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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  613 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Deep in the roots of an old pine tree live the children of the forest. Playing hide-and-seek with the squirrels, and snowballing in winter, each season brings its own adventures.
Published (first published 1910)
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The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers by J.R.R. TolkienThe Return of the King by J.R.R. TolkienWicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
The Best Books about Elves or Faeries
186th out of 651 books — 838 voters
Howards End by E.M. ForsterThe Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LerouxThe Ransom of Red Chief by O. HenryTomtebobarnen by Elsa Beskow
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5th out of 15 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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
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

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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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
Sep 24, 2011 Allison rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
Robin Rivers
Elsa Beskow's beautifully illustrated story books are among the most beautiful of classic European stories.
Gorgeous fairy book. Cute story with magical illustrations.
Beautiful tale I remember from childhood.
Petya Kokudeva
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
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.
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?
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!
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.
Jonathan Owen
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!
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.
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.
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.
I've read this book to my daughter probably 15,684 times. It is a wonderful tale, lengthy for a 3 year old, beautifully illustrated.

The perfect birthday gift for any 3-5 year old in your life!
Morgan Djuna Sorais Harrigan
Elsa Beskow wrote some of the most beautiful stories. Children of the Forest is no exception. I recommend it to all children and olders who have a love for magic and forests.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I must start out the new year by reading a book from the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. This is from Sweden and has a copyright date of 1910.

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.
My favourite children's book of all times. Still love the illustrations dearly, every one of them reminds me of so so much.
Jane G Meyer
Enchanting! If you like little people and forests, and mushrooms, and such, then you'll enjoy these books by Elsa Beskow. :)
A distinctly old-fashioned picture book (as who can blame it, it was written in 1910), but no less charming for that!
G.R. Reader
A miserably insufficient translation which in no way does justice to Elsa Beskow's magnificent original. Disappointed.
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