Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (text) and Linzie Hunter (illustrator), Little People, Big Dreams: Astrid Lindgren, Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd., March 2020, 32 pp., RRP $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781786037626
I’m sure many of us have come across the Little People, Big Dreams series, as it now features dozens of books. Each book is a simplified, but not sugar-coated, biography of a person who is noteworthy because of their contributions to society through art, science, politics, sports, music and (in this case) literature. Readers are shown how great achievements can be made when people overcome, persevere, work hard, stay true to themselves and use imagination, initiative and intellect.
This newest addition to the series follows this same philosophy and presents the life of author Astrid Lindgren, best known for creating the timeless character, Pippi Longstocking. In very simple terms, we learn about Astrid’s upbringing, some challenges she faced and some of her personality traits. The reader learns about how Pippi Longstocking was thought of and how successful the books became.
The design and illustration of this book is exquisite and very well suited to the content. The colours are bright, the images are fun and slightly whimsical yet honest. I think the way they aged Lindgren throughout the book was very cleverly handled.
A bit over 18 months ago we read Pippi Longstocking as a family read-aloud and it was a huge success, which is remarkable when you think that when it was originally published, in 1945, when my children’s great-grandparents were just young children themselves. To read about a woman who created such a wonderfully long-lasting and timeless legacy in terms they can understand is a great benefit to my children and all others who will enjoy this book.
Reviewed by Cherie Bell