- Thanks to the popularity of such Scandinavian writers as Hans Christian Andersen, Astrid Lindgren,and Tove Jansson, Scandinavian children's literature has a worldwide reputation. Owing to the teachings of the Lutheran state churches in the Scandinavian countries, literacy among children developed relatively early and has remained very high. While the earliest Scandinavian books for children had didactic purposes, the tales and stories ofHans Christian Andersen, published between 1835 and 1858, early laid stress on fantasy and everyday language. Later manifestations of the didactic spirit are found in the work of the Finn Zacharias Topelius and the Swede Selma Lagerlöf; the latter's Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (1906-1907; tr. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, 1907, and Further Adventures of Nils, 1911) was written specifically in order to teach geography to Swedish schoolchildren. Other Scandinavian contributions to world literature for children include Astrid Lindgren's indefatigable Pippi Longstocking and Tove Jansson's family of Moomin trolls.
Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. Jan Sjavik. 2006.
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