During the screen-tests, the initial intention was
to have Kristina Jämtmark playing the part of
Tjorven, but after meeting Maria Johansson the
film crew chose her. Everyone was still so
enchanted with Kristina Jämtmark, however,
that Astrid quickly wrote in the Stina part
especially for her. In these pictures we see
Maria and Kristina together with Stephen
Lindholm who plays Pelle in the series, on a
visit with Astrid at the summer house in


After 30 years of spending every summer in
Furusund (part of the Stockholm archipelago),
Astrid was ready to start writing about life out
there. In 1963 Seacrow Island was produced –
Astrid’s first series specially written for TV.
The cast was found with the help of one of the
national News programmes and within a year
the first series was ready to be aired.

Seacrow Island


Just like Emil i Lönneberga, Astrid grew up in
a large family with maids and farmhands.


The place called Katthult is an invention of
Astrid Lindgren, but Vimmerby and
Mariannelund – places visited by Emil in the
books – exist in real life.


Astrid in the kitchen at Näs.


Here you see Lina’s kitchen sofa in a recent
photograph of the kitchen where Astrid grew


The environment depicted in the Emil books is
inspired by Astrid’s own childhood at Näs.
Here is a picture of Lina’s kitchen sofa by the
illustrator, Björn Berg.


With the book Emil i Lönneberga, Astrid
returns to her father’s Småland – the stage of
her own childhood. And Emil was one of the
most favourite characters for both Astrid and
her father. She said, “Emil, you know that’s
exactly the Småland of my own childhood, and
... I like that character so much that when I’d
finished writing the last book about him, I

Emil i Lönneberga



The book is full of stark contrasts, where you
experience bright, happy moments but also
darkness and evil. This is captured very well in
Ilon Wikland’s illustrations.


The book is full of stark contrasts, where you
experience bright, happy moments but also
darkness and evil. This is captured very well in
Ilon Wikland’s illustrations.


In 1953 a young illustrator turned up at Rabén &
Sjögren, asking if they might have any work for
her. Ilon Wikland was introduced to Astrid
Lindgren and began to show her some sample
pictures. Astrid thought “this girl can draw
fairytales” and gave her the assignment of
creating the illustrations for Mio, My Son. Since
then, Ilon has illustrated many of Astrid’s books.


Astrid often went for walks around her beloved
Vasastan (an area of Stockholm). One day she
saw a boy sitting alone on a park bench in
Tegnérlunden. That picture triggered her
imagination and became the first seeds of Mio,
My Son


Astrid Lindgren has mostly written stories of a
different genre, but Mio, My Son, released in
1954 is a classical fairytale. The story of Karl
Anders Nilsson was first published as a shorter
version intended for a magazine. The inspiration
came from a walk in Tegnérlunden (a park in
Stockholm) where she saw a little boy sitting on
a bench. It got her imagination going and out of
it grew the fairytale about Mio. Initially, Astrid
had not intended to write any more than that first
chapter, but some years later she started to
wonder how things were going for the little boy
and proceeded to write a whole book about him.

Mio, My Son


Visiting Milan in connection with one of
Sture’s many business trips abroad.


Astrid together with the girls in the book,
Gerda lives in Norway.


Captured by Anna Riwkin in Holland, together with Charles Behrens, sketch-artist and finance man.

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