Inga has seen photographs of the war in the newspaper and heard the sound of bombs and gunshots on television. Luckily Inga lives in a peaceful country, where not even the bumblebees present a threat. But when war creeps closer and Mum and Dad bring the conflict into Inga’s own home, it feels as if it also moves into Inga’s head. It stays there, even long after Mum and Dad have separated.
Is it possible to be happy again, after having gone through a war? Can you remove the conflict from your mind, even if it has settled there?
‘Gro Dahle carries out an impressive and extensive artistic project throughout her titles for all ages… She has now convinced her daughter, Kaia Dahle Nyhus, to bring to the table her own skills in sketching and colour, which beautifully complement the tone of her mother’s text. This is clear in the beautiful-yet-terrible book Krigen in my mind, this is one of the most important and original books of this autumn.’
‘A shocking depiction, in words and images, of a child forced to participate in an adult world… Gro Dahle is sincere in her portrayal of the child, and has her own way of conveying the child’s perspective on the world… Kaia Dahle Nyhus’ crass, naïve images burst with contrast-filled expression. The result is beautiful… The adults’ blindness to the inner pressures experienced by the girl, acting as messenger between mum and dad – the book’s message truly hits home. The slow ending without any sign of a happy, clear conclusion makes this book truly convincing.’
‘Gro Dahle allows us a painful and powerful insight into the drama of divorce as it is experienced by children… the images, filled with expression, ensure that emotion resonates throughout… [Kaia Dahle Nyhus] veers away from the war metaphors within the text, instead showing us Inga’s anger, confusion and self-harm in her own expressive and courageous artistic style. All this makes for a powerful overall impression.’
‘Few could convey a story such as this with the same skill as Gro Dahle. She makes a difficult situation tangible and realistic for the reader, all without allowing the text to take a purely pedagogical angle. Her poetic, wise words diminish the hugely sorrowful impression created by the plot… The illustrations are exciting, showing original emphasis and use of colour. The sense of violence lies within the illustrations’ expressionism. Emotions are conveyed in such a raw manner… Children a little older that find themselves in a similar situation may discover elements of familiarity and support within.’
‘With excellent insight into the issue at hand, Gro Dahle takes a realistic approach… This is powerful stuff – and much like reality plays out for many people. The fact that Dahle chooses to leave the content quite so bare and exposed makes the book all the more interesting.’
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