2014: The Year of the 100 Year Olds

2014 is the year for several 100 year old celebrations in the Nordic children’s literature. The father of Mrs. Pepperpot, Alf Prøysen, the verse-smith Britt G. Hallqvist and the internationally renowned Tove Jansson were all born in 1914. Barnboken – Journal of Children’s Literature Research honors the memory of the three writers with a special issue.

Britt G. Hallqvist 100 Years

Britt G. Hallqvist’s (1914–1997) contributions to Swedish children’s literature are many and profound. It was a sterling authorship that emerged already with her debut book Rappens på Blåsopp (1950), and then continued with many children’s and young adult books, several collections of poetry and verse, drama, religious devotional books and psalms for children.

As a translator and introducer she is equally important. We find her name in several classics, such as Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Little House on the Prairie, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the works of Shakespeare. Worthy of mentioning is also her translations of nonsense poems by Edward Lear, Sylvia Plath, T. S. Eliot, and James Krüss.

Tove Jansson 100 Years

The world renowned writer and artist Tove Jansson (1914–2001) made her book debut in 1945 with a shorter story about how the Moomin trolls came to the Moomin valley, called The Moomins and the Great Flood. Her multimedial artistry has been the subject of research in Sweden as well as internationally, for instance Boel Westin’s extensive Tove Jansson Life, Art, Work: The Authorised Biography (2007), which will be published in several languages during 2014.

Tove Jansson’s oeuvre encompasses a range of aesthetical expressions during seventy years. The Moomin world is a universe of its own, mediated through illustrated books, picturebooks, comics, theatre, movies and TV-series. During the 1950’s Tove Jansson became an international megastar through the Moomin comics. She wrote novels, short stories, and drama for adults, and worked for many years as an illustrator and political cartoonist. She has also illustrated the works of many other authors.

Barnboken welcomes articles about Tove Jansson and her broad repertoire within the following themes: crossover and multimediality, ideology and philosophy, autobiography and autofiction, loneliness and isolation, childhood and adulthood.

Alf Prøysen 100 Years

The Norwegian author and songwriter Alf Prøysen (1914–1970) was an important culture personality in Norway. He wrote not only novels, short stories, and songs for children and adults, but was also engaged in drama, radio, television, audio recordings and as a collector of Norwegian folk songs. Among other things he worked for many years with children’s radio and television programs, and he also translated several children’s book classics to Norwegian.

Alf Prøysen made his debut in 1948 with a collection of songs for adults. His first children’s book, Lillebrors visor (Little brother’s songs), came the year after. What he is most known for is, however, the four books about Teskjekjerringa, or Mrs. Pepperpot as she is called in English, the little lady that can shrink to the size of a teaspoon at any time. Mrs. Pepperpot was introduced in the journal Kooperatøren where Prøysen had his own page for children during 1950–1960. In book format Mrs. Pepperpot first appeared in Swedish in 1955, two years prior to the first Norwegian publication. The stories of the little teapot lady has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Deadline for proposals: 20 January 2014
Deadline for articles: 21 April 2014

The articles will be published in late 2014. Please send a 300-word proposal and a short bio to barnboken@sbi.kb.se. See Author Guidelines for further information on submission details.

Articles submitted for consideration may not have been previously published or presented in any other context.

A guide to our reference and note system can be found at the journal website.

For more information, please contact:

Svenska barnboksinstitutet/The Swedish Institute for Children’s Books
Åsa Warnqvist, editor
Odengatan 61
SE-113 22 Stockholm
Tel: + 46 8 54 54 20 65. E-mail: barnboken@sbi.kb.se