The Fearless Little Farm Boy

Astrid Lindgren; Illustrated by Marit Törnqvist; Translated by Polly Lawson

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • A charming, traditional story by Astrid Lindgren, acclaimed author of Pippi Longstocking
  • This classic story about an angry bull has a touching message about kindness and not underestimating people
  • Illustrations by acclaimed Swedish artist Marit Törnqvist beautifully depict a charming Swedish village from long ago

Karl the farm boy has a brave idea to calm down an angry bull in this classic Swedish story from Pippi Longstocking-creator Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Marit Törnqvist.

212 x 270 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 5 to 8 years
32 pages
Publication date:
20 Jan 2022
3rd edition


One beautiful spring day in Sweden, Goran the bull charges furiously out of his stall and into the farmyard. People gather from miles around to see the angry bull, but no one can calm him down. Then Karl, the farm boy, has a brave idea. Can the little boy save the day?

A charming, traditional story from Astrid Lindgren, bestselling author of Pippi Longstocking, with illustrations from acclaimed Swedish artist Marit Törnqvist. Her delicate depictions of wooden houses, characterful villagers and silver birch trees wonderfully evoke the spirit of a Swedish farm from long ago.


'Lindgren's affection for Karl warms the tale of his heroism.'
-- Kirkus Reviews

'The charm and success of this traditional tale lie in Lindgren's masterful storytelling. Törnqvist's delicate, expressive watercolors accentuate the personalities of the farm folk and add suspense to Goran's plight. The artist's clever use of the endpapers to show a line of villagers looking apprehensively toward the story beckons readers just as effectively as Lindgren's words. The message that simple kindness is often an act of extraordinary bravery makes this a must for most collections.'
-- School Library Journal

'This story has a touching message about kindness and not underestimating people.'
-- Kindling

'Children will delight in the story of how one Easter Day, Goran the bull broke free in an angry rampage only to be tamed by Karl, a seven-year-old boy.'
-- Creative Steps

'A low key story, in contrast to the lively style of many current picture books, Goran's Great Escape invites the reader in ('Let's find out what happened') and asks to be shared by child and adult… The watercolour illustrations have a cool Nordic feel, capturing a time and place that is past but not dated. The landscape format of the pages is well-used with events strung over double-page spreads in some instances and in others vignettes on the verso point to what is happening in a larger illustration on the recto. Delightful.'
-- Valerie Coghlan, Books for Keeps

'The delightful illustrations make you feel as if you were actually there!'
-- Tammy Dolling

'Illustrations, in translucent water based paints in earthly hues, are masterly.
'The design of the layout, with the necessity to integrate a long text with the images, is exemplary.'
-- Jane Doonan, School Librarian


Astrid Lindgren is a Floris Books featured author. Read all about this author's life and work on our dedicated author page.

Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) was born on a homestead in Småland, Sweden. Her most famous book, Pippi Longstocking, was published in 1945 to great success. She is also well known for Karlsson on the Roof, her books about The Bullerby Children and The Tomten. Her books are loved all over the world and have sold around 145 million copies. She won many awards, including the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for Pippi Longstocking in 1973; the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1958; and the International Book Award from UNESCO in 1993.

Marit Törnqvist was born in 1964 in Uppsala, Sweden and divides her time between the Netherlands and Sweden. She studied illustration at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. In 2011 she was awarded a Golden Plaque from the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, one of the most prestigious children's illustration awards.


Find out more about Astrid Lindgren and her world on our Astrid Lindgren Biography and Book Information page. Includes a most-loved book list.

Like Astrid Lindgren on Facebook (below) to stay up to date with the latest information on her books and great monthly giveaways:

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