Today I would like to introduce you to the works of Norwegian author Maria Parr. Born in 1981, she writes children’s books and works as a teacher. She has won several awards for her books.
The hilarious story about Trille and Lena growing up in Mathildewick was first translated by Guy Puzey and published as Waffle Hearts, and was later adapted for the American market with the title Adventures with Waffles with illustrations by Kate Forrester.
I loved Trille and Lena and their adventures, whether it was getting a cow onto a boat, tobogganing with a chicken or whatever else they came up with as next door neighbors and best friends (maybe). The story reminded me of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s books, particularly Pippi Longstocking and Prankster Emil.
Parr recently published a sequel about Trille and Lena in Norwegian, the title translating to The Goalkeeper and the Sea. They have aged a few years and are now becoming teens. I do not know yet when it will be out in English, but I loved it more than the first book. Keep an eye out!
Also, if you haven’t given it a go, Astrid the Unstoppable translated by Guy Puzey and illustrated by Katie Harnett is a wonderful story about nine-year-old Astrid and her best friend, a grumpy 74 year old. If you enjoyed Spyri’s Heidi, or Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking and/or Ronia the Robber’s Daughter this is the book for you. Skiing, tobogganing down the road, and investigating a mystery woman are just a few of the things Astrid gets up to.
All the books have nature and the fjords as key characters, and you really feel like you are adventuring in Western Norway with the characters. I would suggest both of these for parents to read to kids around age 6, and for kids to read on their own age 8-13.
PS. If you understand Norwegian, listening to the author narrating the audio-books is a real treat.