From the creator of Pippi Longstocking comes a LITTLE MATCH GIRL for our times, a book of surpassing compassion and beauty.
Astrid Lindgren is beloved worldwide for her stories of Pippi Longstocking, the cheerful little girl with upside-down braids and no parents. With THE RED BIRD, Lindgren turns her attention to two very different orphans, Matthew and Anna, who are sent to live with the stern farmer in Myra. The work is hard; the food is scarce; the days are cold. But then Anna and Matthew follow the red bird to Sunnymead, where they find hope, sunshine, and in the end, freedom. This extraordinary story of hope and redemption, with exquisite illustrations by Marit Tornqvist, is certain to become a modern classic.
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Grade 2-4–A lengthy tale of two orphans who are adopted by a stern farmer. Matthew and Anna's gray lives are full of work and despair. They look forward to winter when they can attend school, but it fails to provide the joy they seek. As they begin to lose all hope, the children are saved by a red bird that leads them to a magical world where there is a mother to care for them and they can play all day in the sun. Törnqvist's painterly illustrations are beautifully crafted and add emotional impact to the text. They are hauntingly dark when the children are in despair and bright lime-green when the siblings find their safe haven. Some readers may be disturbed by Anna's comments about death, "There is no fun in my life, and I don't want to live till spring." Occasionally the translation is awkward: "...he took the children to make themselves useful." Lindgren's fans will be willing to overlook these shortcomings; for others, it is a secondary purchase.–Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
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