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Children of the Forest
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Children of the Forest

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  887 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
The children of the forest live deep in the roots of an old pine tree. This book invites children to follow their engaging adventures through each season as they play hide-and-seek with the squirrels and throw snowballs in winter.
This is the mini edition of a perennial favorite!
(Age 3 5)"
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Floris Books (first published 1910)
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At Foyles' foreign language department the other day, I optimistically picked up two children's books in languages I don't know well, operating on the principle that, if I chose something I already knew by heart in another language, I'd be able to figure it out. It worked fine for Struwwelpeter in German, but this was, alas, a complete failure. My Russian appears to be even worse than I'd thought, and I could hardly understand a word. Damn.

There are really only two things I can tell you about th
Although I do at least somewhat wish that this English language version of Elsa Beskow's 1910 classic Tomtetobarnen had adhered to the poetry, the lyricism of the original (I have a copy of it, but as my Swedish is extremely rudimentary and self taught, I do not understand all that much of it), I also can and do very much respect and understand the reasons why translator, or perhaps more to the point adapter, Alison Sage has decided to turn poetry into prose (it is often very difficult and somet ...more

Every small Swedish child is read this classic picture book in verse, about the family of little tomtar (roughly, pixies or leprechauns) who live under the old pine tree. It's so sexist that a line from one of the early verses is often quoted by Swedish people as shorthand for gender stereotyping:
Och far är stark och modig, och mor är blid och rar
- "Father is strong and brave, and mother is sweet and kind". You shudder.

And yet the book is utterly charming, and Swedish kids grow up to be the l
Nov 23, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. 5 stars for the artwork; 4 stars for the story. I absolutely loved the charming Scandinavian style of the artwork and the beautiful forest settings; adorable but also nature-based and realistic--for although I have never seen a small forest family playing games with squirrels or attending a school taught by an owl, Beskow manages to make it seem real. They are cute without being made "cutes-y"--not really sure how to describe it. The story is nice, too, spanning an entire year for the ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jul 05, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
This book is precious, but not in a gooey way.

The illustrations are lovely and amazing. The animals and nature theme are very appealing, as are the children of the forest and their family. I guess kids can have fun speculating about a few things after they’ve reached the last page of the book.

The story is told in an interesting manner. On the left side pages there are black and white drawings and the story text, and on the right side pages are glorious full color illustrations. My favorite illu
Jul 20, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Our whole family loves this book. The pictures are gorgeous, the text is playful, and the intimacy with the natural world that it espouses is definitely appreciated. Elsa Beskow also follows my "Rule Number One" of reading to my four-year-old son: never ever ever mention something interesting in the text that you do not intend to include in the illustration. (It's so frustrating to have him interrupt constantly: "But where's the [fill in the blank]?!") Every animal, object, person, or event she ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ann by: Katie
A very cute story. The drawings are very sweet and captivating, and the idea of little mushroom-hatted people living in the forest is absolutely charming.

The only thing to note for sensitive readers, is that there is a dangerous snake that the father kills to defend his family. (that sounds much worse than it comes across though).

If you have the time, this is a delightful little book.
Jan 21, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
I fell in love with Elsa Beskow's art when I first saw it at an antique show. The colors, the subjects, the children at play in the forest ... everything was enchanting. The original printings of the postcards and books are much nicer than the reprints. Unfortunately, they're rather expensive for use with children. So we read the modern versions ...

Usually, the children are given wise advise about living in a forest. For example:
"Never hurt the creatures of the forest, unless they mean you harm.
This is an utterly gorgeous Scandinavian story of a little family that lives under the roots of an old pine tree and dresses in red mushroom caps. Each illustrated adventure has a gentle lesson to impart to young readers, whether it be not harming forest creatures unless they mean you harm, which forest mushrooms are safe to eat, and the importance of hard work at harvest to prepare for the long, cold winter. I wish I lived a simple life like this!
Dec 31, 2016 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
My favorite Elsa Beskow book by far.
Sally Tarbox
Feb 25, 2016 Sally Tarbox rated it it was amazing
"Deep in the forest, under the curling roots of an old pine tree was a small house", 25 Feb. 2016

Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Children of the Forest: Mini Edition (Hardcover)
The beautiful story of a little family of forest people living under a tree. The four children wear red and white bonnets like toadstools, and this is an account of their days among the trees - playing with squirrels, riding on a bat, meeting a toad by the pool. There are dangers - father has to don h
Sep 24, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Toddlers & up
Recommended to Allison by: 1001 CBYMRBYGU
Shelves: 1001-cbymrbygu
I love stories about mystical beings and the Children of the Forest are such creatures. I believe a lot of children would love them too but they seem to have fallen a bit out of fashion these days with so much literature cemented in more realistic themes. I feel that the imagination is a most precious thing and that stories like this one feed the imagination in a way unmatched by realism.

The artistry in the illustrations in Children of the Forest are magnificent. Like several other beautifully i
Annalise Michael
Mar 02, 2013 Annalise Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: international
The Children of the Forest written by Elsa Beskow was originally published in Sweden. This book is about children that live deep in a forrest under a pine tree. The children go to school and play with animals, and they also help their parents harvest food. This story follows the family through all of the seasons. The children go on many adventures and do fun activities in the forest. They also work well with their family and keep themselves entertained.

The illustrations in this book are beauti
Aug 04, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it
This is charming in an old-fashioned way - young children will be entranced by the lives of the tiny children with the mushroom cap caps, and their friendships with all kinds of woodland creatures. Nothing big happens, just small events depicted in wonderful illustrations. These little people are not actually fairies, but they do play with the fairies, who are so light that they are quite ineffective on the see-saw. A snake is quickly dispatched by father and the children happily haul the carcas ...more
Petya Kokudeva
Jun 03, 2013 Petya Kokudeva rated it it was amazing
Няма друго такова щастие за мен, каквото са книжките на Elsa Beskow. Рисунките мога да ги гледам с часове. "Децата на Гората" ми е една от любимите й книги - малки гъбчета, които учат езика на вятъра при г-жа Бухал, фучат с шейни, дърпани от бели зайци, и никога, ама никога не се притесняват да играят в реката или в снега, защото... гъбчетата настинка не ги лови!

Неполирано изящество, ведрина и близост до природата. Искам да живея в книга на Elsa Beskow!
Jaimie Montréal
Apr 26, 2011 Jaimie Montréal rated it it was amazing
I love this so much. I got it for my girls this spring, and we've read it many, many times already. I never tire of reading it to them, and they ask for it often. The pictures are ridiculously adorable. I love that the little forest family lives simply but thoroughly enjoys life. There's just a bit of danger, just a bit of mischief, and some adventure. I love the presentation of the changing seasons. I can't wait to try some more of her books.
Jan 24, 2010 Winslow rated it really liked it
You especially love the troll (which used to frighten you) and love to feed him the blueberries in the field outside his cave. You like Boffo the frog. You point to the big wheels on the wagon and say, "That's drum." You frequently hit the baby on the last page, to the point where the page is now bent. We don't know if it's so much love that you must express it with physical intensity, plain old aggression, or what?
One of my favorite books as a child. You didn't even need an adult to read this book, because you could stare the pictures for ages and be entertained. This is a book that teaches the children in the Nordic countries to love the nature and forests around them, to notice the small wonderous things and see the forest as a magical place that it is.
Jonathan Owen
Aug 13, 2013 Jonathan Owen rated it it was amazing
Great story with wonderfully done color and black-and-white illustrations. My children eagerly waited for each night's reading. The mushroom caps, the pinecone armour, the battle with the viper, the great troll, the wispy fairies, and Buffo and Renate were all quite memorable. Highly recommend!
Mar 01, 2009 'helen' rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This is one of Nate's faves - he reads it regularly, and loves to act out scenes from the book - including running from the troll, poking the ants, and narrating the scene where the hedgehog takes the dead snake away... the illustrations are enchanting - I loved Elsa Beskow as a child, although I didn't have this story. I'm so happy I have it now!
Jul 13, 2016 Athos rated it it was amazing
A lovely story about a family of pixies who live in the forest. It's charming and fun and also very realistic: picking edible mushrooms from poisonous ones is serious business, and the children are entrusted with the responsibility of learning the difference. And the illustrations are beautiful. I'm so tempted to say it was cute, but in a most unconventional way.
Oct 13, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
Elsa Beskow's illustrations are full of beautiful timeless details and her story premises are unique and extremely magical. Children of the Forest sweetly introduces you to both the magic and the natural elements of the forest. It deals with death and fear as well, so probably isn't the best for smaller children.
Sep 22, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing
Just finished this one again with my seven year old daughter, who helped read it this time. I love Beskow's children of the forest. Each time I read it, I cannot help wishing that I had grown up as a child of the forest, taught by the wise Mrs. Owl, and being so aware of the seasons.
This book is cute as hell and I want it. It's fairly long for a picture book, with paragraphs of text, but I think it could still be fit for story time. There's both real natural information and fairy tale motifs included. It's just wonderful.
May 07, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing
If you have a small child, you really need to purchase some books by Elsa Beskow. We love not only the stories but also the beautiful illustrations. They put most of the current books on the market to shame.
May 11, 2013 Kyrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
I liked this even better than Peter in Blueberry Land. The cildren and animals were so cute. I really loved the illustrations. The idea of tiny people living in the woods and how they'd survive was cleverly done. I especially liked the father's pine cone suit of armor.
Aug 06, 2016 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The latest edition to my library. A very classic feel with elements to charm my little girl with her princess/fairy/mermaid-loving-personality AND my little boy with the pinned viper, chuckling monster, and bat rides.
Mar 01, 2012 Bea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite children's book of all times. Still love the illustrations dearly, every one of them reminds me of so so much.
Feb 16, 2016 Tanya rated it really liked it
A mix of colorful illustrations along with silhouettes, Engaging text, but didn't like the formatting of it. The kids wanted more from the ending.
Robin Raines-Bond
Sep 22, 2016 Robin Raines-Bond rated it it was amazing
Charming illustrations and story. It makes the forest people and animals feel so real, that even I am looking for them with my children when we are outdoors.
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