The Bullerby Children

The songs Falukorvsvisan and Alla ska sova för nu är det natt are from the films about the Bullerby Children.
(1986 and 1987)

Text: Astrid Lindgren
© Saltkråkan AB
Musik: © Georg Riedel


In Vimmerby, you can easily recognise the type of environment that has inspired Astrid Lindgren. Not least, Båtmansbacken, right near the town square, which is probably what Astrid had in her mind when she wrote as follows in Master Detective Bergson lives dangerously:

“Main Street and Little Street, that was all there were, and then the great square. For the rest there were only small cobblestoned, steep alleyways and blind alleys“

Astrid lies buried in the Vimmerby Churchyard next to her parents, Samuel August and Hanna Ericsson.

Karlson on the Roof

The songs were written to the film “The world´s best Karlsson”. (1974)

Vem tror du att du är
Text: Astrid Lindgren
Music: Georg Riedel
© Saltkråkan AB

All other songs
Text: Astrid Lindgren
Music: Georg Riedel
© Warner/Chappell Music

Ulla Sundin-Wickman

Ulla Sundin-Wickman ( 1926-2007) provided the illustrations for Astrid Lindgren’s first book Britt-Mari lättar sitt hjärta (1944).
Ulla Sundin-Wickman (1926-2007), was educated at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and Skolan för grafisk konst (School of graphic arts). After winning an illustration contest in 1949, organized by Tidens förlag (Tiden Publishing house) Sundin-Wickman decided to go in wholeheartedly for her draughtsmanship. During her career she worked for Tidens förlag, Folket i bild (weekly magazine) and Raben & Sjögren Publishing house. Astrid Lindgren who worked as children’s book editor 1946-1970 at Raben & Sjögren often used Sundin-Wickmanto illustrate other authors works.

The books by Astrid Lindgren that Ulla Sundin-Wickman has illustrated are By Britt-Mari lättar sitt hjärta and Kerstin och jag when these were published in the series “FIB’s youth books” 1952 and 1954.

Svend Otto S.

Svend Otto S. (1916-1996) attended evening classes at the “Handicraft School”, studied at Bizzie Høyer’s School of Draughtsmanship and at St Martin’s School of Art in London. His works have been exhibited the world over. He has also won many prizes, amongst which, the international children’s book prize – The H C Andersen Medal.

Svend Otto S has illustrated Astrid Lindgren’s picture-book My Nightingale Is Singing (1984), which was originally included in the textbook Sunnanäng (1959).

Pija Lindenbaum

Pija Lindenbaum was born in 1955 in Sundsvall. After her studies at Konstfack, the University College of Arts in Stockholm, Pija worked as a children’s book illustrator, designer and author. Her breakthrough came with the book Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies, but her stories about Mini Mia and the books about Bridget are also very popular today. Besides her own productions, Pija has also illustrated books by other authors and has won many prizes, one of which was the Astrid Lindgren Prize in 2008.

Pija Lindenbaum has illustrated the Astrid Lindgren picture-book Mirabelle (2002), a story first included in the book Nils Karlsson-Pyssling from 1949.

Marit Törnqvist

Marit Törnqvist was born in 1964 in Uppsala. Since the age of five she has been living in the Netherlands, but spends at least three months in Sweden every year.

Marit studied to become an illustrator at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Her first commission for Rabén & Sjögren was to do two picture-books. One of them was Astrid Lindgren’s A Calf for Christmas.

Marit Törnqvist has also designed the set for Astrid Lindgren’s “Story Train” and the Villa Villekulla room at Junibacken children’s museum in Stockholm. For the set design, Marit was nominated for Stockholm’s Citizen of the Year in 1996, and for the Lidman Prize in 1997. She was also awarded the Emil Prize in memory of Astrid Lindgren in 2004.

She has illustrated the following books by Astrid Lindgren: A Calf for Christmas (1989), The Day Adam Got Mad (1991), In the Land of Twilight (1994), Sunnanäng (2003) and Sagoresan (2006).

Marika Delin

Marika Delin was born in 1960, studied at Beckman’s College of Design and is nowadays working as a garden designer. She illustrated children’s books for a period between 1986 and 1998.

She made the illustrations for Astrid Lindgren’s book Assar Bubbla (1987).

Margit Uppenberg (Gobi)

Margit Uppenberg (aka Gobi) has illustrated Astrid Lindgren’s book Kati in America (1950).

Leif Ruhnström

Leif Ruhnström was born in 1944 and lives in Huskvarna. He uses water colours as his artistic medium. He is married to Astrid Lindgren’s niece and, by marriage, is a part-owner of Astrid Lindgren’s childhood home, Näs in Vimmerby.

Leif Ruhnström has illustrated Astrid Lindgren’s book Junker Nils av Eka (2007), a story first published in the textbook Sunnanäng (1959).

Lars Klinting

Lars Klinting (1948-2006) started to draw in 1980. He never went to art school but was entirely self-taught. He did, however, spend a lot of time privately studying techniques and colours. His great passion in life was nature which is easy to see in his wonderful nature books. For his complete works he received the Elsa Beskow Plaque in 1987, and three times he had his books chosen for Panda Book of the Year by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The books by Astrid Lindgren which Lars Klinting has illustrated are the picture-book Christmas in the Stable (2001) and the book of poetry, Astrid Lindgren i diktens träd (not translated into English), published in 1994.

Kristina Digman

Kristina Digman was born in Gothenburg in 1959. After studying at a number of art schools in Stockholm and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, she has worked as a painter, sculptor and graphic designer. She has also done restorative work.

She made her debut as a children’s book illustrator in 2001 and since then has worked solely as an illustrator. Of Astrid Lindgren’s books, Kristina Digman has illustrated the picture-book Peter and Petra (2007), a story first published in the textbook Nils Karlsson-Pyssling (1949).

Kerstin Thorvall

Kerstin Thorvall (b 1925) studied at Beckman’s College of Design and has worked as a fashion designer, illustrator, journalist and author. She often illustrated her own books. In 1977 she was awarded Rabén & Sjögren’s Astrid Lindgren Prize.

Kerstin Thorvall illustrated Astrid Lindgren’s book Bill Bergson and the White Rose Rescue.

Ingrid Vang Nyman

Ingrid Vang Nyman (1916-1959). ”Every author who has been fortunate enough to find a congenial illustrator for their book, would be eternally grateful to that artist”, said Astrid Lindgren. Ingrid Vang Nyman’s pictures of Pippi Longstocking have become classics and have been enjoyed in many countries.

Ingrid Vang was born in 1916 in Vejen in southern Jylland, in Denmark. As a nineteen year-old she began studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, but she did not enjoy being there, so she left her studies after a couple of years. In 1942 she moved to Stockholm. She took her work as an illustrator very seriously, worked very fast and had a high level of ambition. She demanded that illustrations for children should be of the same high artistic quality as for adults. Her somewhat unrealistically high financial demands caused friction between her and the publisher at times.

The years between 1945 and 1952 were a time of almost manic activity, and just about all of her most important illustrations were created during that period.

The artistic awareness in her illustrations is tremendous, as is the technical precision. She used distinctive colour fields, carefully chosen nuances, distinct ink contours and a few impacting details to set the scene and create atmosphere. She was conversant with the latest printing techniques and took advantage of them by separating the colours herself to achieve the desired result.

The books by Astrid Lindgren which Ingrid Vang Nyman has illustrated are the textbook Kajsa Kavat, the textbooks about the Bullerby children and all the books about Pippi Longstocking.

Ilon Wikland

Ilon Wikland was born in 1930 in Estonia and came as a refugee to Sweden in 1944. In 1953, Ilon applied for a job as illustrator at Rabén & Sjögren. She was met by Astrid, who had just finished writing the book Mio, my Son and who could see immediately that Ilon was able to “draw fairytales”. Ilon did a test-drawing for the book and after that her collaboration with Astrid Lindgren continued.

Ilon has said that Astrid’s writing continually makes her see inner pictures. She also derives inspiration for her pictures from real life. In the same way that Astrid Lindgren wrote for “the child within her”, Ilon often also draws for the child within her.

Ilon Wikland is the artist who has illustrated the greatest number of Astrid Lindgren’s books. Here is a list of them: The Six Bullerby Children (aka The Children of Noisy Village), The Children on Troublemaker Street, The Brothers Lionheart, Karlsson-on-the-roof, Mardie, Mio my Son, Nils Karlsson Pyssling, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Seacrow Island, The Ghost of Skinny Jack as well as Sunnanäng. She has also provided the illustrations for many picture-books, including: The Dragon with Red Eyes, I Want a Brother or Sister/That’s My Baby, Brenda Helps Grandmother and Simon Small Moves in.

Harald Wiberg

Harald Wiberg (1908-86) is well-known for his fine pictures of animals and nature. The book by Astrid Lindgren which Harald Wiberg has illustrated is Christmas in the Stable (1961).

He has also illustrated the picture-book The Tomten, containing poems written by Viktor Rydberg and Karl-Erik Forslund’s picture-book about The Tomten and the Fox. The staff at Rabén & Sjögren liked the pictures so much that they wanted to export them. Astrid was then given the task of reworking these poems into prose, the text of which has since been translated into several languages and been sold in Germany and the USA, and other countries.

Hans Arnold

Hans Arnold (b 1925) was born in the little Catholic town of Sursee, in Switzerland. He studied at the Academy of Art in Lucerne, worked alongside an animator and for a short period worked also at the Paul Grimault studio in Paris. Hans Arnold came to Sweden in 1948 and was often called upon as illustrator for various magazines.

Hans Arnold provided illustrations for Astrid Lindgren’s picture-book, Most Beloved Sister /My Very Own Sister (1973), a story first published in the textbook Nils Karlsson-Pyssling (1949).

Eva Laurell

Eva Laurell (b 1921) illustrated the first books about Bill Bergson. Drawing in ink, she echoed Astrid Lindgren’s ability to depict life in those times. The children’s shorts, pleated skirts and summer dresses all reflect the fashions of the day. The car models, the houses and even the telegraph poles are very typical of that era.

The books by Astrid Lindgren that Eva Laurell has illustrated are Bill Bergson, Master Detective (1946) and Master Detective Bergson lives dangerously (1951).

Eva Billow

Eva Billow (1902-1993) – artist, author and lecturer in Graphic Arts at Konstfack, the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.

Of Astrid Lindgren’s books, Eva has illustrated the textbook Nils Karlsson Pyssling (1949).

Eric Palmquist

Eric Palmquist (1908-1999) produced the illustrations for Rasmus and the Vagabond, amongst others. For that book Astrid was awarded the H C Andersen Medal in 1958. The illustrations are certainly worthy of the prize-winning book.

The books by Astrid Lindgren which Eric Palmquist has illustrated are: Bill Bergson and Rasmus (1953), Rasmus and the Vagabond (1956) and Rasmus, Pontus and Toker (1957).

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