In olden days a wooden Dala horse - "Dalahäst" - was a toy for children; in modern times it has become a symbol of Sweden itself.
Since these red hand painted horses have been part of Swedish folkart for over 300 years, a trip to Scandinavia would be incomplete without a visit to a workshop where the popular wooden horses are still made today. Here's what I saw...
Before the 1920's and the invention of the bandsaw, Dala horses were completely made by hand. Today they are still hand carved and hand painted, after the horse pattern is stamped onto wooden blocks and cut out with the saw.
My grandson loves the little Dala horses I brought home to add to my small collection. He set up a whole parade going across our kitchen table, and he was fascinated by the pictures I took at the workshop.
I decided to google "Swedish Dala horse" and found a video so my grandson could watch the whole process of how they are made.
Go here to watch this excellent video all about the Dalahäst workshop I visited.
Which brings me to today's awesome Nordic alphabet picture book, D is for Dala Horse, written by Kathy-jo Wargin and illustrated beautifully by Renee Graef (she also illustrated the first American Girl Collection Kirsten books from Pleasant Company.)
Psst...I'll be giving away this Nordic alphabet book (and more) soon, so stay tuned to my upcoming Scandinavian Literary Travel posts!
As my grandson and I read D is for Dala Horse together, we had fun going back and forth from the cute book illustrations and descriptions for each letter to my (very!) similar photos. The author included many of the interesting things I saw, such as...
B is for...Bunad (a Norwegian way to dress)...
C is for...Copenhagen
D is for...Dala horse
F is for...Fjords
H is for...Hans Christian Anderson
O is for...Oslo
R is for...Runestones
T is for...Troll...
I've got lots more to tell you about Scandinavia in my upcoming posts. You can find D is for Dala Horse here (or wait for my Scandinavian Giveaway!) Remember, you're always welcome here on my Good Books For Young Souls Blog...come in and stay awhile!