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Annas himmel

(Garmann #4)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  56 reviews
På en dag da alt verker og det faller spiker fra himmelen, snur Anna verden på hodet og tar pappa med på reise. Til et sted der de kan svømme med fuglene og fly med fiskene. Forbi Marianergropen og Krabbetåken, helt ut til bunnen av himmelen.
Hardcover, 1st edition, 48 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Cappelen Damm (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.82  · 
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 ·  178 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
This is a surreal and very strange Norwegian book.

Ostensibly it's about a father and a daughter talking about what Heaven is like and what their wife/mother is doing there. One could surmise they are on the way to Anna's mom's funeral, but that's pure theory.

Now, when I say it like that, it sounds reasonable and clear, but the book is anything but reasonable and clear.

The pictures are gorgeous and surreal. Anna's dad's reflection in the lake is that of a rabbit. The opening end pages are of a sk
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna and her father are on the way to her mother's funeral. Anna daydreams on a swing before they leave. She daydreams about heaven and what her mother is doing there. She has questions about God -- what he does in heaven and what he does on Earth? Through Anna's imagination we witness a child dealing with the passing of her mother. The vivid applique photographs on colorful backgrounds brings the texts alive to the reader. I feel this book,though imaginative, might need further explanation by a ...more
 Sophia B
4.5 Beautiful, poetic book about grief in the family while never mentioning death or grief. But it is there, tangible, like cloves falling from the sky and unbraided hair and no mother to braid it. And father is restless so Anna takes him on a journey through the sky towards the bottom of the sky into the sea where people are swimming and flying through water and where grandpa and mother read or garden in the library/garden of God. Beautifully told and painted, so subtle and complex but also so ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bildebøker
Annas Himmel is a story that dealt with death and grief. It's a hard topic but yet the author can picture it in a different way.
To see the concept of heaven through the eyes of kids would be very interesting, and I am sure we would get a lot of interesting answers. In this case Anna's imagination is very wild and vivid. Which is kind of understandable if you try to put yourself as kids again. I enjoy this book and it is somehow touch me in a strange way. It's filled with strange (in a good way)
The book never explicitly states that Anna’s mother has passed away, but experienced readers can infer this if they parse through a surrealistic barrage of collaged imagery to see the typical belongings of an adult woman lying in a box on the floor, or Anna’s questions about heaven, or a quizzical sky with lots of people and animals floating by, prone, as if in eternal sleep. I’m not sure younger readers will have the background knowledge to catch the author’s drift.

That aside, this picture boo
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Anna's Heaven is about a little girl waiting with her father to go to her mother's funeral. The book begins with her father admonishing her to, "Hurry up!" However, as the book progresses the father allows himself to follow Anna through her daydreams until she is ready to go to the funeral.

It is difficult to find books about children dealing with a mother's death and this book is one of the best. Anna is a dreamy girl who talks about her mother's death in an indirect manner, typical of young ch
Marvelous illustrations and poetic text offer a philosophical pondering on death and its possible aftermath. A girl and her father each mourn the loss of her mother--his wife--and prepare to go, most likely for her funeral but possibly to resume life. The girl takes her father on a journey to her idea of Heaven where she imagines the woman weeding the garden or checking out books from the library. The first endpapers feature nails seemingly hurled through the skies and the last endpapers contain ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a year Eerdman's is having! Here is another extraordinary picture book that speaks evocatively about grief. Extraordinary and unusual illustrations lend a surreal but ultimately peaceful and hopeful feel to the book. This is one to give both to thoughtful children AND adults coming to terms with less in their lives.
Dov Zeller
Cool, collagic, trippy art with text that I didn't find myself drawn to as much. The book that addresses death and loss in a way that is perhaps accessible for kids who have lost important people.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#SEL #death #older - beautifully illustrated book about a young girl and her father - it's inferred that the mother has died. Imaginative use of art and ideas.
Beautiful artwork, peculiar wording, undefinable target group, wonderful heroine: I admire Anna, who at her young age senses that her father is too tense, too fidgety to go through his late wife's funeral. So she ignores his demands to hurry up, shoves him head first into a dream journey of memory bits and sensations and and weaves strange images and weired tales about the heaven she imagines her mother to be landed in. When her father's mouth is able to form the beginning of a smile, her work i ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Anna's Heaven by Stian Hole is a surreal tale about a young girl's journey to help herself accept her mother's death and help her father find happiness. Hole turns his literary world into a beautifully fantastic universe. With each turn of the page the reader discovers something new and strangely captivating. Some spreads show Anna's plain reality, and others are full of objects and beings from "the other side of the mirror." Hole's work is delicate and detailed while still seeming cheerful and ...more
Jane G Meyer
A very melancholy book--both in tone and visually, yet the text is filled with hope and lightness, even though the main theme is loss and death.

Right away upon opening this book there is a European sensibility about both the story and the images. A looseness that Americans typically don't employ. I love how the little girl's innocence and lightness helps pull the father out of his grief and into her place of play and hope. Her care for him is both tender and realistic...

Most of the illustrations
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When your world turns upside down, it may pay to look at it that way.
Young Anna does just that — and takes her grieving father along — in the subtly worded and creatively illustrated "Anna's Heaven."
Translated by Don Bartlett from the Norwegian, this picture-heavy and text-terse Eerdman's Book for Young Readers would make for an interesting parent-child reading time, especially in households dealing with a death of a loved one.
The dialogue between father and daughter bounces between the realisti
Losing a loved one is a profoundly difficult experience at any age, but it can be especially difficult to process as a young person. Anna's Heaven follows a young child and her father as they grapple with the death of their respective mother and wife.

This book's high point is the amazing and unique illustrations, which elevate a text that is at times touching and beautiful, and at others difficult to follow. My favorite parts are when Anna is describing the afterlife she imagines for her mother
Nancy Kotkin
Story: 1 star
Art: 5 stars

Stunning surrealistic illustrations, but I doubt any child will understand this picture book. The non-linear text is a mish-mash of random thoughts. It's supposed to be a conversation between a father and daughter grieving over the death of the girl's mother, but there is no logical flow to the dialogue or any sensible reaction from the other person.


"Look! Swallows are writing cursive letters in the sky. Maybe they're making shopping lists for us. And a recipe fo
Maureen Milton
“Do you think that there’s anything on the other side of the mirror?” Anna questions her restless father about her mother’s death. Reflections (her mother’s ghost image follows the mountain’s contours, a teapot mirrors an elephant, Anna and father’s pond reflections) and the text’s opening palindromes underscore the mystery of dying. After Anna plunges into the sky, her grieving father follows her through fanciful wonderings about her mother’s whereabouts and doings. Soon they emerge, Anna ready ...more
Michele Knott
The concept of Heaven is a hard one for young children to wrap their heads around. I picked this book up thinking it would approach the subject in a concrete way while keeping in mind the audience. This book ended up being so abstract for me that I'm really not sure who it was about. I'm not sure if things got lost in translation or not, but not a winner for me. Some of the illustrations were amazing while others were odd.
If Magritte, Dali and Bosch illustrated a children's book . . .

incredible art in this book from Norway's Stian Hole. Simply amazing -- so much to look at.

A father is sad; his daughter Anna asks unending questions about the nature of life and heaven and together they go on an imaginary journey (it seems implied that the mother has died).

Originally published in Norway
English language translation by Don Bartlett
Eerdmans 2014
This is a very unique book about a father and daughter - the mother has passed away, and it is clear that the father is struggling with that absence in his life. The positivism and imagination inherent to his daughter help to pull him out of his depression and into a happier place. The illustrations are dreamlike and interesting to look at - much time can be spent with this book. Be aware that there is discussion of God within the pages of this book.
Anna's imagination is very vivid. She imagines flying elephants. Her questions and observations capture what the inside of a child might be thinking like how can God keep an eye on everyone? Questions about why can't braid her hair. She winds up taking her father on this adventure with her.

This book is good for boys or girls

Anyone who has quesitons about death

Great for kids in Kindergarten to 2nd grade
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebook
This is a very elliptical book about a girl dealing with her mother's death. It won't appeal to the masses, but for the right child at the right time (when dealing with loss), it will be just right for repeated reading and the basis for further conversation. Comparable to "Duck, death, and the tulip".
Marissa Elera
Stian Hole has outdone himself in this absolutely stunning, emotional tribute to death. I had to sit and breathe for a minute after finishing it. It is utterly arresting, visually and textually moving, and altogether gorgeous. Each illustration is better than the last, but the one that grabbed my heart in vise is the one accompanying "Listen! The sea has so many voices!".
Lauren White
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AMAZING . Wow this book was incredible. Beautiful text on death, heaven, nature and the bond between father and daughter. The illustrations were out of this world. This has to be one of the best books I have read recently.
Patrician Day
This book I think allows children to know it is okay to asks questions about certain topics, such as death and heaven. The illustrations are what make this book appealing to the eye and to the sense of you are not alone vibe.
Rachel Watkins
ANNA'S HEAVEN is a dreamy beautiful picture book that is perfect for people aged 8 to 100 to read when grieving. Both lyrically and visually haunting, this book comforts in the way it examines our questions and posing perfectly preposterous yet wonderful answers.
Brindi Michele
3 stars because the illustrations are wonderful, but the story (and even the illustrations) are so scatter-brained...
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautifully intriguing book. The illustrations are incredible and create beauty surrounding a sensitive subject.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Surreal, contemplative, and affecting portrait of a grieving father and daughter. Stunning illustrations.
The disjointedness of the artwork and the story reflect how one might feel after losing a loved one.
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Stian Hole (born 20 March 1969, in Tønsberg, Norway) is a Norwegian graphic designer, illustrator and writer of children's books. He has made numerous book covers and three picture books which have gained national and international recognition. His book Garmann's Summer earned him an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award in 2009. In 2009 he won the Nordic Children's Book Prize.

Other books in the series

Garmann (4 books)
  • Garmann's Summer
  • Garmann's Street
  • Garmann's Secret
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