The world as seen by Scandinavian children

The world as seen by Scandinavian children

Tell me if you need a friend – Contemporary Scandinavian children’s poems* (Móra Könyvkiadó 2023)

Bence Patat, translator and one of the biggest exerts of Northern European literature, has created a selection of Scandinavian children’s poems, which is unique even in Scandinavia. In this volume, we can read poems of 16 authors from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. All poems were written from a child’s perspective. The poems are not grouped by nation, but by theme: they describe friendship, family, school, fears, environmental protection and the very difficult question of existence. The chapters got their titles from one of the poems.

We can see very beautiful expressions of how important bonding is for children, or that they see a good example in front of them in the family. For the first time, we can read a children’s poem in which they show how it feels when someone is bullied for being fat and escapes into eating. But we can also find out how dogs play football at night or what houses do when they are alone at home. Among the poems, social issues, environmental protection, global trade and telephone usage also appear (‘from pocket to web, from web to pocket’*). The poems in this volume are addressed to everyone, as after reading them, you will realize that there is not much difference between children and grown-ups.

The illustrations were made by Eszter Schall, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.

*my translation