Book: A to Zåäö: Playing with History at the American Swedish Institute
by Nate Christopherson and Tara Sweeney
A is for “Akta dig! Look out!” And when you do, you’ll see the nyckelharpa, or keyed fiddle, that Axel’s father made—which followed Axel from Sweden to America. You’ll also find Axel, a snappy dresser, with his umbrella and bowler hat. He’s one of the inquisitive characters who will accompany you on these pages, guiding you through the twenty-nine letters of the Swedish alphabet. Each letter does something exciting. C is “Cirkulera! Go round and round!” And for D, “Dansa! Dance!”
This fun introduction to the Swedish alphabet, a romp from A to Z (and then Å to Ä to Ö), is also a delightful tour of the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, a cultural center alive with stories past and present. Artifacts from the museum’s collection are charmingly rendered in watercolor and animated by whimsical pen-and-ink characters that draw readers from page to page. Tara Sweeney and Nate Christopherson, a mother and son collaborative team, create magical realism in A to Zåäö, their first picture book. Their irreverent curiosity delights and begs a timeless question—how can exploration and discovery help us grow?
96 pages. 64 color plates. 11 in. x 8.5 in. Hardcover.