Photo: Lisa Thanner
Gunilla Bergström is the creator of Alfie Atkins, one of Sweden’s most popular and timeless picture book characters.
Alfie is no hero; in fact, he is not even particularly brave. Perhaps this is why he appeals to so many children and adults: he seems just like us. From her first Alfie book, Gunilla Bergström broke with the tradition of the cute and the ideal to write about real characters in a typical flat in an urban high- rise block. The stories about Alfie deal with everyday emotions and conflicts that all children recognise. Goodnight Alfie Atkins (1972), the first in the series, has become a classic that generations of children know almost by heart. In this book, Alfie draws out the night-time routine to such an extent that his father falls asleep from sheer exhaustion on the floor. Other subjects range from the adult obsession with being on time, to the fear of ghosts and dilemmas with friends and adults.
Gunilla Bergström’s illustrations in felt-tip pen, acrylic and even scraps of newsprint and wallpaper, have a life of their own. She has written over forty books translated into more than thirty languages and has won the Astrid Lindgren Prize, the medal Illis Quorum Meruere Labores, from the Swedish Government (2012) and numerous other awards.
Alfons hemliga världar - Tre utvalda berättelser
The Secret Worlds of Alfie Atkins – Three Selected Stories
107×230 mm, 2018, 32 pp