- RONIA, THE ROBBER’S DAUGHTER / RONJA RÖVARDOTTER
Ronia (Ronja in Swedish) the Robber’s daughter was my favourite book when I was a child. And it will probably remain in my top 5 forever.
Ronja is adventurous, strong-headed, funny, smart and caring. Whether it comes to her friend Birk, the son of her father’s archenemy Borka, who she secretly brings food to during harsh winter times, or to the sweet old robber Noddle Pete (Skalle-Per in Swedish), who’s advice she never ignores, and who in his turn decides to confide only in her to tell her a very important secret.
When Ronja’s father finds out about her friendship with Birk, he is furious. Just as strong-headed as he is, Ronja decides to leave the castle she was brought up in, and live in an old bear cave in the woods. There she needs to survive on her own, find food, hunt and fish.
Luckily, her father has already taught her quite a few lessons about life in the woods, like to watch out for faeries (bird-witches) and the river:
‘Be careful not to fall into the river!’
‘What should I do when I fall into the river?’
Eventually, Ronja and Birk find a way to reconcile their father’s feud, with the help of Noddle Pete’s secret.
Together with Ronja (and your children), you will be greeting (shouting is more likely!) the beginning of spring after a long dark winter. And now that it is winter, you may understand why the Swedes are so happy when spring comes around again.
Age: 8 and up
Author: Astrid Lindgren
With wonderful illustrations by Ilon Wikland (Swedish version)
Original title: Ronja Rövardotter
First published: 1981 by Rabén & Sjögren
Translated into 39 languages
And, there is more. They made a theatre play,
a musical, and a film!
Film: Ronja Rövardotter (Swedish), 1984, directed by Tage Danielsson, Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
Perfect film to see after reading the book. Gives you and your children an idea of the Swedish endless forests, harsh and beautiful, and a feel for the Swedish language. I still remember the little kobolds (rumpnisse). They were rather surprised (and slightly silly J ), when Ronja’s foot gets stuck in their home under the moss in the woods, and they decide to hang their baby’s cradle on her shoe. They kept on repeating: Voffer gör hon på detta viset…? Har sönder taket! Voffer då? (why does she act this way, the roof is destroyed, why then?)