But I'm slightly obsessed with all things Scandinavian/Nordic these days.
I blame Rick Steves. First, it was his European Christmas special. Then it was every Nordic-region episode on the awesome DVD boxed sets my dad got us for Christmas. (Don't judge. They're awesome.) I mean, who wouldn't dream of heading to Norway after seeing this?
Yesterday morning, the family ventured to beautiful Lindsborg, KS, or "Little Sweden USA," for the annual Midsummer's Festival. Lindsborg was founded by Swedish settlers and has become a sweet, touristy spot, full of Old World flavor, in the middle of Kansas farm country.
Our morning and afternoon was filled with Swedish folk dancing, Swedish music, Swedish blomkrans (flower wreaths), Swedish dala horses, Swedish gift shops, Swedish (and Finnish) books, Swedish pancake samples, Swedish almond cake, Swedish kettle corn (okay, that one may be a stretch)...
My book haul came from Hemsjold, home of the giant red dala horse, and where many beautiful dalas are made. We returned for a storytime later in the day, which included our just-purchased The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow.
The night before our excursion to Lindsborg, my littlest one and I curled up together to read my latest find from Better World Books (my favorite source for used books online), Very Tricky, Alfie Atkins by Gunilla Bergstrom. My copy is by R&S Books from 2005, but it was first published in Sweden as Aja baja, Alfons Aberg in 1973.
If you are not familiar with Alfie Atkins, he's a Swedish book and cartoon character from the '70s and '80s, known as Alfons Aberg in Sweden. I admit, he's another European character I know from Pinwheel.
So the little one is in love with our "new" book. We read it twice. I showed her the short above and she begged, "Are there any more?" I told her I'll keep an eye out for the books in English, but all the other cartoons on YouTube are in Swedish. "I don't care," she said. And so, since we already knew the plot of Very Tricky, Alfie Atkins, that is the one we watched. In Swedish. No subtitles. Oh, well.
By the way, look at this cool PDF file from Alfons/Alfie's Swedish publisher, celebrating his 40th anniversary. And this Alfons/Alfie puzzle! And another puzzle!
Sigh. I had better stop before I get any sillier.
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