Elsa Beskow (née Maartman) (1874 – 1953) became Sweden’s best-loved children’s book illustrator. For over one hundred years Swedish children have grown up with her books. Among her better known titles are Children of the Forest and Peter in Blueberry Land.
Elsa Beskow studied Art Education at Tekniska skolan, or the Technical school, in Stockholm, and it was during this time she began illustrating for children. Elsa married Natanael Beskow in 1897, whom she met at Djursholms samskola while serving as a teacher where he served as head master. Together they had six sons.
In 1894 Elsa Beskow started to contribute to the children’s magazine Jultomten. She ultimately began publishing her own books, doing both illustration and text. Overall, she would publish some forty books with her own text and images. Beskow also illustrated ABC books and songbooks for Swedish schools.
Often described as Sweden’s Beatrix Potter, Elsa Beskow’s picture books have been known and loved for over a century. Beskow’s illustrations take the reader back to an idyllic Sweden at the turn of the 20th century, and her charming stories of children and magical folk are known and cherished the world over.