Ilon Wikland is one of the most known and loved children book illustrators in Sweden. Partly because she illustrated many of Astrid Lindgrens famous books. But also in her own right, because her illustrations are so good, appealing and captures the typically “swedish” childhood. They are colorful, clear, nice and with a good sense for childrens life, maybe also a bit nostalgical.
Above two page spread from one of my favourite books when I was a kid, “Visst kan Lotta cykla”, by Astrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland, (Rabén & Sjögren 1971).
I can still get the feeling when something small goes against me, on what should be a happy event, and I want to shout – Blod på min födelsedag!! (– Blood on my birthday!!)… Read the book and you will know what I mean. ;-)
My mother gave this book to me on Christmas 1971 when I was three years old. Long time ago…
Another Lotta-book, from a flea market. “Visst kan Lotta nästan allting”, by Astrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland. (1977, my copy Rabén & Sjögren 1989). The illustrations in this book is a bit looser, with even more screwed perspectives, thicker outlines and a little less decorations.
This little simple book above is also one my childhood favourites, so sweet. “Kjell och hans hamster”, by Ulf Schenkmanis and Ilon Wikland. I guess one of the reasons I liked it was because it ends with all the children in his class trying to draw a picture of the hamster, and that appealed to me! (Illustrationsförlaget 1972)
This is the oldest book I have with images by Ilon Wikland and text Astrid Lindgren, “Kajsa Kavat hjälper mormor”. The story is lovely, but with a tragic undertone, typical of Astrid Lindgren I think. I could really relate to this story since I also was a well behaved child with a much loved grandmother. Ilon Wiklands style is different in this book, looser with a lot of brusch strokes (gouache?), instead of black outlines and flat colors. (1950, my copy Rabén & Sjögren 1970.)
This book above was given to me by my mother on Christmas eve 1972. “Barnens dag i Bullerbyn”. Probably everyone in my generation have read it, or some of the other books about Bullerbyn. I wonder if that still is true? Guess todays children watch so many Astrid Lindgren movies, already from the day they can sit straight in a sofa, that they get fed up and do not want to read about it? Very nice drawings in black outline and flat color. (Astrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland 1966, my copy Rabén & Sjögren 1970)
This I bought recently at a flea market, “Vår i Bullerbyn”. The images is a mix of figures in outline and flat color with naturalistic painted animals and nature. (Astrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland 1965, this copy Rabén & Sjögren 1990)
I don´t remember this book, but inside it says it was given to me on my 4th birthday by my grandparents. “Magnus hade en ekorre”, by Hans Peterson and Ilon Wikland, Rabén & Sjögren 1967. The images is painted in watercolour, without the typical outlines.
This book I have bought to our son and it is really good reading. “(Mera) Godnattsagor om Anders, nästan 4”, text by Kerstin Thorvall, Rabén & Sjögren 1974, this copy from 1993. It is a very good chapter book for small children when they begin to want more than just images. Cover and smaller images by Ilon Wikland.
So many good books and I keep buying more every time I find one at a flee market.