Lennart Hellsing


December 6, 2021

Paul Lennart Hellsing, born June 5, 1919 in Västanfors, died November 25, 2015 in Stockholm, was a Swedish author and translator.


Lennart Hellsing was the son of the merchant Paul Hellsing (1886-1962) and Sigrid Rohloff, remarried Lange (1898-1967). His parents divorced when he was a child. From the age of five, he grew up with his grandparents, director Carl-Otto Rohloff and Edith Louise, unmarried Baker. His grandmother's mother was from the Caribbean. He worked after technical high school as an engineer, bookstore assistant and journalist and was drafted during World War II in Tornedalen. He was a literary critic in Stockholms-Tidningen and a children's book writer in Aftonbladet. Lennart Hellsing was married in 1947–1952 to the Finnish opera singer Maaria Eira and from 1953 until his death to the actress Yvonne Lombard. Lennart Hellsing lived in Stockholm and had five children in his marriage to Lombard, including the author Susanna Hellsing, the artist Petter Hellsing and the author Jöns Hellsing.


During the years 1943-1944, Hellsing had had children's verses printed in the magazine Vi and he made his debut in 1945 with the collection of poems Akvarium and was published the same year with the children's book Katten blåser i silverhorn. Hellsing's writing was characterized from the very beginning by linguistic experimentation, where he played with words and stretched the language. A good example is Sjörövarbok (1965), where Hellsing uses practically all movement verbs that exist in the Swedish language. In the last book, Shoes (2014), it is the adjectives that are in focus. With the book Krakel Spektakel and Kusin Vitamin (1952), Lennart Hellsing began a collaboration with the illustrator Poul Ströyer. Krakel Spektakel then appears in a number of Hellsing's books and in 1959 came Krakel Spektakelboken, which contains both fairy tales, stories and verses. Banana Book is a whole book with verses about bananas that live in the land of bananas. It is illustrated by Tommy Östmar and later the verses were set to music by Georg Riedel. Another who composed verses by Hellsing is the composer and pianist Knut Brodin. Brodin composed the songs "Here dances Mr. Cucumber", "Krakel spectacle" and "It was so fun I have to laugh". The Royal Opera in Stockholm hired Lennart Hellsing as a librettist for The Master Cat in Boots in 1997. Lennart Hellsing was also a diligent translator, including of English nursery rhymes. In addition to Ströyer and Östmar, Hellsing's books have also been illustrated by, among others, Stig Lindberg, Fibben Hald and Ulrica Hydman Vallien. Hellsing received the Gulliver Prize in 1971 and has previously been a member of the Swedish Children's Book Academy. In 1989, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in philosophy at Stockholm University. Hellsing was also a finalist for his life's work as a children's book author for H.C. The Andersen medal in both 2010 and 2012.


Adult poetry and prose

Picture books

Chapter Books

1952 - Krakel Spektakel (Illustrator Stig Lindberg) 1959 - Daniel Doppsko (Illustrator Stig Lindberg)


1961 - The happy department store (Illustrator Olle Eksell) Based on the fairy tale "Self is the best boy" from Krakel Spektakel. 1961 - The Glass Moon (Illustrator Olle Eksell) Based on the story "Krakel spectacle on the Glass Moon".

Pixi books

Collection volumes

Selected translations Inger Hagerup: So strange: children's verse (illustrated by Paul René Gauguin) (Norstedts, 1952) Phil Ressner: Alfred Peterson (Dudley Pippin) (Carlsen / If, 1965) Frank R. Stockton: The griffin and the minor canon (Carlsen / If, 1969) Miriam Schlein: The big cheese (Illustrationsförl. / Carlsen, 1969) Anthony Paul: The tiger who lost his stripes (Rabén & Sjögren, 1980) H. C. Andersen: The woman with the eggs (Konen med æggene) (Barnboksförlaget, 1984) Wilhelm Busch: Max and Moritz: a story in seven boys

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