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Konstiga djur Lotta Olsson and Maria Nilsson Thore, Konstiga djur (Strange Animals)

Bonnier Carlsen,  2011. ISBN: 978916368801

Reviewed by Kristina Sjögren in SBR 2012:1

Konstiga djur was nominated for the ‘young’ August Prize, too, and thematically it has much in common with Pojkarna, although written for younger children. Just like Pojkarna it is about the pain of being the Other, but here it illustrated through being a strange animal instead of a girl. In Konstiga djur, the Anteater complains to his friend the Dormouse about being strange. The Dormouse claims there must be animals stranger than the Anteater, and they decide on a competition to proclaim the strangest animal. As the entries start coming in and each competing animal explains why it surely is the strangest, we learn lots about different animals.

This is a nicely illustrated book with funny, colloquial prose, mostly in the form of dialogue. In a charming way it demonstrates that we are all more or less strange. The subtext deconstructs otherness and appropriates strangeness as something positive.

Other reviews by Kristina Sjögren

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