The author, journalist and literary educator Siv Widerberg, known for countless anthologies, collections of poems and picture books, died at the age of 89. She made her debut in 1966 with “Gertrud in der Kindertagesstätte”, an informative story for
children who would start with preschool.
She then wrote about sixty books in a typical, idiosyncratic mixture: she listened to children, was often in school and wrote with different classes and made poems from her everyday life. The best known was the anthology “Children’s first book”,
which she wrote together with Malin Wedsberg in 1989 and which became a classic. Among other things, it was distributed to all newborns in several communities. Another great success was the dictation anthology “Liebe und Rebellion” (also in 1989),
which she created together with Anna Artén, and the picture books on Daghemmet Rödmyran, which Siv Widerberg created together with the illustrator Cecilia Torudd.
Siv Widerberg was a die-hard one realistic and was sometimes seen as shockingly realistic when she talked about things that were previously taboo: The three books on hatred whose parents are alcoholics came out in the 1980s and attracted a lot of
Siv Widerberg has long been one of the most famous debaters in children’s culture and never hesitated when she discovered injustices. She took action in the stormy sixties, but unlike most of the others, she never gave up. She wrote, debated, and
debated for many years, and her last book, The Long Sleep, was published in 2011.
My papa can drive a car
My papa can fix electric motors
My papa can carry heavy, heavy things
My papa can quarrel with Uncle Carl
My papa can fry beef fried with onions
My papa can be kind
and comfort me when I cry
But can he cry himself?
"A boy, terrified of dogs, runs away from home when his parents buy him a dog of his own, but when the boy returns home due to hunger, he finds out that not all dogs are alike."
Hasse : 204 dagar i Hans Henrik Olssons liv
"Eight-year-old Hasse has a difficult home life. Eventually, through the help of foster parents, he learns to deal with his feelings."
Review of Suddenly One Day (1985) from School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 2- "A touching tale of first love. One day, a strange young boy appears in the yard; for some reason he piques a little girl's curiosity. Tentatively, their friendship blossoms over the summer, as they swing and play together in the
sandbox, although the boy seldom speaks. Summer fades and on the first day of school, the girl is jubilant to find her new playmate in her class, sitting alone at a desk. She cements their relationship in front of everyone by taking "her place next to
him" and presenting him with a special homemade valentine drawn with the reddest crayon. The beautiful watercolor washes use an array of muted earthtones that complement the gentle text and create an aura of sereneness. Unique borders weave together
elements of nature-vegetables, flowers, and butterflies-to highlight the actions of the children and to underline the wonderful world they create together. Like Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree (HarperCollins, 1964), the characters and place remain
nameless, but are universal. A quiet, sentimental offering."