Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Tomten” as Want to Read:
The Tomten
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Tomten

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,556 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
No one knows when he came to the farm, no one has ever seen him, but everyone knows it is the troll Tomten who walks about the lonely old farmhouse on a winter's night, talking to all the animals and reminding them of the promise of Spring.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 6th 1997 by The Putnam & Grosset Group (first published 1960)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Tomten, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Tomten

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: children who like sweet stories featuring "The Little People"
It is a long winter's night, and the Tomten (a small, ancient gnome, who lives quietly and mostly unnoticed on a remote Swedish farm) awakens. He watches over the farm's livestock, encouraging the winter-weary animals with the promise of spring (talking to them in Tomten language, a silent language that the farm animals, from cows to barn cats, are able to understand). The farmer and his wife, although also under the Tomten's watchful eyes, are unaware of the Tomten's presence and unable to unde ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's official. . . I'm obsessed with Astrid Lindgren. I just ordered every possible title that I do not possess from the library, then ordered the remaining books from Amazon. (In case my husband reads this review, I would like to add that I was able to find MOST of her work at the library).

I want to read everything Ms. Lindgren wrote, whether it's for adults, children or animals. Or aliens.

This is actually a re-telling of the poem The Tomten by Viktor Rydberg and is illustrated by Harald Wiberg
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet story. I had listened to the audio of this when I would have rather had painted drawings of the farm house and the Tomten, who is a little gnome. A “Tomte” translates as “homestead man” who is a protector of the farm in which he lives.

So this is a story about a winter gnome in Scandinavian folklore that lives on farms to protect it. He wears shabby clothes, a long white beard, and a red cap. He checks on the animals, telling them that summer is near, and then he checks on the the ch
I love Astrid Lindgren and Kitty Crowther so much that I ended up buying this little picturebook in French and, painfully, translating it. It was only after reading about other work by Kitty that I found someone has already done it...
Stupidity aside, this is such a lovely little story about a little troll (the Scandinavian like their trolls who, I suppose are similar to Brownies ) whose job it is, in the winter, to ensure that the people and livestock of a remote household are safe and well and

A beautiful, gentle (adapted from the wonderful poem by Rydberg) story lovingly illustrated about the Tomten (gnome) who keeps watch over a family's small, lonely farm and encourages the animals in the winter while they dream of spring. I adored how the Tomten was friends with all the animals, and I think young children would love to imagine a tomten outside their house and keeping a kind, watchful eye on things while they sleep. The rhyme scheme makes this a very gentle, story, almost
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
First, let me say how thrilled I was to discover that Astrid Lindgren adapted this book. Pippi Longstocking was one of my favorite books/characters as a child and it just thrills me to read more of her work. Second, let me share that I have always admired gnomes and I have a special gnome that sits on my favorite bookshelf to protect my favorite books…I am such a dork :).

The Tomten is Lindgren’s adaption of a classic poem written by Rydberg (For the record, I prefer Rydberg's verses). Lindgren w
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently reread Hedgie's Surprise by Jan Brett, so we already had an idea about what a Tomten was. This book is similar, but depicts the Tomten in a slightly less mischievious manner. The narrative is repetitive and soothing, and the story is perfect for bedtime reading. The illustrations are also softly muted, showing the quiet of night. We really enjoyed reading this story together.

This story was selected as one of the books for the April 2012 - Mystical/Magical Creatures reads at the Pict
This book is a family favorite to read at Christmas time. My grandmother grew up hearing stories about Norwegian nissen (very similar to tomten) from her grandmother so this story has a special place in all our hearts. Astrid Lindgren's soft, sweet words translate the poem beautifully. It's easy for small children to understand. We got so into the idea of leaving rice porridge for the Tomten, we leave rice pudding for JulNissen at Christmas (along side Santa's cookies and milk). The illustration ...more
Isa Lot
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me ha gustado mucho, es un cuento precioso e ideal para el invierno, pero le doy un cuatro porque me gusta más la versión en inglés, tanto por los dibujos como por el texto. En esta traducción pierde un poco y se lia con cosas como que dice que el duende cuida de todas las casas y no es así, cuida de esa granja en particular, es el típico duende casero: tomten, brownie o kobold, o lo que J. K. Rowling llamaría elfo doméstico. Pero en general está bien y es muy bonito.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quite a lovely book.
Jeniece Goellner
I remember hearing the story of the tomten when I grew up from my Grandpa who grew up in Sweden and this folklore was common. I never knew about the poem or that Astrid Lindgren wrote a children's picture book based on the poem. So when I was an adult, introducing my fiancé to our Swedish traditions, I found The Tomten.

I was so pleased to find this story. It was a sweet tale about the tomten's night activities, silently providing help and comfort on the farm where he lives. The illustrations by
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A favorite picture book from my childhood. The story of a little Swedish "tomten" (elf type creature) and his life on the farm. I read the book out loud to my boys tonight and while I was basking in the warm glow of a familiar, beloved story from my childhood, they were creeped out that little men might be walking around the house while they were sleeping looking in windows. Matter of fact, one of my boys came and crawled into my bed about 20 minutes ago. Guess that story backfired a little...
Isa Lot
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Que bonito, me ha gustado aun más que Pippi, Astrid Lindgren tiene libros infantiles preciosos, este es muy adecuado para esta época, nos habla de como un "tomten", algo así como un gnomo domestico, que vive en una granja, sale por la noche y ayuda a los animales. El tomten es una antigua leyenda escandinava de origen pagano.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The lower illustration is the same scene in this book versus an older version of The Tomten.

Kimbely Fletcher
Sep 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: toddler-books
Great bed time picture book about a troll that speaks tomten to children and animals, reassuring and encouraging them while the rest of the world is sleeping. I would use this book at nap time.
The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Harald Wiberg, and adapted from a poem by Viktor Rydberg, is based on a mythical creature who watches over farmsteads and protects the inhabitants.

Wiberg's illustrations have a peaceful, almost dream-like quality. From information on the book jacket of the library's 1968 copy, it states that "Mr. Wiberg originally made these illustrations for his sons, taken from the lonlyfarm where the artist was born. They were first published in a children's magaz
Such a magical little book. I first read this to my daughter when she was 3 and--5 years later--we still read it a couple times every winter. It’s a very simple tale about a benevolent gnome-like Scandinavian farm sprite. The illustrations are enchanting, gorgeous, pure winter!
Natalie Ahern
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
A traditional scandanavian folk tale best read around Christmas time for maximum enjoyment and relevance as it is set in winter.
The Tomten is a little troll also affectionately known as a gnome. The Tomten wanders round solitary farms looking after and talking to the animals that live there. He also keeps a watchful eye over the children to ensure that they come to no harm while they sleep.
I read this book to my year 2 class under the visualiser. It took me about 10 - 15 minutes to read. They m
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: younger-kids
This book is interesting, but a little freaky. It's about a creature called a Tomten that creeps around a farm while the people who live there are sleeping. I can totally see Stephen King rewriting this book as a horror novel for adults.

I googled "Tomten" and discovered that it is a mythical creature of Swedish folklore. This book makes a lot of more sense if you know this background information.

Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Used to be my favorite book in winter when I was a child (:
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is my new favorite bedtime story. The kids like it too. A true classic type of children's book that doesn't talk down or preach, just tells a gentle story with a quiet rhythm.
Cynthia Egbert
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
A book that I remember from my youth and I just rediscovered! I always wished that my home had a Tomten. Okay, I still wish this!
Karen Witzler
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I woke up this morning thinking of the quiet soothing cadences of this book.
Maren Prestegaard
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
Read this book to little M's class last year before having a tomte hunt and a pepparkakor snack. Super fun morning.
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A delightful wintertime story about the little gnome who goes around the farmhouse at night, checking on everything and making it safe.
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Sweet little book about the tomten that goes around a farm in the middle of the night and talks to all the animals.
Rebecca Sheedy
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Another of my childhood favorites. A really beautiful and dreamy book.
LaVerne  W. Sargent
A must read

A beautiful story and excellent English translation that keeps the mood of the quiet natural magic of the story. Especially for children but will be enjoyed by anyone. The cover picture is a generic picture, not from the book. Is fun on Kindle to make the pictures larger. Be sure that your brightness is a little higher for this book.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a cute story about a little elf-type creature that talks to animals and watches over a family. The timing couldn't have been more perfect for us because we visited an old-time Christmas town the week prior to the book being available at the library and in the Swedish house the woman talked about (and had a statue of!) the Tomte which is part of their tradition.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
November 2016 - this is one of my childhood favorites and I was pleased to find it holds up - at least for me. Ben was super distracted while we read it, so we'll have to try again for the full effect. I love that quiet, snow-covered farm and the Tomten's silent language - there's a bit of melancholy to the story, but it's also so peaceful.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
LDS Ladies Book Club: The Tomten: June 22-28 7 9 Jun 24, 2016 09:15PM  
  • Children of the Forest
  • The Story of the Snow Children
  • Winter Story
  • Lucia and the Light
  • Grandfather Twilight
  • Child of Faerie, Child of Earth
  • The Trees of the Dancing Goats
  • Red Ranger Came Calling
  • The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
  • Waiting for Winter
  • Pancakes for Findus (Findus & Pettson)
  • The Tale of the Firebird
  • Annie and the Wild Animals
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls
Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren, née Ericsson, (1907 - 2002) was a Swedish children's book author and screenwriter, whose many titles were translated into 85 languages and published in more than 100 countries. She has sold roughly 165 million copies worldwide. Today, she is most remembered for writing the Pippi Longstocking books, as well as the Karlsson-on-the-Roof book series.

Hans Christian A
More about Astrid Lindgren

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Gold-Son
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Trail of Dead (Scarlett Bernard, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Regulars
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Childhood's End
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Mirror
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates)
    $5.67 $2.99
  • Raven's Peak (World on Fire, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • That Hideous Strength: (Space Trilogy, Book Three) (The Space Trilogy 3)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Swords and Deviltry (Lankhmar, 1)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dracula [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • The Dark Tower: And Other Stories
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage #3)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Thickety: A Path Begins
    $6.24 $1.99
  • Stinger
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lost Voices
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)
    $5.74 $1.99
  • Extracted (Extracted Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Dragon Haven (Rain Wild Chronicles, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Isle of Blood and Stone
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Spirit Hunters
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Loved (House of Night Other World #1)
    $11.00 $0.99
  • The Terranauts
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Haven (War of the Princes, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Brilliance (Brilliance Saga, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Immortal Circus: Act Two (Cirque des Immortels, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Better World (Brilliance Saga, #2)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Written in Fire (Brilliance Saga, #3)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Immortal Circus: Final Act (Cirque des Immortels, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Secret of the Sirens (The Companions Quartet, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Ocean of Storms
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Shannara, #1-3)
    $19.99 $2.99
  • Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1)
    $9.94 $3.99
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1
    $5.99 $1.99
  • I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Life of Pi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow, Part 1 (Smoke and Shadow, #1)
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1 (The Promise, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Impulse (Jumper, #3)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Library Edition Volume 1
    $19.99 $1.99
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9: Library Edition Volume 1
    $16.99 $1.99
  • Artful
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Chains of Command (Frontlines, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Into the Dim
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fury (Blur Trilogy #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Midnight Robber
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Taken (Taken, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • City
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Chocolate Touch
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Storm (Elemental, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, #10)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mama Day
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Infinite
    $5.99 $2.49
  • Boundary Lines (Boundary Magic, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Mermaid's Sister
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Boundary Born (Boundary Magic, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kissed by Darkness (Sunwalker Saga, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dragon Marked (Supernatural Prison, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Blood Kissed (Lizzie Grace, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • A Glimmer of Hope (The Avalon Chronicles #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Celia and the Fairies
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Genesis
    $11.99 $1.99
  • To Honor You Call Us (Man of War, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hunter's Trail (Scarlett Bernard, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Wool: The Graphic Novel
    $7.99 $2.99
  • And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Ticker
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard (Barsk, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Concealed (Lakewood, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »