An infusion of hygge happiness:
Storm-Stina [Tempestina]

The Swedish classic Storm-Stina (1989) has been recently published in Italian by Lupoguido, a children's book imprint of Guido Tommasi Editore, and the second story Stina's Visit (Stina e il Capitan Fanfarone) will be out next year. 
Both titles were published in English by Greenwillow Books (Harper Collins US) but never reprinted, which means that you can only get them used.
Which is a shame, because the refreshing nordic, higgae atmosphere depicted with soft watercolours is something to fall in love with, and Stina is such an adorable character with her almost white uncombed hair, oversized jumper and chunky wool socks.
Every summer Stina visits his grandfather who lives in a small grey house on an island of the Stockholm archipelago. And every day she goes to the beach, searching for things washed up by the sea.
One night she decides to go out alone to watch the storm, but she is lost and scared. His grandfather will go and find her,  and instead of keeping her home he will show her the right way to face a storm: well dressed and together.
In the second story, Stina and his grandfather visit Mr Stitchit for his birthday, a funny character  who likes to creatively remember his fishing adventures at sea.

A summer in the name of freedom and outdoor life: barefoot beachcombing, fishing in the cool wind, then eating the catch facing the sea. 
We can almost smell the salt in the air and that pan-fried buttered perch with potatoes: there's not much going on here besides fishing and exploring the desert, rocky shores.
It's a nordic summer of cold nights spent indoor drinking hot coffee and playing with the treasures brought by the sea, a summer of sea storms faced without fear, wearing wellies and serious raincoats.
Lena Anderson is just so good at recreating landscapes and depicting young characters, and this book is a gem that deserves to be rediscovered.
On our side we are reading it so often recently, maybe because we are in the middle of a boiling hot Italian summer and it is nice to imagine a different summer. 
Stina's stories definitely put Sweden in our travel bucket list.

Storm-Stina [1989]
Stina [1989] - English-language edition published by Greenwillow Books used, available here
Tempestina [2018] - Italian edition published by LupoGuido, an inprint of Guido Tommasi Editore Available here

Stina's Visit [1991] - English-language edition published by Greenwillow Books used, available here
Stina e il Capitan Fanfarone [2019] - Italian edition published by LupoGuido

Reading age: 3+
Themes: Summer, Grandparents love, Travel

Foto: Ola Ericson

Photo:  Johan Sodercrantz - 500PX

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