Lotta Lyssarides is publisher for Children’s books at Alfabeta Publishers in Sweden.
Alfabeta has recently published Petit, the monster in Swedish, which has received much attention in the press. What are the reactions from the Swedish readers so far?
We have heard that a lot of children are enthusiastic about the thought of a person being BOTH good and bad. Petit in the book is a good boy when he plays with his dog, and a bad boy when he is fussing with the doves. It is a very comforting idea that you are not entirely bad, or good. One little girl wanted to read the book on and on for days, and every day she told her parents about different friends of hers that were “bad-kind”.
What do you think appeal to the readers in Isol’s books?
The books have a good sense of humour and Isol likes to challenge and surprise her readers, which is appealing. The characters are often a bit anarchistic and different. The books seem to be quite ”easy” but underneath the surface there is always something more to explore. I know that many children are inspired by her pictures, her use of colours and lines.
Next book to be published in Swedish will be It´s useful to have a duck. When will it be available in the stores?
In the end of September (2013). It is a “leporello” – a book you can fold out. One side has a boys perspective: It is useful to have a duck. The other the ducks perspective: It is useful to have a boy… Mind bending and fun.
Do you plan to publish any other book by Isol?
Oh, yes! Next book is Nocturne, the very inventive glow-in-the-dark bed time book.
I know that you´re soon off for summer holidays. What books will you bring to the hammock?
During spring and autumn there is not much time to reading novels that are already published, so I am really looking forward to that! This summer I’ll start off with Den bästa dagen är en dag av törst by Jessica Kolterjahn, Kaddish på motorcykel av Leif Zern and Främling på tåg (Stranger on a Train) by Jenny Diski.