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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
A Truly Complete Children's Book
Astrid Lindgren has come up with some wonderful child characterizations in her books, some of which have become strongly etched in the minds of Swedish children. However, she did go all out with one of her most popular works of fiction, Life on Seacrow Island. What actually began as a television series spread over thirteen episodes for which she wrote the screenplay became one of her most famous books when she compiled it. The book is different from most other of her works because it is crowded with children of different ages, talents and preferences. Perhaps that is the reason why the show as well as the book is so hugely popular among young readers.
The main story of the book follows the family of Melker Melkersson, a man from Stockholm and his four motherless children. These children are intelligently etched out with different talents. Malin is the oldest; she is all of 19 years of age and is mature enough to hold the family together by becoming the mother that the family does not have. The next child is Johan, 13 years old, who is blessed with a very creative brain. He can imagine things and even find ways and means of bringing them to concreteness. Next is Niklas, who is 12 years old, and is a very easygoing child. He is never a bother for anyone and is a very friendly kid. Pelle is the youngest at 7 years. He has a very special talent - he is a lover of animals and birds and has also been known to have some kind of control over them.
Seacrow Island is a place where the Melkersson family goes to spend their summers. This very tranquil place is inhabited by several locals, among which many children are the friends of the Melkersson family kids. The most significant friend here is 7 year old Tjorven who has a big St. Bernard dog that provides significant company to the kids. Tjorven has two older sisters Teddy and Freddy who are also great friends with the kids. Another friend is Stina who has an endless collection of exploits to narrate to the group.
The main reason for the success of Astrid Lindgren's Seacrow Island is the strong characterization of these children. Their interactions and shared adventures always make the proceedings fun and keep the interest factor alive.
But there is one very subtle reason why Seacrow Island has become so significant. It is the way Astrid Lindgren has projected the difference between the city and the rural children and life in general in Sweden. The locals of Seacrow Island actually begin by making fun of the Melkersson family's hoity-toity ways but then go on to make fast friendships with them. However, the differences do crop up every now and then. This is a very important part of the Swedish culture and the fact that it has been told metaphorically using children makes it not only quite understandable but also very interesting to read. The entire Seacrow Island franchise has certainly a valuable addition to the long list of Swedish child literature.
Vi på Saltkråkan (Seacrow Island) on Wikipedia
Seacrow Island Video Clips on YouTube