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Swedish Folk Tales by John Bauer


Swedish Folk Tales by John Bauer

John Bauer's original, evocative illustrations bring these classic Swedish folk tales to life. This collection comprises 29 stories, including Elsa Beskow's When Mother Troll Took in the King's Washing; The Magician's Cape by Anna Wahlenberg; The Seven Wishes by Alfred Smedberg; The Ring by Helena Nyblom; Stalo and Kauras by P. A. Lindholm; The Maiden in the Castle of Rosy Clouds by Harald Ostenson.


'Tales of trolls and kings, princesses, magicians and giants are illustrated by the acclaimed Swedish artist, John Bauer. His stylised images seem to suggest the universal ... they are extremely evocative. His use of muted tones means his rare flashes of colour -- bluebells, or a golden-haired princess -- seem to illuminate his dark forest scenes with a magical glow. His big-nosed, good-natured trolls are also a delight (fans of Brian Fround's Dark Crystal will adore them). Adults will enjoy these pictures just as much as children.'
Dawn Casey, Armadillo, Autumn 2004

'When John Bauer was tragically drowned at the age of only 36, he had already become Sweden's best-known illustrator of children's books. This handsome volume shows why. These stories are remarkably contemporary in their continuing appeal and their attractions were cleverly identified and enhanced by Bauer.'
Mary Medlicott, School Librarian, Spring 2005

'This is real storytelling. The stories represent a hitherto-neglected tradition of fairy tale, in bright readable English, which the added bonus of Bauer's pictures for those who respond to the strength of his compositions and the humour of his line.'
Books for Keeps, March 2005

'John Bauer is one of the world's greatest illustrators of fairy tales. His precise and beautiful work has been compared with that of Durer and Holbein. This book will appeal equally to both children and adults.'

& Fairy Tales: A Book Guide, Booktrust, Winter 2004 'A delightful anthology brimming with trolls, giants, villains and heroines. The stories, which are full of humour, are stunningly illustrated. A book to treasure.
Juno: A Natural Approach to Family Life

, Autumn 2004 'This superb collection of traditional fairy tales from Sweden is fantastic value, and you'll treasure the book for the illustrations alone. My kids can't get enough of it -- and it's very popular with mum and dad, too. It contains over fifty folk tales of varying length, and the breathtaking pictures are by John Bauer, a high acclaimed artist whose style is reminiscent of Carl Larsson. 'If it's possible, the quality of the stories even outdoes the pictures. Like most folk tales, they work on a number of levels: they are funny and exciting, full of adventure and magic, with clever and resourceful children outwitting cruel, ugly trolls. Having read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, my son considers himself an authority on the ways of trolls, and the current popularity of Tolkien helps make these stories very accessible. 'On a deeper level, the stories deal with psychological dilemmas and conundrums faced by humans since the beginning of time. I'll personally never forget the king who wouldn't allow any other human within two arm's lengths of him, because he believed them all to have vicious claws; until a tiny girl overcomes his fear by insisting on caressing him. 'Swedish Folk Tales would be a fantastic gift for any family. Because they are from Sweden, the stories have the added benefit of being completely new to most British parents -- and to children old enough to read the tales for themselves.
Jo Rogers, Families Magazine (www 'These stories are entertaining, well told and have been translated into readable English. The illustrations are excellent, highly imaginative and reminiscent in style to the owrk of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulak. Children between 7 and 11 will enjoy these stories.
Peter Heathfield, New View, Spring 2005

'Bauer's characteristic world of lakes, mountains, caves and trees is dark and shadowy, but often broken by bright beams of light. Sometimes the light shines forth from a particular person -- a long-haired princess or a tiny innocent child. Sometimes it radiates from a flying horse or the moon in the sky. But never far away are the trolls, knobbly, clumsy-looking creatures with beady eyes and great fat noses. They are like embodiments of the land itself, knobbly and knotty and gnarled.'
Mary Medlicott, School Librarian, Spring 2005

About the Author

John Bauer, born in 1882, is a highly acclaimed Swedish artist. Influenced by Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, and by the fantasy work of Arnold Bocklin, he started illustrating fairy stories whilst still a student at the Swedish Royal Academy. His best-known illustrations were for an annual Christmas book for children, Bland Tomtar och Troll (Among Elves and Trolls), which delighted readers with their gentle humour and delicate detail. Bauer died at the age of just 35 when he, his wife and their three-year-old son were drowned when a ferry they were taking to Jonkoping sank in Lake Vattern.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th August 2004


John Bauer

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Floris Books


240 pages


Traditional stories (Children's / Teenage)
People & places (Children's / Teenage)



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