There is an interesting book on the cities and towns of Norway, illustrated by 15 of Norway’s most popular illustrators. The book, published by Figenschou Forlag, depicts 15 cities and towns from illustrator Ole Fredrik Hvidsten’s Arendal to illustrator Kristina Bjerkek’s Ålesund.
When it comes to Norway, the spotlight tends to fall on the beautiful fjords. However, also rural Norway scores big and the book “Norske byer fra A til Å” (Norwegian cities and towns from A to Å) takes us to Drammen, Kongsberg, Fredrikstad, Tønsberg, Hamar, Kristiansand, Lillehammer, Molde, Bodø and Tromsø in addition to the three big ones Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim.
Making of the book demanded in-depth preparation, because the publisher Anita Figenschou wanted to find talented illustrators who had a relationship with the city they were to illustrate. In addition, the cities and towns should represent the south, north, east and west of Norway.
Great emphasis has been placed on the visual part of the book, since telling stories through both pictures and text has become a trend. And children have become an important readership. They simply require well-illustrated books if they are to arouse interest.
Drawing and interpreting the world we live in is something illustrators all over the world enjoy doing, and something people love to take part in.
Personally I would prefer that the book presented more Norwegian cities, but I understand that it would have been difficult to implement. And I do not think that children, as the book is aimed at, think anything special about just that at all. They are probably most concerned with the pictures and the find-and-find game. And both live up to expectations.
The illustrators: Ole F. Hvidsten • Åshild Kanstad Johnsen • Bjørn Rune Lie • Magnus Lunde Engen • Haakon Lie • Cecilie Maurud Barstad • Ingunn Dybendal • Janne Christensen • Sandra Blikås • Kristoffer Kjølberg • Endre Skandfer • Anette Moi • Tora Marie Norberg • Robin & Rudi • Kristina Bjerkek
The Cities and Towns of Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg
All illustrations © Figenschou forlag. Feature image (on top): From Bodø