R.I.P. Cecil Bødker, 93, Danish writer of "Little Big Girl," (2002) - & more
(too old to reply)
2020-04-25 01:33:08 UTC
She wrote mainly novels for teens and won the highest international award for juvenile authors - the Hans Christian Andersen Award - in 1976. (Other winners include Astrid Lindgren, Scott O'Dell, Paula Fox, Tormod Haugen, Virginia Hamilton, & David Almond. There have been 33 winning writers since 1956, plus 27 winning illustrators. Twenty of the illustrators came from the US and Europe, plus twenty-three of the writers.)

(description of "Little Big Girl," based on Bodker's
"The Famished Child")

(There are 7 user reviews of the 1981 "Silas" TV series - one said "a classic - savour it as it's too expensive to make shows like this now")

(there are 4 of "Little Big Girl" - one said "Incredible touching acting by this little girl who struck me at first site and hold me in, during the complete movie. The story, cinematography, rhythm and great acting by the other characters did the rest. A lot of the story comes over without the need of text. It is all so natural, one really forgets watching a peace from the past. I even sometimes forgot to read the subtitles even though I can't understand a word Danish. I understood without understanding the language. If one likes strong character little big movies without tricks, this is one not to miss. Thank you Morten Køhlert, Bo Tengberg, editors, actors and the rest of the team, for this peace of art."


The author Cecil Bødker is dead

19 April 2020

The well-known author Cecil Bødker’s death on the night of Sunday. She was 93 years old.

She died after a long illness, inform the family in an email to Ritzau.

Cecil Bødker is among other things known for its 14 children’s books about the orphan boy Silas.

With the books of Silas, of which the first book “Silas and the black jump” was released in 1967, she made herself noticed by portraying the child as an independent individual.

She is also the only Danish writer who has received the international børnebogspris H. C. Andersen medal, which is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field of children’s literature.

She has also won the Golden Laurel and The Danish Academy Great Price. In 1999 founded her own børnelitterære price, Silas Price, which is awarded every other year.

Cecil Cooper grew up in Fredericia, where she was the only girl in a family of six.

She followed in her father’s footsteps and trained as a silversmith. But Cecil Cooper had not silver, but the words that crawled in your fingers to get down on paper.

today, one can find 55 books, including 21 children’s books with Cecil Bødkers name on it.

She made her debut with the poetry collection “Luseblomster” in 1955, but it was the short story collection “Eye” from 1961, that really got the public to open the eyes of the author.

Cecil Bødker has not published books in recent years, as her daughter Mette Bødker previously stated was due to the fact that she has been sick and alderdomssvækket.

Cecil Bødker is the night of Sunday, slept in tune with her husband and their four children around them, inform the family.

She leaves also eight grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.


She had two entries in the "Something About the Author" encyclopedias, plus an entry in volume 23 of the "Children's Literature Review" encyclopedias.

(Even obscure writers sometimes get more than one entry in SATA, but only the cream of the crop get an entry in CLR - and no more than one. Even so, if anyone has ever received more than five entries in SATA, I don't who that would be - Dr. Seuss only got five, including his obituary!)

Some of her books are available in English. While many foreign-language NOMINEES for the HCAA do not, sadly, get their works translated into English, almost any Medalist does get translated into English and other languages - I hope. (A third of the Medalists who win for their writing already come from English-speaking countries. The ones who most often win for illustration, however, are Czechs and Germans. Put together, they make up a third of the illustrator Medalists.)

Here's what I posted in 2017, on her 90th birthday:

She was born in Fredericia, Denmark and was nominated in 1972 and 1974 for the Hans Christian Andersen Award before winning in 1976.

(birthday tributes - mostly in Danish; they can be translated)

(recent articles on her)

A poet and novelist, she's best known for her "Silas" books, which
became a 1981 German mini-series - and was dubbed into English.
("Silas, a 13 year old boy runs away from the circus to have

Before she started writing in 1955, she was a silversmith.

Most of her works are not available in English - one interesting-
sounding title would translate as "A Wrong Stitch in God's
Knitting." Those that ARE available in English include:

Silas og den sorte hoppe, Branner & Korch (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1967,
translated as Silas and the Black Mare, Seymour Lawrence (New York,
NY), 1978.

Silas og Ben-Godik, Branner & Korch (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1969,
translated as Silas and Ben-Godik, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1978.

Leoparden, Branner & Korch (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1970, translated by
Gunnar Poulsen and Solomon Deressa as The Leopard, Atheneum (New York,
NY), 1975.

Silas fanger et firspand, Branner & Korch (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1972,
translated as Silas and the Runaway Coach, Delacorte (New York, NY),

Maria fran Nasaret, R & S Books (Copenhagen, Denmark), 1989,
translated by Eric Bibb as Mary of Nazareth, illustrated by Bengt Arne
Runnerström, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1989.

"Bødker's works have been translated into Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech,
Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian,
Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian, Slovakian,
Spanish, and Swedish."

(more on the "Silas" series)

Contemporary Authors:

"Silas appeals to young readers because of his independent and honest
ways, but Bødker realistically shows his negative qualities as well.
He is involved in many exciting adventures that are often drawn with

"In 1969 Bødker and her husband were invited to live in Ethiopia in
order to write for a young audience about life there, for at that time
the country had no children's literature of its own. The result was
The Leopard, which was Bødker's first book to be published in the
United States. It was generally well received for its depiction of
Ethiopian rural life.

"In 1976 Bødker won the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her
children's works, and in her acceptance speech she commented on the
origin of Silas. 'I feel that Silas . . . is the sum total of my four
great-grandfathers," she is quoted as saying in Bookbird. "The first
was a member of the clergy and a stern man. The second was an inventor
of things like a typewriter and carbon paper. The third was a pirate,
a privateer to be exact. The fourth was a foundling with no knowledge
of his family history....I didn't turn out to be a Silas, but it
seems to me that I should have.' "

(with booklist)

(three Kirkus reviews)

(reader reviews - mostly in Danish)

(photos and book covers)

Six shortish poems of hers, in English and Danish:

Field of Rage
The Day's Ruin
Silent Birds
Lake Mälar Sunset
Douglas Fir


About the book "The Leopard":

"An Ethiopian boy finds his life endangered when he discovers that a disguised blacksmith, not a leopard, is responsible for a great many missing cattle in the area."

More synopses here, when you click on the titles:


I'm pretty sure "The Leopard" is actually fictional; something about the cover design says so.

And from 2015:

"Which brilliant (children's) books have never been translated into English?"


Btw, James Krüss, who gets mentioned early on, was a German poet/illustrator who won the HCAA in the writing category in 1968 - in a tie with Spain's Jose Maria Sanchez-Silva. He died in 1997. (Since 1956, only three other German-speaking writers have won - but I haven't seen this year's winners yet. The awards are presented only every other year.

2020-04-25 01:45:15 UTC
From Rotten Tomatoes:

"The 2002 coming-of-age drama The Little Big Girl marks Danish filmmaker Morten Kohlert's sophomore directorial effort, following his 1999 debut Fast Lane. While out and about tending to his herd, young shepherd Larus (Peter Jeppe Hansen) meets a mysterious little girl named Tinke (Sarah Juel Werner). Quickly realizing that the girl is alone, Larus brings Tinke some food and slowly builds a friendship with her. Tinke, whose parents died within the past year, has managed to survive by her own devices in the wild and has hence become quite feral. Larus convinces Tinke to come to his home so that his parents can take care of her and she concedes -- only to find that Larus' parents are strict disciplinarians who are quite unexcited with the notion of caring for another child. This hostility makes way for a bit of profiteering when Larus' father learns that Tinke may be descended from a wealthy family -- a secret Tinke learned from her dying mother, who bestowed a precious necklace on the little girl that will prove her ancestry. As her blood family and her foster family both work toward their own self-serving goals, Tinke begins to find the means for crafting her own destiny."