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Astrid Lindgren on the Web:
Astrid Lindgren on Wikipedia
A Theme Park Astrid Lindgren's Värld (World)
Astrid Lindgren on Guardian.co.uk
Astrid Lindgren and Her Stories on Astridlindgren.se
Astrid Lindgren on Rightlivelihood.org
Teaching Kids about Family Values
Like most other of her characters, the sketching of the character of Madicken by Astrid Lindgren has been done within a very prominent family atmosphere. Madicken is very attached to her family which consists of her father and mother. This is what that becomes the most significant draw of this important character in Swedish children's literature.
However, while most of Astrid Lindgren's child characters are shown to be poor, Madicken is quite respectably well-to-do. Her father is an editor-in-chief of a publication named The Worker's Herald that is doing seemingly well and so the family itself has no problems with their cash flow either. In fact, the family is so well-to-do that the mother does not need to work and for that reason she becomes an important part of all the stories. Because the mother is mostly home, the relationship with Madicken and her mother is quite well etched out. The other extremely significant characters in her household include her sister and her housekeeper.
Madicken was not the name with which she was born. Her birth name was Margareta Engström, a name by which no one seems to call her. We find out about this name only when she has committed some blunder and an adult needs to call her. Madicken isn't clumsy, but she does have a knack of getting into trouble like most kids too. This is always the focal point of the stories that revolve around the character. However, Madicken is quite resourceful and witty, which makes sure that she comes out of her problems without much ado.
At the time of the stories, Madicken is a seven year old girl. She lives in Sweden with her parents in trouble-stricken times. This is the irony of the books. The books are set in the times of the World War I, which is by no means stuff of children's fiction. But it is to Astrid Lindgren's credit that she could make up such a lovely and adorable character even in this troubled backdrop. Actually, the setting is not that ironic if you look at it from a different perspective. It is only in times of trouble that families come closer together. Hence the World War I setting mostly acts as an instrument to bring Madicken's family closer than anything else.
One important aspect of the Madicken's stories is that it gives a very generous glimpse of how life must be lived in the Swedish countryside in the early nineteenth century. This in itself adds greatly to the charm of the books. Madicken lives in a rural area. She is quite a resourceful girl though and throughout the books and the movies she has been able to bail out not only herself but also her loved ones from difficulties. Such a premise in the countryside setting is an intelligent creation by Astrid Lindgren because it immediately appeals to all kinds of readers.
Parents have no qualms whatsoever when planning to gift their children a Madicken book. Her stories are full of humor and adventure in a very respectable context, which is what most children's fiction of today is lacking in.
Madicken on Wikipedia