A Huckleberry good adventure story
Cynthia Elyce Rubin
The Norwegian American
Lily lives in a village where “flowers grow as big as trees.” Here she meets Freia, who celebrates midsummer by wearing a flower crown, eating strawberry cake, and dancing around the maypole. When curious Lily wants to participate, she receives a gift, a magical globe that makes her a member of the Worldwide Adventure Society.
So Lily discards her “belly bobbles” and magically winds up in Denmark surrounded by flowers and Freia. Off they go to help Freia’s grandmother make strawberry cake. But the strawberries have disappeared, and there are no berries in any berry patch. Mr. Nisse tells Lily to go to Copenhagen to find the Vikings who surely absconded with the berries.
In the big city, the sweetness of summer is everywhere, but there are no berries to be found. Meeting a mermaid, Lily learns that the Viking ship sped toward Sweden, so the two swim until they arrive in Malmö. There Magnus Melker, mouse spy, declares “CODE BERRY,” for there is not a strawberry left in all Scandinavia. Dutiful Lily informs the king and queen, and all agree that midsummer must be saved. The queen gives Lily a wonderful horse named Dala, to fly her to Norway to look for the Vikings.
The Adventures of Lily Huckleberry in Scandinavia is the first in a series of travel books by Audrey Smit & Jackie Knapp, with beautiful illustrations by Audrey Smit. The book was winner of 2019 Silver Medal Benjamin Franklin Book Award for “Best New Voice” and Parents’ Choice Award 2019. Suitable for ages 4-8.
Cynthia Elyce Rubin, Ph.D., is a visual culture specialist, travel writer, and author of articles and books on decorative arts, folk art, and postcard history, who collects postcards, ephemera, and early photography. See www.cynthiaelycerubin.com.
The Adventures of Lily Huckleberry in Scandinavia is available for purchase at Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace.
This article originally appeared in the July 12, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.