A young Viking girl who struggles to keep up with her schoolmates in class finds friendship and hope in the picture book Klippe the Viking.
Frustrated by her learning problems, Klippe is approached by Kanin, another little girl. Kanin says that she, too, has problems with school and they decide to work together to overcome their difficulties. Through that process, Klippe realizes it’s OK if she doesn’t know something; she can always look up an answer or ask someone for help.
The next day, in a small gathering of children, Klippe overcomes her shyness, realizing that even if she’s not the loudest or most outgoing, she can be part of the group. And later, when she sees a group of boys practicing with wooden swords, she’s encouraged by a boy named Tyr to try it. She shows aptitude in this experience and realizes that “if she wants to do something, she can.”
The book is ambitious in tackling three separate aspects of self-confidence. It would have been better to focus on one aspect and shorten the long narrative, which may feel daunting to young readers. Still, it addresses each part with grace and sensitivity.
Klippe is a pleasant, relatable protagonist, easy to root for. While Kanin and Tyr are significant in helping Klippe gain a sense of empowerment, the book emphasizes Klippe’s decision-making and implies that her newfound philosophies can be transferred to many situations.
The writing is kid-friendly, though imperfect, as in this awkward text: “Klippe feels that she cannot keep up at school./ That she does not understand the jokes the other Vikings make./ Or that she can play the games she wants to.”
Nonetheless, the story’s message is clear. The art is outstanding: eye-catching, cute, and quirky, with beautiful coloring and composition. Fonts and overall design are also notably attractive.
Klippe the Viking is an aesthetically pleasing, sensitive children’s book that opens a door to reassurance and personal growth.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.