What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Eva Eriksson

h1 December 12th, 2014 by jules

“Grump the tomte lived in the grounds of an empty cottage and every day, he slipped into the cottage through the cat flap. That’s how small he was. Real house tomtes are like that. They are small and quick and grumpy and they are always dressed in grey, apart from a pointy red hat. You hardly ever see them.”


This morning over at Kirkus, I spotlight Pat Mora’s Water Rolls, Water Rises, illustrated by Meilo So. That link is here.

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Last week I wrote here about Ulf Stark’s The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits (Floris Books), illustrated by Eva Eriksson and first published in Sweden in 2012. I’ve got some art from it today.


“Grump picked up the bee and ran back to his own house to light the first candle in the Advent candlestick. Tomtes always light the first candle on the first of December, whatever day of the week it falls on.”

“He got out his best book. It was the only one he had. It was called
In Praise of Solitude. The he started to read:
‘What could be better than enjoying silence all alone…'”

“Quite some way away, under an enormous oak tree in a big forest,
was a rabbit burrow. The burrow was full of life.”

“‘What is winter?’ asked Binny. None of the rabbit children knew what winter was. They had never experienced a winter. ‘It’s when the cold gets so cold it pinches your nose and everything turns as white as a cauliflower,’ said Grandfather.
‘The white stuff is called snow.'”

“‘What’s this?’ Binny wondered. ‘Perhaps it’s winter?’ guessed Barty. ‘It is quite white.’ ‘Yes,’ said Binny, ‘but it is mostly grey. And it is not pinching our noses.'”

“After a lot of work, the Christmas tree was ready. … Oh, how beautiful it was! And what fun it would be to dance around it and sing songs. But they couldn’t do that until the Yule Tomte arrived. ‘He is in no particular hurry, that one,’ said Uncle Nubbin.”

“But it really was the Yule Tomte! With a sock on his head.
He had Binny and Barty with him too. And the bee in its little box.”



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THE YULE TOMTE AND THE LITTLE RABBITS. First published in Sweden in 2012. First published in English in 2014 by Floris Books. Copyright © 2012 Rabén & Sjögren. English version © 2014 Floris Books. Illustrations here are reproduced by permission of the publisher.

One comment to “What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,
Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Eva Eriksson”

  1. My Swedish friend Karstin introduced me to the tomte years ago. I can’t wait to share this with her!

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