Sagan om Halvdan Hårde

Halvdan Hårde pageErik Magntorn’s story goes that a very loud, very angry, very tall Viking named Halvdan Hårde notoriously made bad decisions and forced other people to do what he wanted. He was basically a giant bully. This time, he wanted to set sail at a dangerous time of year and forced the villagers into his ship to find a distant land to plunder. However, as suspected, a hole in the ship forced the group to make an emergency stop on a nearby island. The villagers finally took back their power by fixing the boat and secretly setting sail in the middle of the night while Halvdan snored unknowingly. When Halvdan woke up, he underwent a transformation but not the one the audience is hoping for. He didn’t realize that his behavior had produced his circumstances and swear to become gentle and loving. It’s not a redemption story, unless you focus on the men who tapped into their courage and cunning to outsmart someone who had always controlled them.

Halvdan Hårde coverWhat sells the book for me is less the story and more how it is presented. The text is written in a simple four-line rhyme pattern, which not only makes the book lovely to read aloud but helps a Swedish language learner immensely with pronunciation. Rhyming books are always my favourite to read! The size of the book, 178mm by 300mm, is quite unique and adds to the feeling that one is reading an ancient text. The incredible woodcut illustrations by Staffan Gnosspelius are the perfect choice to accompany this story: creepy and dark but playful enough to keep the story feeling light and easy for the younger ones. Halvdan is drawn as more silly than scary, and the muted colours contribute to the historical vibe. I appreciate how different Magntorn’s book looks from the majority of choices on the shelves these days. It’s a meaty choice for kids who appreciate more in a book than having their own lives reflected back to them.

Halvan Hårde skepp


Sagan om Halvdan Hårde
Författare: Erik Magntorn
Illustratör: Staffan Gnosspelius
Förlag: Hirschfeld Förlag (Mars 2015)
ISBN: 9789198004755
Antal sidor: 32
Köp: t.ex. hos Bokus

Författare: Laura Geiger

I call myself a serial expat because I moved from the USA to Canada to France and now to Sweden. My days of country­ hopping may finally be over, but the experience of immigrating will last for years to come. Maintaining personal identity while negotiating a sense of belonging in a new culture is a tricky process for both kids and adults. The good news is that books help. Children’s books, especially, provide a window into a country’s widely embraced cultural commonality and heritage. Add to that the simplified language and supporting illustrations, and you have a crash course for new Swedes on the shelves of your local library. I am a poet, artist, and enthusiastic supporter of expressive arts. I have worked as an elementary art teacher and as a homeschooling mama to my three children (born in 2004, 2007, and 2010). With an academic background in sociology and interest in second language acquisition, I am eager to share through Barnboksprat how our family is using children’s books to navigate our first steps into this new land of ours.

En kommentar till “Sagan om Halvdan Hårde”

Lämna ett svar

Din e-postadress kommer inte publiceras. Obligatoriska fält är märkta *