The world is full of tricky quotes derived from the texts that Astrid Lindgren has written, or statements that she has done. Sometimes they are correct, but sometimes out the little garbled. Here is the page to all of you who want to know how it was really expressed by Astrid Lindgren. Use the search function top right. try the little cloud of quotes and keywords, or just scroll your way in a world of memorable quotes.
"You can put things in a book that o n l y children are amused by. You can certainly also have in it things that both children and adults enjoy, but you must never put things in a children’s book that amuse only adults. That would be rude to the child – who is going to read the book."
"If I have managed to brighten up even one gloomy childhood – then I’m satisfied."
"Journalists are so stubborn. Just leave an empty space in the paper and write: This is where we were going to have something about Astrid Lindgren, but she wouldn’t be in it ."
Aftonbladet, 4th May 1976
"Mankind is preoccupied with two great things: death and love; these catch the interest of all ages. You shouldn’t scare children to the point of anxiety, but just like adults they need to be moved by art."
Dagens Nyheter, 8th September 1959
"What should a good children’s book be like? If you ask me, I can tell you after thinking long and hard: It must be good."
A little conversation with a would-be children’s book writer, from a magazine called, Children & Culture (June, 1970)
Every day, Astrid talked to her sisters Ingegerd and Stina on the phone. As they grew older, the conversations always began with the words, “Death, death”, so that the subject was out of the way and dealt with. Then they talked about other matters.
"And so I write the way I myself would like the book to be – if I were a child. I write for the child within me."
Expressen, 6th December
"I want to write for a readership that can create miracles. Children create miracles when they read. That’s why children need books."
From “That’s why children need books”, the speech Astrid Lindgren held at the reception of the H C Andersen Award in April 1958.
"Everything great that ever happened in this world happened first in somebody’s imagination."
Astrid Lindgren 1958, from the speech held at the reception of the H C Andersen Award
"And we played and played and played. It’s a wonder we didn’t play ourselves to death!"
Astrid Lindgren, from ”Samuel August från Sevedstorp och Hanna i Hult”
"Give the children love, more love and still more love – and the common sense will come by itself."
Astrid Lindgren’s comment in a debate concerning children’s rights
"But then Jonathan said it was something he must do, even if it was dangerous. ‘Why?’ I wondered. ‘Otherwise you’re not a human being but just a piece of dirt’ said Jonathan."
Jonathan to Scotty, from The Brothers Lionheart (1973)
"We’re living in a free country, aren’t we? Aren’t you allowed to walk any way you like?"
Pippi in Pippi Longstocking
"A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy."
Astrid Lindgren, Vi husmödrar 1956:10
"Life is something you have to take care of-don't you realize that?"
Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter
"And so I begin to wonder whether I am big or small, because some people say I am a big girl and some that I am a small girl. Perhaps I am just right!"
The Six Bullerby Children
"Our stomachs hurt a little every year during the cherry season. After the cherries are all gone, we don’t have stomach-aches any more until the plums get ripe."
Cherry Time at Bullerby
"Someone who is very strong has to be very nice also."
Do you know Pippi Longstocking?
"Little squiggle, you are clever, I do not want to grew up ever."
"Without libraries, our entire culture would wither and die."
Astrid Lindgren, The Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, summer 1983
"’Lotta, you are not supposed to interrupt grown-ups when they are talking. Please keep still. You should wait until we are finished.’ ‘Oh,’ said Lotta, ‘I've tried, but it doesn't work because they just never stop.’"
The Mischievous Martens