Idunn Steinsdottir is one of Iceland's best known authors
of children's books. More than 40 of her books have been published,
including books that have been translated into German and English. She has
also written award winning plays along with her sister, Kristin
Gegnum ţyrnigerđiđ / Durch die Dornenhecke Through the Thorn Hedge
An adventure book with modern connotations. In a valley
where all had lived in friendship, an evil character conjures up a
thornbush, dividing the valley into East and West. Later when the
thornbush disappears, the inhabitants of the valley face the challenge of
recreating their earlier, happier existence. Published in Icelandic and
German. The book won the Icelandic Children´s Books Award fo 1991 and
was entered in the IBBY roll of honour for 1992.
Ćvar á grćnni grein / Ćvar on the Top of the World
Ćvar is a young Icelandic boy living with his parents
and grand parents abroad. He must grapple with some of the many
complexities of living in a country where people do not speak his language
and he must adapt to the many requirements of his surroundings. Illustrated
by Gunnar Karlsson.
Fúfú og fjallakrílin / The Mountain Gnomes
The Mountain Gnomes is an adventure story for 6 - 10
year olds. The gnomes live in a funny house on top of a high mountain.
Each is a character all its own and there is plenty of action in their
community. They seem very different from us - yet sometimes strangely
similar. Illustrated by Búi Kristjánsson.
Fjallakrílin - óvćnt heimsókn
The Mountain Gnomes - Unexpected Visit
Fjallakrílin - óvćnt heimsókn is a continuation of
the first book about the gnomes. Unusual visitors create much stir among
the gnomes. Illustrated by Búi Kristjánsson.
Út í víđa veröld ! / Out in the Wide World
A strange flock is heading abroad to look for an answer
to a burning question: an irritable old man, three resourceful kids and
old Jarpur with his cart. It is a long trip - and not without events and
dangers. They meet travellers and tricksters, volcanoes and glacial
cracks, elves and trolls. But much depends on them getting an answer to
their question and their getting back home to save their town from hunger.
Illustrated by Brian Pilkington.
Jólasveinarnir /The Santas
Jólasveinarnir tells the story of Iceland's version of
Santa Claus. The thirteen Christmas trolls who come to town in the days
before Christmas have intrigued and charmed Icelandic children for
centuries. This book contains a tale of each of them - perfect for
bed-time reading during the long wait for Christmas to arrive. Illustrated
by Búi Kristjánsson.
The Good Dragon
Everyone in Twinkleton was happy because it was spring.
The sun and the blue sky held hands almost day and night. Then something
terrible happened: one day they woke up in pitch darkness and it didn't
get light, not even when the village council held a meeting and agreed
that the blue sky should come back at once. They were all confused except
the dragon. He flew away carrying little Anna, Jacob and Gentle Paul, out
into the unknown to search for the blue sky. Published in Icelandic and
English. Illustrated by Búi Kristjánsson.
Knáir krakkar / Smart Kids
Knáir krakkar is an eventful and exciting book for 8 -
12 year olds. It takes place in the countryside at spring time. The three
protagonists - Lóa, Búi and Hrói - participate in some of the rites of
farm life such as the birthing of the lambs and nesting of the birds. But
more adventures await them. They go camping and strange things happen.
Illustrated by Auđur Eysteinsdóttir. The text of this book is
Víst er ég fullorđin / Days in Major and Minor
Days in Major and Minor takes place in a small country
village around 1950. In those days girls sat quietly at balls, all drivers
with a sense of responsibility blew their horn before going round the
corner and every single teacher passed over the "dirty chapter"
in health awareness class even though this was the only chapter that the
pupils considered of any relevance. An introduction and two excerpts
of the book have been translated into English by Bernard Scudder. The
manuscript has also been translated into Swedish by Inge Knutson. The
translations can be reached by contacting the author.
Skuggarnir í fjallinu / Shadows in the Mountain
Skuggarnir í fjallinu is an exciting adventure
featuring oceanic treasures, sitting in the loo, bacteria-killing snuff,
naughty kids and a mysterious wooden leg. This book is partially built on
the author´s memories from childhood.
Međ bómull í skónum / Cotton
Wool in Your Shoes
You don't always need much for children's imagination to
take flight. Bad boys, ghosts and various wacky characters are about. Then
things turn serious when an avalanche hits grandfather's stable. A vivid
picture of life in a little village during the 1950s, featuring the same
kids as Shadows in the Mountain.
Fjársjóđurinn í Útsölum / The Treasure of Utsalir
Fjársjóđurinn í Útsölum is an exciting adventure
with modern connotations for children and youth. Huldar and Björt are
friends even though they are quite different in many ways. But national
events cast a shadow over their friendship. Only one thing can save them:
they have to find the treasure... Illustrated by Hlín Gunnarsdóttir.
Olla og Pési / Olla and Pete
Olla og Pési is an adventurous story. The setting is
Reykjavík. The little girl, Olla, is brought up by three excentrics that
live on the only farm left in the city of Reykjavík. They earn their
living by farming and fishing on their small boat. The
Er allt ađ verđa vitlaust / Is everything going crazy?
Er allt ađ verđa vitlaust? The four main persons
in this book are 13. year old classmates working in a team on a
project about children in the 19th century. They are threatened by a group
of older pupils in their school. They find life difficult in between and
discover that so
Ţokugaldur / Magic in the Fog
Ţokugaldur tells about Valný, who is 16 and has
just moved to Iceland from Sweden. She misses her old friends and feels
out of place in her new home. It is only when she gets lost in a fog up on
a mountain and she meets Friđrik that things start changing. Almost two
centuries earlier a young woman got lost at the same spot and Valný in a
strange way gets to know her story and discovers that they have several
things in common.
Snuđra og Tuđra / TEENY AND WEENY
Two rebellious sisters, with minds of their own, get
into some hilarious adventures in a series of books that are loved by all
children who have ever felt it unnecessary to play by rules set by
grown-ups. Ten Snudra and Tudra books have been published.
Illustrated by Gunnar Karlsson. Illustrated by Gunnar Karlsson.
Haustgríma (Autumn Night)
The first book by Idunn Steinsdottir aimed at a grown-up
audience. The story is set in the Age of the Vikings and is partly based
on a story from the ancient Book of Settlement (Landnámabók). The scene
is the Hebrides, Norway and Iceland.
Snuđra og Tuđra í jólabakstri (Teeny and Weeny bake for Christmas)
The hilarious sisters are
resourceful and only too willing to help when it comes to baking for
Christmas. Salka ,
Kynjaverur í Kverkfjöllum (Ice on Fire)
A small island is
created in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Like a strange animal with a
knobbly head. Spirits of the air and merpeople have watched enthusiastically
as the land is formed and in each mountain and waterfall, every cliff and
glacier resides a powerful guardian of the land. Some guardians are hot as
fire, others cold as ice. This might explain why they constantly bicker and
fight with each other.
One day new creatures, humans, enter the scene on birdfishes and settle on
the island. Centuries pass and the humans constantly think of something
weird to do, such as racing over the highlands on stinking-stallions or
flying right through startled air spirits on petrifying powerdragons.
Terrible things are happening in Fireice Mountains. Air spirits, trolls,
elves, mermaids and mermen all need to unite against the enemy. Can the
guardians overcome their differences and protect their country?
A powerful story of friendship, of trust and respect for our island and for
every living being on it.
Illustrations by Búi Kristjánsson. Salka,
TEXTBOOKS FOR CHILDREN
Bras og ţras á Bunulćk / Troubles and squabbles at
Bras og ţras á Bunulćk. An old man in Reykjavík is
run over by a car and two children try to save his dog from being put
down. This easy reading book won a prize in a competition held by the
Center of Educational Materials in 1984.
Iđunn og eplin / Idunn and the Apples
Idunn and the Apples tells in very simple language some
tales of ancient norse mythology. Published as part of a series designed
for the youngest readers. Illustrated by Búi Kristjánsson.
Ormurinn í Lagarfljóti / The serpent of Lagarfljot
The serpent of Lagarfljot attempts to explain the myth
of the serpent of Lagarfljot. Also published as part of a series designed
for the youngest readers. Illustrated by Búi Kristjánsson.
Lesum meira saman
Let's read together and Let´s read more together is a
collection of short stories, verses and folk tales that form a whole.
Written for the Icelandic school system, the book is accompanied by a