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Astrid Lindgren AuthorMarit Törnqvist Illustrator

A Calf For Christmas/När Johan fick en liten kalv (När Bäckhultarn kom till stan)

Picture Books

A Calf For Christmas/När Johan fick en liten kalv (När Bäckhultarn kom till stan)

No one can portray the feeling of sadness and quite joy like Astrid Lindgren could. A Calf for Christmas is a story about compassion and empathy. Astrid Lindgren takes us back to farm life in Småland and the beautiful illustrations by Marit Törnqvist atmospherically captures people, animals and their surroundings. A long-awaited new edition of a classic picture book that deserves to be brought back to life!

The family of the little farm boy Johan has lost their only cow, Embla. She ate a nail and died yesterday. Johan stands on the porch steps and thinks about the terrible thing that happened. He looks out at the white snow that falls. On his way into town, the Bäckhult magistrate passes by on this sleigh. He is a juryman and has at least twenty cows, all alive and well. It is so unfair. But what Johan doesn’t know is that later in the evening, as the magistrate will make his way back, something will fall off his sleigh – something which will soothe the ache after losing Emlba.

The story was first published in 1951. This new edition was published in 1989.

Astrid Lindgren


Sweden’s most beloved children’s author Astrid Lindgren (1907–2002) is also considered to be one of the most important writers for children throughout the world. Her work has been translated into more than 100 languages, and shortly after her death the Swedish government inaugurated the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) to recognise outstanding international achievement in…

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Marit Törnqvist

Illustrator Author

Marit Törnqvist, born 1964, is part Swedish, part Dutch, living in Amsterdam. She studied to become an illustrator at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. In the late 1980’s Marit Törnqvist was commissioned to illustrate herfirst picture book by Astrid Lindgren. Marit Törnqvist is the designer of the set for Astrid Lindgren’s “Story Train” and…

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