Marcia Strykowski

Picture Books Around the World

Without even trying I’ve accumulated a great little collection of picture books from other countries. These first two handsome editions were given to me by my son after he toured with fellow musicians in Germany and Poland.


???????????????????????????????This book of Swedish folk tales was published in Stockholm in 1946. They have been producing anthologies since 1907. I bought the book many years ago from Antiquarian Booksellers of NY for about $12. It’s gorgeous with attached illustrated plates, although unfortunately when I pulled it out to snap a picture, I discovered some of the pages have come loose.

???????????????????????????????The title translates to “Among Gnomes and Trolls.” Included in the book are illustrations by the amazing John Bauer. Famous for sympathetic trolls, his paintings have a lovely mythical quality to them. Sadly, he died in a shipwreck at age 36, along with his wife (also an artist, but better known as the model for the Fairy Princess) and their two-year-old son.

Here’s another closeup of the inside–illustration by Einar Norelius.

???????????????????????????????DSC09964Other favorite books in my collection were gifts from faraway friends. Maryse airmailed me Petit Renard perdu all the way from France. The story about a little lost fox is told from two viewpoints. You flip it over halfway to read Mama Fox’s version.

display cabinet - Copy - CopyThis photo shows how my collection looked while on display at a public library. The little Clifford (the Big Red Dog) book is in Spanish. The very bottom, as well as the top shelf holds more French books. The two on the second shelf up from the bottom are Danish. The one on the right was written by Hans Christian Andersen–very appropriate since today is his birthday! The little brown-trimmed ones in the center are German. Do you have any foreign language books or maybe a different type of collection from a faraway land? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. I love to hear from you and appreciate when these posts bring readers together for discussion.



  1. What a lovely collection. I like the look of Bland Tomtar och Troll! All my picture books (a vast collection!) are in English, though I did once read The Gruffalo in German when on holiday there!


    • I can picture The Gruffalo in German–such a fun book. Thanks, Julie!


  2. Ashley

    Such beautiful books!! The fox is very cute and I love the Hansel and Gretel illustration.


  3. Bette Norton

    I love your beautiful collection of picture books from far away lands. The Illustrations are lovely! A very interesting post.


  4. I’m jealous!


  5. What a wonderful thing to collect. They’re beautiful.


  6. Wow, I love your picture book collection, Marcia. John Bauer’s illustrations are magical and intense. My Korean students buy me picture books from their country when they return to Singapore for their studies. I have a few of them ~ the storylines I can make out even though I can’t read the language.


    • That’s so nice your students bring you Korean picture books. They must be fun to decipher.


  7. Hello Marcia, what a super blog post I love the Einar Norelius illustration but have to admit I haven’t heard the name before.
    I don’t have many books from faraway lands, although I do have a lovely Danish edition of Hans Christian Andersen given to me by my son while he was working there. I also have several books written in Dutch by Nicole De Cock. We became pen friends after meeting online, and now send each other presents once or twice a year. She collects postcards so when I find something I know she will like I post it to her and in return she sends me a copy of each of her new books as they are published.


  8. I love seeing the covers and illustrations!



  9. I love the illustration, the striking illustration I should say of Einar Norelius, I had never heard of that story and of the sad fate of Bauer and his wife and son… Your collection is just amazing Marcia with classic and less classic stuff, bravo !


  10. How lovely that the library housed part of your collection for a while! Every now and then I get a craving for a picture hook from my childhood and I skulk around my parents’ house with a beady eye. Recently brought home three children’s books – Esio Trot, Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain and Father Christmas Goes On Holiday… hmm I think you have inspired a new post 🙂
    Thank you so much for being my first follower on my new blog – I’m honoured!!


  11. What a wonderful collection! The illustrations are beautiful in these books.


    • I agree, so many beautiful illustrations can be found in picture books. Thanks for your comment!


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