Swedish poet Siv Widerberg, 89 (I'm Like Me: Poems for People Who Want Grow Up Equal, 1973)
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2020-12-27 04:57:20 UTC
She was also a journalist and playwright.

One Swedish obit she wrote 60 books; another says 80.

(this translation seems more polished)

The author, journalist and literary educator Siv Widerberg, known for countless anthologies, collections of poems and picture books, died at the age of 89. She made her debut in 1966 with “Gertrud in der Kindertagesstätte”, an informative story for children who would start with preschool.

She then wrote about sixty books in a typical, idiosyncratic mixture: she listened to children, was often in school and wrote with different classes and made poems from her everyday life. The best known was the anthology “Children’s first book”, which she wrote together with Malin Wedsberg in 1989 and which became a classic. Among other things, it was distributed to all newborns in several communities. Another great success was the dictation anthology “Liebe und Rebellion” (also in 1989), which she created together with Anna Artén, and the picture books on Daghemmet Rödmyran, which Siv Widerberg created together with the illustrator Cecilia Torudd.

Siv Widerberg was a die-hard one realistic and was sometimes seen as shockingly realistic when she talked about things that were previously taboo: The three books on hatred whose parents are alcoholics came out in the 1980s and attracted a lot of attention.

Siv Widerberg has long been one of the most famous debaters in children’s culture and never hesitated when she discovered injustices. She took action in the stormy sixties, but unlike most of the others, she never gave up. She wrote, debated, and debated for many years, and her last book, The Long Sleep, was published in 2011.


What I posted in 2011:

...Some of those titles available in English are:

Mamma pappa barn, Zindermans, 1967, translation by Irene D. Morris. published as The Kid's Own XYZ of Love and Sex, Stein & Day, 1972. (I hate to say it, but this book isn't very good - especially the fictional dialogue).

Min baesta vaen, Raben & Sjoegren 1969, translated and published as My Best Friend Putnam, 1970.

I'm Like Me, Translated from the Swedish by Verne Moberg, Feminist Press, 1973.

(With Cecilia Torudd) Den stora systern, Raben & Sjogren (Stockholm, Sweden), 1984, translated by Birgitta Sjoquist and published as The Big Sister, R & S Books (New York, NY),1989.

Plotsligt en dag, Raben & Sjogren (Stockholm, Sweden), 1985, translated by Tiina Nunnally and published as Suddenly One Day, R & S Books (New York, NY), 1993.

(in Swedish; includes bibliography)

(short filmography)

(photos and covers)

(about her work)


She admits that she doesn't always find it easy to write, but she says
that it's worth it. "My mother said that I didn't have enough
imagination to become an author, but since my books often are only 1/3
imagination and 2/3 reality, it has worked out fine anyway. I am very
interested in reality; the reality that children live in today. That's
why I write about children in school, at day nursery, at home or
outside the home. I write about children's thoughts, I remember being
a child myself, and about what children like to do and what they don't
like to do at all. But children are not all alike. Not all children
like biscuits for example. So it's important to describe different
children with different thoughts and lives. Just like life. That's why
it's good when children find my books funny, exciting or interesting.
And when some of them think: 'That's how it was for me yesterday,
that's how it is once in a while.' "

From "Something About the Author

"As a journalist...I worked also as a reviewer of books for children
and young people. Most of the books bored me, for they didn't take
children seriously. They stuck to fantasy as a protection against the
real world; they didn't deal with children's ordinary everyday

"Sex, problems, tears, joy politics - all these things are included in
a children's world. Consequently, I wanted to reflect and talk about
sex, problems, tears, joy, and politics."

(end of my 2011 post)

(two Kirkus reviews)

(reader reviews - at least a few are in English)

(review of My Best Friend)

(you can read I'm Like Me here - and at archive.org)

"At Annika's Place" sticks in my memory.

One poem, "Papa" :

My papa can drive a car
My papa can fix electric motors
My papa can carry heavy, heavy things
My papa can quarrel with Uncle Carl
My papa can fry beef fried with onions
My papa can be kind
and comfort me when I cry
But can he cry himself?

I don't know

And, "Noses":

"There, there,"
said the old lady
tweaking my nose

couldn't reach hers
2020-12-27 14:02:52 UTC
(a few synopses)

The boy and the dog

"A boy, terrified of dogs, runs away from home when his parents buy him a dog of his own, but when the boy returns home due to hunger, he finds out that not all dogs are alike."

Hasse : 204 dagar i Hans Henrik Olssons liv

"Eight-year-old Hasse has a difficult home life. Eventually, through the help of foster parents, he learns to deal with his feelings."

Review of Suddenly One Day (1985) from School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 2- "A touching tale of first love. One day, a strange young boy appears in the yard; for some reason he piques a little girl's curiosity. Tentatively, their friendship blossoms over the summer, as they swing and play together in the sandbox, although the boy seldom speaks. Summer fades and on the first day of school, the girl is jubilant to find her new playmate in her class, sitting alone at a desk. She cements their relationship in front of everyone by taking "her place next to him" and presenting him with a special homemade valentine drawn with the reddest crayon. The beautiful watercolor washes use an array of muted earthtones that complement the gentle text and create an aura of sereneness. Unique borders weave together elements of nature-vegetables, flowers, and butterflies-to highlight the actions of the children and to underline the wonderful world they create together. Like Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree (HarperCollins, 1964), the characters and place remain nameless, but are universal. A quiet, sentimental offering."