Astrid Lindgren & Ilon Wikland

“The child within”

Astrid Lindgren (November 14, 1907 – January 28, 2002) and Ilon Wikland (February 5, 1930) worked together on numerous children’s books, written by Astrid and illustrated by Ilon.

Children’s rights and the importance of childhood as well as being allowed to dream and play, joined Astrid and Ilon’s visions of storytelling. Ilon once said that Astrid’s writing makes her see inner pictures. In the same way Astrid Lindgren wrote for “the child within her”, Ilon often draws for the child within.

Astrid Lindgren’s work is unique and significant. She wrote 34 chapter books and 41 picture books. Her books have been translated into over 100 languages and sold over 165 million copies worldwide. Astrid was a committed humanist and fought for the rights of children, equality and animal rights.

Ilon was born in 1930 in Estonia and came as a refugee to Sweden in 1944, escaping the Soviet occupation. She later studied at the Swedish art school Konstfack and in 1953 Wikland applied for a job as an illustrator at Rabén & Sjögren, where she first met Astrid. Ilon’s first work was illustrating “Mio, my Son” and their collaboration continued over many years.

Ilon Wikland is the artist who has illustrated the greatest number of Astrid Lindgren’s books, including Brothers Lionheart, The Children of Noisy Village, Lotta on Troublemaker Street, Karlsson on the Roof, Mardie, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter and many more.

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