Photo: Christer Ehrling
Catarina Kruusval has written and illustrated more than forty books for children up to the age of five. These include the popular stories about Ellen and Olle and their everyday adventures, and the books about Fia, a small girl in charge of her troop of toy animals. She has also illustrated well-known children’s songs and rhymes in a highly-regarded series of board books for the 0–3 age group.
Her stories are reassuring, sometimes use repetition to aid understanding, and with touches of child-friendly drama explore themes of security and the challenges of becoming more independent. Her pen and ink and water-colour illustrations use clear outlines, soft, harmonious colours and selective detail to create endearing characters and situations immediately recognisable to a child. Catarina Kruusval has won the Wettergrens Bokollon and the Ottilia Adelborg grant.
When she received Raben & Sjögren’s illustrator’s grant, the jury’s citation read as follows: “When Catarina Kruusval holds a pen and paint brush, people, animals and nature are all given their own life force. With a sympathetic outlook, she has created a long line of much-loved figures including Gubben Granström and Sill-August, Egon and Rävungen, and, not the least, Ellen. In Catarina Kruusval’s world the forest becomes marvellously green and secretive, the sea waves roll and splash and animals and people become surprisingly expressive.”