Dagfrid is not your stereotypical Viking girl. She’d rather wear her hair in two long braids than rolled into buns on either side of her head. She chooses to dress in pants instead of the super long dress that other girls wear. And she’s absolutely not into fish.
In Dagfrid, Viking Girl: No More Ear Buns, Book 1 in this delightful series for beginning readers, not only does Dagfrid make herself a pair of pants, she also builds a boat (with a little help from her brother) and sets out on a voyage of discovery. And much like the Vikings in days of yore, discover she does, returning home from her travels with a couple of sheep and a newfound knowledge of knitting.
The second book Dagfrid, Viking Girl: Secret Viking Wishes shines a spotlight on Dagfrid’s brother Odalrik, otherwise known as “Mom’s ‘darling little codfish.’” Aged 16, Odalrik is preparing to be a Viking warrior and sailor, although all he seems to do is lounge around in his boat all day. His behavior understandably makes Dagfrid mad as she works her way through her list of daily chores—and she’s not afraid to say so. But it turns out that Odalrik is desperate to do something different. And he proves that he’s pretty good at sweeping and cooking!
Author Agnès Mathieu-Daudé flips traditional male and female stereotypes in these two engaging books. Dagfrid is a fun, feisty Viking girl who shares her experiences and voices her opinions with refreshing openness in her first-person narrative. The chapters are short and easy to read, and Olivier Tallec’s colorful illustrations add an entertaining visual dimension to each story. And—as an extra bonus—young readers will come away with a basic grasp of Viking culture and history, including turf houses, dried fish, dragonships, discovery and exchange.
Dagfrid, Viking Girl: No More Ear Buns and Dagfrid, Viking Girl: Secret Viking Wishes are due for publication on April 4, 2023. I highly recommend them to beginning readers and look forward to discovering the rest of the series in English in due course.
Dagfrid, Viking Girl: No More Ear Buns, Dagfrid, Viking Girl: Secret Viking Wishes
Written by Agnès Mathieu-Daudé
Illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Translated from French by Nanette McGuinness
Published by W1-Media Inc./Arctis Books USA, 2023
ISBN: 978-1646908042, 978-1646908059
Reviews: Kirkus, Publishers Weekly
You can buy a copy of Dagfrid, Viking Girl: No More Ear Buns! here and a copy of Dagfrid, Viking Girl: Secret Viking Wishes here. Or you can find them in a library, here and here.*
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With thanks to the publisher for providing review copies of both books.
Laura Taylor is the founder of world children’s literature blog Planet Picture Book. She is a small business copywriter, NAATI-certified translator of French into English and member of AUSIT. When she is not writing, she is reading, and chasing after her two young children. She occasionally tweets @plapibo and posts at www.planetpicturebook.com