Hattie by Frida Nilsson
Hattie is six years old. She lives in a ‘tiny, tiny town’ in the Swedish countryside. She is about to start school. Swedish author Frida Nilsson’s new book Hattie is, as its title suggests, the story of this young girl. If any of this sounds like a story you’ve heard before, I can assure you that it is not. In fact, it’s a completely wild ride – from hysterical laughing to nail-biting nerves, Hattie puts you through your paces. For a large part this is because she is a huge troublemaker. Yet what makes her antics so amusing is that her impulsiveness leads them to (nearly) go very wrong – Hattie gets a little more than she bargained for!
The Swedes have a history of writing children’s books that deal subtly and hilariously with the absurdities of growing up. Frida Nilsson is a worthy successor to the great Astrid Lindgren, and indeed Hattie could very easily be this generation’s Pippi Longstocking – Hattie’s story makes me think of the ever-relevant Longstocking quote – ‘I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that’. When it comes to Hattie, I can only wholeheartedly agree.