreciates Beskow's artwork. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 7, 2013 |
This book takes children through the seasons in a way that really sparks their imaginations ( )
  sunflwrdaydream | Jan 23, 2010 |
Lovely pictures about kindly wood goblins and theur years. Beautiful pictures. ( )
  isiswardrobe | Apr 5, 2006 |
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Deep in thje forest, under the curling roots of an old pine tree, was a small house.
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"TOMTEBOBARNEN" is known in English as "Children of the Forest". 
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The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. This book invites children to follow their engaging adventures through each season as they play hide-and-seek with the squirrels and throw snowballs in winter.
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Four children of the tiny forest people spend the year completeing tasks for each season.

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