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warning: suicide theme
on 9 November 2015
My six-year-old son and I are Astrid Lindgren fans, and I recently finished reading this to him. I'm not sure I would have if I'd known how it ends (and definitely I would have at least changed the ending).
Before getting to the heart of the matter, i want to say that the translation by Joan Tate is very bad. The English is often very stilted, as if the text had been translated literally, word-for-word from the Swedish. I have found other translations of Lindgren books (e.g., the Pippi Longstocking books, Karlsson on the Roof, the Noisy Village books) that are excellent, so there's really no excuse for this.
But that's not what I came here to talk about.
Buying the book, I thought it might be a good way for a child to deal with the topic of death. There are hints of darker things going on in the generally very cheerful Pippi Longstocking books (for example, the glimpse of a lonely Pippi with which the trilogy closes) that indicated to me this might be the case. But the last chapter came as a big surprise, and by the time I realized what was going on, it was too late to change the ending, which is about a euthanasia-type suicide.
So think very carefully about this when you are buying this book for a child, as this is not the sort of thing I had intended to expose a six-year-old to.