In honor of National Strawberry Day tomorrow, this evening we read “Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Strawberries” by Maj Lindman. We have blogged here before about how much we love the old-time charm of Ms. Lindman’s illustrations and stories, in our Day 30 post and on our Favorites page.
In “Strawberries”, the Swedish triplets of the title are excited at the possibility of earning some money of their very own by picking wild strawberries with which their mother can fill the empty jars in the kitchen. The girls take off on a grand adventure, pick heaping baskets of strawberries, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Unfortunately, they get lost on the way home and are forced to seek assistance from a young girl, Mary, who lives with her mother and little brother in a modest house in the forest. Mary’s mother is unable to spare any milk for the girls, but she does give them some water and lends them the services of Mary, who is able to lead them to the edge of the forest and put them back on their path home.
Upon returning with their delicious strawberry cargo, the girl’s collect their hard-earned silver pieces from their grateful mother. However, rather than making plans for how to spend the money on themselves, the girls decide they must use their money to express their gratitude to Mary and her mother – by buying Mary a new dress and her brother a soft, brown teddy bear. Bearing these gifts, and a basket of homemade strawberry jam, the girls set off to Mary’s house. After bestowing their gifts, the girls end the story by heading out into the forest to play with their new-found friend.
“Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Strawberries” is a story very much like Ms. Lindman’s “Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Yellow Sled”. Our heroines are compensated for their hard work, and then decide to give away their rewards to a child who is less fortunate. As with “The Yellow Sled”, “Strawberries” is a story that might otherwise seem overly syrupy but it feels just right delivered in Ms. Lindman’s quaint, charming, vintage style. We are big fans.