Children live mostly in the here and now, but they think a lot – about the fear of being excluded, about how the world fits together, about the meaning of life, about other existential questions, and about their distant, alien future as adults.
In Farbröder (“Uncles”, not published in English), Glad addresses these questions by interviewing nine real-life uncles about the dreams and experiences of their childhood and how these have shaped their lives.
We are confronted with death, debilitating grief, sibling rivalry, and cruelty – undiluted and unmediated. Even when people act as in ways they shouldn’t, we know why. But there is also comfort and hope. Those who fight and are strong-willed can still make their dreams come true, despite difficult circumstances. Those who feel as though they are different can still have a functioning life.
It is clear that children become adults and all adults were once small. Not every question is answered, and life remains mysterious.
Teresa Glad is an illustrator, screenwriter, and animator who has published picture books and made animated short films. Her debut book, Pella och pinnarna, was published in 2016. She teaches in all three areas and in 2018 started a one-year picture book training course at Sörängens Folkhögskola.
In Farbröder, she has used a realistic drawing style and subdued colours that are reflective of the dreamlike and elusive nature of attempts to understand life.
The content of the book transcends all genres and all strict age divisions. It can be read with great interest by thinkers, and others, of all ages.
Farbröder was showcased as one of a hundred outstanding picture books at this year’s children’s book fair in Bologna, Italy.