Shockingly, this book is not in my collection! It is, as far as I know, the only children's book that features tomtens, which are Scandanavian gnome-ish creatures with red ski caps.
It isn't easy to find information about tomtens. Type it into Google and you know what you get? Knitting patterns. People think Scandanavia=wool sweaters the way they think Mexico=pinatas.
So now I'm all worked up, because how come brownies and elves and faeries and all manner of magical creatures are getting all this play in Holly Black books, and no one's writing about little men in wool sweaters who can't pronounce the letter J? Where is the Terry Pratchett of Scandanavia?
This all started because yesterday was Santa Lucia Day, which many girls of the 80s were introduced to via the Kirsten doll. I was going to make a list of recommended books with Scandanavian themes, but then we had a snowday, and then I got distacted by this awesome article about how Santa Lucia day is a beauty pageant in Sweden these days. Check this out:
"Staunchly opposed to privilege, Sweden has always sought to avoid ranking people, which is why beauty contests and ‘homecoming queen’ events are rare. The Lucia celebration, however, has been an exception."
Anyway, the list is still coming. Just you wait!