Malin Klingenberg & Maria Sann: The Skeleton

Does my skeleton dream of Halloween? Does my skeleton sweat when we run?

Author: Malin Klingenberg
Illustrator: Maria Sann
Swedish original: Skelettet
Publisher: Schildts & Söderströms, 2023
Genre:  Illustrated children’s fiction
Number of pages: 36 pp.
Reading material: Swedish original, Finnish Translation, English translation

Rights sold: Dutch, De Vier Windstreken; Korean, KSI; Latvia, Zvaigzne ABC

Teo dresses up like a bunny for his friend Roni’s costume party. Olivia comes as a robot, while Alvi comes as a horse.

Meanwhile, the host Roni shows up as a skeleton. And Teo can’t think of anything scarier than a skeleton!

When Roni’s skeleton suddenly glows in the dark, Teo bolts as if death itself were on his heels. But a human child with bunny paws doesn’t run as fast as a real bunny. Teo trips over his paws and hurts himself.

There’s nothing to do but go see the doctor and take x-rays.

Let’s have a look at your skeleton, says the doctor. Teo is horrified: is there a skeleton inside me? Of course there is, his mother whispers tenderly. But Teo is chilled to the bone. Is there a skeleton inside everyone? What if the little brother living inside Mommy’s tummy sees her skeleton and is frightened?

Skeleton is a tenderly told story about a child overcoming his fears while learning what each of us is made of. Sometimes parts of us break and need to be fixed with a cast.

“An expert at telling humorous stories, Klingenberg has toned done the funny business and written a book that is inventive, multilayered, and in complete solidarity with its child protagonist. […] Klingenberg has partnered here with one of Finland’s sharpest illustrators, Maria Sann. If this were a ballroom dance competition, they’d be standing on the podium’s top spot. Sann succeeds in enriching the text with unexpected illustrative strategies and angles that reveal a child’s perspective. […] Read Skeleton, and you’ll see how Klingenberg and Sann’s polished pearl of a picture book grows with every read into a brilliant bullseye that literally and figuratively gets under the skin of the protagonist and reader alike.”
– Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper

Also available:
The Secret Life of Farts (2019)

The Senior Squad #1, Patrik and The Senior Squad
The Senior Squad #2, Irene and the Moneyhoover
The Senior Squad #3, Fake Bernice
The Senior Squad #4, Fantastic Alfredo
The Senior Squad #5, Rakel’s Miracle
The Senior Squad #6, The Magnificent Senior Match

Elk Girl (2018)

About the authors:
Malin Klingenberg
Maria Sann