Tomten är vaken
Tomten är vaken
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It is a sensually beautiful picture book and a depiction of a magical winter night on an old farm, deep in the forest. Just such a night when people huddle in their little houses and don't let the fire go out on the hearth. The story is high-pitched yet mundanely simple. It is imbued with reverence for life and concern for all living things, with the farm elf as the image of selfless love. Santa's tenderness and compassion for the animals on the farm, each locked in his role, the dog on the leash, the cows in the stall, the horse in the stable, is touching. Santa pats, comforts and instills hope. He speaks in the way of the elves, a quiet little language that animals can understand, and tells them about pastures and meadows and gives them a little extra to eat. The midwinter night is dark and cold, but Santa watches, looks into the barn and stables, and paws every night between the houses.
Kitty Crowther's delicate illustrations are filled with warmth and sincerity. Farm environments and winter night moods are wonderful, but the quiet closeness and love between Santa, the animals and the sleeping people of the farm is otherworldly lovely and evokes an irresistible feeling of Christmas peace and beautiful harmony.
The script for Tomten is awake was written around 1960, Rabén & Sjögren had then published Tomten by Viktor Rydberg, illustrated by Harald Wiberg. Some foreign publishers, among them Oetinger in Germany, wanted to publish Wiberg's pictures but not Rydberg's poem. Astrid Lindgren then wrote a new story, which became Tomte Tummetott, a classic of German children's literature, while the original text fell into oblivion. But a few years ago, the original Swedish script was found by the publisher Silke Weitendorf, daughter of Astrid Lindgren's German publishers and friends, Friedrich and Heidi Oetinger, when she was going through their estate.
Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren was born on November 14, 1907 on the farm Näs outside Vimmerby in Småland and died on January 28, 2002 in the home at Dalagatan 46 in Stockholm. She wrote 34 chapter books and 41 picture books that together sold a staggering 165 million copies and were translated into over 100 languages. Pippi Longstocking, Emil in Lönneberga, the Lionheart Brothers, Tjorven & Skrållan, Bullerbybarnen, Madicken, Ronja... Millions of children and adults all over the world love these characters and feel completely at home in Villa Villekulla, Körsbärsdalen, Snickerboa, Junibacken and at Saltkråkan. All these worlds are creations of Astrid Lindgren - the most read children's book author in the world.