Thursday, January 29, 2015

Encouraging Imaginative Play With Author Elsa Beskow

One of our favorite authors and illustrators is Elsa Beskow.  I love how she takes the small details of nature and brings them to life and gives them such lively characters.  She created an imaginative world and allows us to come along for the ride.  Even as an adult I look at the berries and the grasses and birds just a little bit different.  It reminds me of how Disney has a knack for making mice adorable and charming and human-like.  My son still doesn't get why we wouldn't want them running around our house.  They go on such wonderful adventures in the movies!

Elsa's illustrations are softly detailed and lovely.  She was born in Sweden in 1874, and has written so many wonderful children's books.  She has often been called the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia

Elsa Beskow always loved fairy tales, and started telling stories even before she could speak properly. She told stories to her older brother Hans, who would help her find the right words and give suggestions on the plot. Elsa Beskow grew up with fairy tales all around her. Her maternal grandmother Johanna taught her the old nursery rhyme of The Little Old Woman. As an adult Elsa Beskow would illustrate the Tale of the Little, Little Old Woman, her first book, published in 1897.  

As a child Elsa Beskow would spend hours drawing trees and flowers in spring and summer, and she was nicknamed 'Princess' by her siblings. She gained a wide knowledge of plants and flowers, and her illustrations as an adult retained a child’s pure and wondrous view of nature.   source

The children love to read her books as much as I do.  It never fails that at least one of them will want to go outside and look under twigs and bushes or peek into the holes in the trees for cute little critters after reading her books.  Being winter, outside play isn't always an option.  But, thankfully we had collected all kinds of treasures when it was warm.  The other day after reading Children of the Forest, they got the idea to make their own little world.

They pulled out baskets of pine cones, rocks and sticks.  Our jar of seashells came out, as well as cardboard and small house plants.  We have a fun collection of peg dolls and wooden blocks that also came in handy.  Of course we couldn't forget our stuffed birds!

They played with their little world for days.  Taking turns playing and creating.

What books inspire your children's imagination?

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  1. They sound like lovely books. It's lovely the way it brings nature to life and inspires children to search in nature.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  2. Thanks for the great book reviews and for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  3. These are absolutely lovely. I am going to try to find some of these books. Thanks so much for sharing! I am pinning and sharing this one! So great.

    1. Thank you Lisa :) They are wonderful books. I hope you are able to find them!