I suppose we all know that the stories coming from the Brothers Grimm were really pretty grim on occasion. But after reading them as children, we can agree that they are not truly children’s stories, but more for adults. And that excuses the content.
I believe that Swedish children, today and back in my time, are exposed to more questionable literary content when they read. There is more gate-keeping in Britain.
I don’t really know what’s OK. I seem to be more delicate now than I ever was before.
Anyway, a few evenings ago Daughter read me another Swedish story. It was probably about the last eligible book we had, and to be honest, I had already sort of decided against it, on account of it being boring.
I misremembered. And Daughter is aghast. When she realised where Kattresan by Ivar Arosenius was heading, she couldn’t quite believe her eyes. And I suppose I didn’t help by pointing out that Arosenius wrote and illustrated the book for his own little girl, many years ago. 1909 seems to have been the date.
They were made of stronger stuff in those days.
In case it works as a spoiler, or you really are so tender-hearted that you don’t want to see what she saw, I will just leave the link – to Swedish Bookwitch – here. Then you can click on it and feast your eyes on what happened to the cat.
In fairness, the very young Bookwitch used to be somewhat disgusted/puzzled/disturbed as well.