Free admission (all visitors, all hours)

This interactive playscape in the Heimbold Family Children’s Center allows children to explore, read and interact with some of the Sweden’s most beloved storybook characters while surrounded by vibrant murals evocative of the bucolic Swedish landscape.

A Child’s Adventure in the Swedish Countryside takes children on a magical journey from New York City across the ocean to Sweden. Kids will encounter a fantasy city skyline, inspired by simple, bright building blocks. A mini-balcony suggests a penthouse roof where they can build their own block buildings. Following a whimsically-stylized road, they will leave behind the big city, meeting along the way some of the country’s most beloved storybook characters, like Stefan Casta’s Mister Raf, Gunilla Bergstrom’s Alfons, and Maria Jonsson’s Astrid the Fly.

Children can read and listen to stories in the giant blueberry basket “sofa” and other woodland-inspired cushions that litter the forest, go camping in a tent with Findus the Cat or play in Elsa Beskow’s capricious hat house. The storybook installation is designed by renowned set designer and artist Sarah Edkins.

Both classic and contemporary literatures are embraced in this installation as much of today’s literature evokes popular themes of the past.  Many of the contemporary authors and illustrators continue in tradition of the classic “Elsa Beskow style,” where they imagine fanciful play lands that blend together the natural and human world.

The is the sixth installation of The American Scandinavian Foundation’s Annual Celebration of Children’s Literature at Scandinavia House.