Books from my childhood 4: Måns in the moon by Einar Norelius

A picture book that I found fantastic and fun when I was a small kid was “Gubben Måns i Månen”, from 1969. It is illustrated and written by the swedish much loved artist Einar Norelius. The book is a good combination of whimsical adventure, colourful and clear images packed with drama and movement, and an exciting lyric in rime.

The image of the jolly moon smoking a pipe and gently flying above the earth is forever etched into my brain. And so is the hungry bears, the angry mad wasp, Per who lives in a pear, the happy cone with legs and how Måns could make a car out of a shoe and what he found in his hat! Great stuff for a kid.


Recently I was happy to find another book for children by Einar Norelius, this one is from 1957, called “Timpo Tempo”. And it is so funny, cause it is in fact an advertisement book for a swedish chain of big stores called “Tempo”, but disguised as a book for children. On the back cover is listed all the Tempo shops in Sweden.

The boys name in the book is Timpo Tempo and he visit the store with the same name Tempo. At night he starts to dream about his new blue mittens from the store and they take him on a trip around the world to see where everything in the shop comes from.

I have tried to read it to my son, but the text is not that great… even thou he never heard of Tempo and do not understand the book is trying to make him think “Oh Tempo is great!”…

What I like most is the decorated initials on every page, they are nice. And on one page they visit “the man in the moon”! He opens a window and says he sometimes think the moon is a cheese. Just like the bears do in “Måns…”! Is this maybe were Einar Norelius get the idea for his own book, released around ten years later? (Or did he always do men in the moon? I am not that familiar with his work.)

Lena Svalfors Hedin
Hi! My name is Lena and I love creative and beautiful things in life. Sometimes it inspires me to photograph and write something about it, hopefully you can enjoy it too. I have previously been freelancing as an illustrator, now I have a day job focused on communication, web development and graphic design for print and web.
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