The Books

Andrei’s Search

by Barbro Lindgren
Illustrated by Eva Eriksson

One Potato Review

Two orphans set off wandering St. Petersburg in search of their mothers whom they can scarcely remember – one recalls living in the womb, with an attic and a tiny staircase, and a lettuce patch out back, the other believes he was delivered by a dog. Some of the peculiarities of this book probably derive from the translation, some from the fact of its conception in a completely different neck of the world (Sweden), with different storytelling traditions, and scarier bugaboos – and then some are just probably peculiar. But welcome, in a culture that can occasionally use a brisk draft. Maybe this is not the sort of fable that you or your children refer back to for a unified world view, but it’s a fascinating detour. And memorable. With snorting, sparking trolleys, a cheerful tugboat, free pierogis, and a sudden, happy ending that seems every bit as illusory as the start.