Sweden, the Culture


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-9697-3
DDC j948.5




Reviewed by Lisa Arsenault

Lisa Arsenault is an elementary-school teacher in Ajax, Ontario.


These latest additions to the Lands, Peoples, and Cultures follow the
established format: each book is 32 pages long, prefaced with a table of
contents, and completed with a glossary and an index.

Sweden, the Land explains how Sweden was shaped by the melting of ice
floes 10,000 years ago, a process that created significant physical
differences between the northern and southern portions of the country.
Glaciers created some of the deepest lakes in the world, and fashioned
unique pillars of limestone. We find out why Sweden is called the Land
of the Midnight Sun. Major cities are described and industry,
transportation, wildlife, and agriculture are detailed.

The theme of contrasts between north and south is further developed in
Sweden, the People. The Sami, Sweden’s first inhabitants, live in the
north and pursue traditional mining, reindeer herding, and logging. The
arrival of the Goths and Vikings in the south, the creation of Sweden,
and the progress toward democracy make for interesting reading.
Descriptions of city life, country life, family traditions and
celebrations, food, sports, and education follow.

Religion plays a major role in Sweden, and in Sweden, the Culture,
celebrations marking the change of seasons (snow festivals, Walpurgis
Night, and Midsomer), as well as the country’s architecture, arts and
crafts, inventions, music, and dance, are described. We discover the
origins of IKEA, and learn that Swedes invented the zipper, dynamite,
and the pacemaker. Poetry, novels, and plays produced by Swedes and a
Swedish folk tale complete the book.

These are informative, interesting volumes, complete with charts, maps,
diagrams, and colour photographs. But especially fun are the
“facts,” which are presented in a variety of ways: for example, a
diary entry is used to convey the typical day of a young girl in
Stockholm. Recommended.


Fast, April, and Keltie Thomas., “Sweden, the Culture,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29895.