Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, November 22, 2010


Tomte were mythical elf-like creatures of Scandinavian folklore.  They were believed to inhabit farms and take care of the farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the house folk were asleep

Sometimes a Tomten can be mischievous...

Hedgie's Surprise

HEDGIE'S SURPRISE written and illustrated by Jan Brett.  After viewing Goosey-Goosey's brood of chicks, Henny the hen longs for her very own offspring. But each morning a greedy, elf-like "Tomten" steals her newly laid egg, insisting he needs "a little yummy for my hungry, hungry tummy." Henny awakens her friend, Hedgie the hedgehog, with a loud wail, "No eggs, no chicks, no peeping babies," and he offers to help Henny put a stop to the Tomten's thievery. (Click here to read my previous post about the author,  Jan Brett.)

THE TOMTEN by Astrid Lindgren, illustrations by Harald Wieberg.  I love the moonlit scenes of the quiet farm.  This is an adaptation of the poem written by Viktor Rydberg.  To read my previous post about Astrid Lindgren and this book, click here.
The Tomten

Rydberg's poem, written in the 1880's, with illustrations by Jenny Nystrom, was the beginning of the Tomten's association with Christmas.  


  1. The books mentioned above are two of our *most* favorite. Two very different pictures of a tomten!

  2. We thoroughly love Jan Brett's stories and illustrations. I never knew exactly what a tomten was...thanks!

  3. haha! Glad I cleared that up for you!