Rosalind and the Little Deer

Elsa Beskow, trans. from the Swedish by Kristina Turner. Floris (SteinerBooks, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-86315-794-3
Beskow wrote and illustrated dozens of children’s books in her native Sweden in the early 20th century. In this one, first published in 1924, Rosalind’s beloved deer bolts at the appearance of a hunter and is captured by the king, who claps the delicate creature in a golden cage. Desolate, the captive refuses to eat, and the king offers a sack of gold coins to anyone who can feed it. Helped by the hunter and his dog, Rosalind stands up to the King’s might. “The King will lock you in the dungeon! Run away while you can!” Rosalind is warned. “I will,” she replies, “if I can take my little deer.” (True enough, Rosalind does indeed get locked up.) Beskow pokes gentle fun at adults who assume that money and power can induce others to do what they want, but perplexing and convenient plot developments (the hunter is imprisoned by the king for not having a dog on a leash, but is released, inexplicably, just in time to free Rosalind) may leave readers with questions. Ages 4–up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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