Trötta mammors försvarare: familjevärderingar i Kerstin Thorvalls bilderböcker från 1970-talet

Sara Kärrholm


Kerstin Thorvall (1925–2010) is a Swedish author of books for children and young adults, as well as books for adults. In 1965, she wrote the article “Do all authors of children's books live in Tomtebolandet?” (“Bor alla barnboksförfattare i Tomtebolandet”, Expressen 1965) in which she claims that gender roles in Swedish children's literature, are depicted in an old and stereotypical fashion. She also wants children's literature to adjust better to the actual lives of it's readers, for example by describing the environments that are recognizable to children in their everyday life, such as kindergarten and apartment buildings in an urban setting. Thorvall's article inspired a debate about children's literature and gender roles that had a great influence in the design of children's books in the following decade. Thorvall herself also wrote picture books showing her version of the best ways to handle these issues in children's literature. This paper will address some of these picture books, namely Mamma, var är du? (1972, Mother, where are you?) and the books about Sara, Sara (1975) and Mer om Sara (1977, More about Sara) with illustrations by Monica Schultz, in order to discuss issues about children's literature and it's depiction of family values during the Swedish 1970s.

Keywords: family values, gender roles, society, picturebooks, motherhood


family values; gender roles; society; picturebooks; motherhood

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Barnboken – Journal of Children's Literature Research eISSN 2000-4389
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