Photo: Cato Lein
Christina Björk has written about twenty books, and is particularly well-known for the stories about Linnea, created with the illustrator Lena Anderson (see elsewhere in this catalogue). After seeing a major Monet exhibition in Paris in 1980, Cristina Björk was inspired to write Linnea in Monet’s Garden, a story in which Linnea, a small girl, visits both Paris and Monet’s studio and garden at Giverny. In character and appearance, with her smock and mop of hair, Linnea is based upon Anderson’s daughter. The book includes biographical information and photographs of Monet, reproductions of some of his water-lily paintings, and Linnea’s own guide to Paris. It is both a travel story and an introduction to art history and especially Impressionism. Linnea in Monet’s Garden has been translated into twenty languages. Other books in the series include Linnea’s Year Book and Linnea’s Windowsill Garden. Christina Björk has won the Deutcher Jugendliteraturpreis twice, the Astrid Lindgren Prize, Wettergrens Barnbokollon and the Emil Prize.
Princesses, knights and dragons: Christina Björk has also reinvented some of the most enduring themes of children’s literature. Princesses are traditionally demure, but Princesses and Dragons introduces a generation of vibrant, assertive characters who, instead of waiting for princes to do battle on their behalf, take things into their own hands. In seven stories, one for each day of the week, seven princesses grapple with seven dragons with the help of their computers, scooters and golden televisions. Nor are the dragons quite what you might expect: the timid and reluctant share the pages with the furious and fire-breathing. Arthur, George, Parsifal and Tristan: the names conjure up the knights of old, some of the most fascinating characters in fairy-tales whose daring exploits have captivated readers for generations. Knights and Dragons comprises seven tales of seven knights and dragons. All the young boys we see here trying out their first swords against their first dragons, will become knights, and some will take their places at King Arthur’s round table. Both books are illustrated by Eva Eriksson.