Astrid Lindgren is a childhood favorite of mine. I devoured her books as a child and felt a particular kinship to the beloved Pippi Longstocking. (Try as I might, I was never able to get my braids to do just like hers!) I’ve already shared Pippi with my boys, as well as The Tomten and the Noisy Village stories. Thanks to Handlebar and Plough Publishing, I received a review copy of Rasmus and the Vagabond to share with my children.
First published in 1956, Rasmus and the Vagabond has been reprinted with the original illustrations by Eric Palmquist for a new generation of kids to enjoy. A true classic, this book follows the adventures of Rasmus, a nine-year-old runaway orphan who dreams of finding a family of his won. Life on the road turns out to be quite an adventure for Rasmus–full of mystery, friendship, and fun.
Astrid Lindgren captures the magic and wonder of childhood beautifully through the lovable characters, charming plot, and stunning descriptions in Rasmus. These qualities make for compelling reading and listening, as Rasmus begs to be read aloud:
“Rasmus threw himself down on his stomach and burrowed his nose into he fold of his sleve. The sun warmed him so wonderfully and he was so sleepy. As he was sinking deeper and deeper, he felt Oscar spreading his jacket over him. Now he wasn’t cold any longer.
He was lying on a floor of thyme, breathing in the good, spicy smell. The warmth of the sun also brought out the fragrance of the juniper bushes. These were summer smells and all his life they would bring back to him this summer day on the road” (p. 49).
The best part about Rasmus and the Vagabond–the themes of belonging, friendship, love, and the true meaning of family. Already a classic, I’m so happy a new reprinting is available so more readers will have the opportunity to be swept away in Astrid Lindgren’s world.
About the Author
Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and dozens of other world-famous characters, has thrilled three generations of children with her storytelling. She is the only children’s author with a literary prize, a theme park, a museum, a satellite, and a minor planet named in her honor. (After this last honor, she suggested changing her name to “Asteroid Lindgren.”) A jury appointed by Swedish Radio’s Culture Department to elect the “Author of the Millennium” voted Astrid Lindgren second after William Shakespeare. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and heaps of other awards and honors.