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You can whistle Johanna


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You Can Whistle, Johanna by Ulf Stark, with illustrations by Anna Höglund

Let's enjoy every moment

It's great to have a grandfather, Ulf tells his friend Berra as they play together in a small town in present-day Sweden. Grandpa takes you fishing, invites you for a coffee with milk or a slice of cake when he celebrates his birthday. And sometimes you can get some pocket money, which for some kids is really a big deal. But Berra doesn't have a grandfather. How to make him have one too? His friend Ulf has an idea: look, there must be a lot of grandparents at the nursing home in town. Why doesn't Berra go pick one tomorrow?

This is perhaps the most beautiful book I have written.
Ulf Stark

Born out of play and curiosity, the friendship between the two children and old Nils from the home turns into a meeting that gives the three the opportunity to offer each other a simple, natural and unconditional love. For Nils, the loan grandfather, long alone in the world, it is the last opportunity in his life to feel that he is important to someone. For the two children and especially for Berra, the "nephew", it's the first time they realize that life also has an inevitable end. Someday, our loved ones will no longer be with us, so we must enjoy every moment together.

"If only someone had told me that I would have a grandson like you..." Grandpa Nils said later.
- And I wish I had a grandfather like you! Berra said.
When we returned, the old man was too tired to walk. I went and got a wheelchair from the dorm. He sat down and started whistling as we passed the chapel.

- Well, did you learn to whistle? he asked Berra.
- No, not really. Not yet, Berra said.
"Next time I want to hear you whistle," the old man told him.
"Okay, Grandpa, look, I promise," Berra said.

(Translation by Sergiu Păduraru)

ULF STARK (1944–2017) was a poet, writer and screenwriter and one of the most important Swedish authors of children's books. In his texts, the world is seen from a child's perspective, in a very authentic, faithful and subtle way. Whether he's dealing with the small stuff or writing about serious topics like death, Ulf Stark is a master of drawing the reader into the story and revealing deep meaning in the seemingly mundane, everyday occurrences of a child's life . He has written almost 100 books, translated into 30 languages, and many of them, including You Can Whistle, Johanna, have been made into films and plays. In 1993, he received the Astrid Lindgren Prize, in 1996 he was nominated for the HC Andersen Prize, and in 1998 he was awarded the Nordic Prize for Children's Literature.

Age group: 6–12 years
17 × 23 cm/ book with hard cover/ 52 pages.

ISBN: 978-606-8996-12-7/ Year of publication: 2019
Translation by: Sergiu Păduraru

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