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Astrid Lindgren AuthorMarit Törnqvist Illustrator

The Red Bird/Sunnanäng

Picture Books

The Red Bird/Sunnanäng

“Long ago, in the days of poverty, there were two little children who were left alone in the world”. So begins the story of Anna and Matthew, tow orphaned children who find themselves working for a ruthless farmer in order to put food in their belly. One day, during a harsh winter, a red bird appears before them, leading them with its song into a magical land of spring. “All the loveliness of spring burst over them in one exultant instant: A thousand little birds sang, rejoicing in the trees; all the spring rivulets gurgled, all the spring flowers sparkled, and children were playing in a meadow as green as the fields of paradise.”

The Red Bird was initially included in a collection of stories published with the same title in 1956. This illustrated edition, with illustrations by Marit Törnqvist, was published in 2003.

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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