Saturday, March 26, 2016

Lotta's Easter Surprise by Astrid Lindgren and illustrated by Ilon Wikland

Another book by Astrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland! 

Cute little egg cup bouquet

Ilon Wikland has some gorgeous illustrations, like in this book, but in this book, the perspective seems all wonky. I am not as in love with the pictures. But I still like this book. I like Lotta and her feistiness. Her older brother and sister had promised to play Easter Witches with her when they got home from school and instead, they are gadding off to some friend's party and leaving Lotta behind. 

No wonder she is mad.

Poor, abandoned Lotta. 

"She was alone, and sad, and mad. But after a while she wasn't mad anymore, strangely enough, just alone and sad. And then, a little later, she wasn't even sad anymore, just alone. That's when she started to wonder what she could do until Jonas and Maria came home. She was good at finding things to do."

So Lotta sets off to find things to do. Her mother is doing housework to have a sparkling house for Easter.

Lotta goes out to see the garden.

Then she goes to see Mrs. Berg next door. Mrs. Berg suffers from asthma, so Lotta helps her out now and then, fetching things like Mrs. Berg's glasses from the woodshed, since Mrs. Berg would huff and puff just going to the woodshed. 

"But I can walk as far as I want without getting out of breath at all, thought Lotta with satisfaction."

Astrid Lindgren does kids so well. 

Lotta moseys down to the village to look at the candy shop windows.

Alack, alas, the poor Greek candy shop owner is closed up and moving back to Greece. The Swedish do not eat enough candy to keep him in business. He has a box of leftover Christmas candy and wants to know if Lotta would like it. He has to ask three times before she will really truly believe her good fortune. 

Lotta lugs the bags of candy home and hides it for a surprise. Maria and Jonas are back and want to play at Easter witches now, and Lotta has to get rid of them so she can finish hiding her loot. So she tells them she doesn't want to play Easter witches now. 

She takes the carrier bags into Mrs Berg's woodshed and finds a trunk to tenderly lay her treasured Santas and marzipan pigs down.

Finally, Lotta could hurry after Jonas and Maria to be Easter witches. However, they waited too late in the day. With the local candy shop closed, the neighbors are all running out of candy and Lotta, Jonas, and Maria get none. 

Apparently in Sweden, Easter witches go up and down the street, calling on all the neighbors, who give them candy--a little like Halloween. This is based on an old custom that said Witch flew south to cavort with Satan for the Easter weekend. The candy was to speed them on their way. Some kids decorate pussy willow branches and give them in exchange for candy, saying this little rhyme,

"I wave a twig for a fresh and healthy year ahead; a twig for you, a treat for me!"

Eating together that night, they discover that the Easter Bunny (Lotta cannot figure out what this has to do with her Dad) didn't know the candy shop was closing and didn't prepare. So the Morning Easter egg hunt will have to be postponed. 

Lotta has other plans. Early the next morning, she sneaks over to Mrs. Berg's and gets out her foil wrapped Santas, marzipan pigs, and Christmas angels. 

Oh the joy! No one knows how this happened. And Lotta isn't telling. 

Happy Easter!

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