ERIC Number: EJ1054117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Constructing Scandinavian-American Identity through a Chaos of Darkness: Maj Lindman's "Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Gingerbread"
Children's Literature in Education, v46 n1 p22-37 Mar 2015
Popular among young American readers since the early 1930s, Maj Lindman's two series of children's books--"Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and Flicka, Ricka, Dicka"--continue their long publishing histories in the U.S. These nostalgia-filled adventures about the Swedish triplet boys and girls construct positive values of childhood independence and cooperation. At the same time, they often associate these positive values with white racial features in ways that can be problematic for critical readers. This article examines Maj Lindman's construction of racial identity by analyzing "Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Gingerbread," the volume that gives the fullest commentary on whiteness in either series by offering dark images of its main characters. After falling into a vat of gingerbread batter and turning dark brown, Snipp, Snapp and Snurr spread chaos in their town, disturbing the peace, disrupting the market economy, and offending bourgeois propriety. Following Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and others who have critiqued similar representations of Africanized figures in American art, this article explores the extent to which Lindman was "playing in the dark" (Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, 1993) with this inaugural "Snipp, Snapp, Snurr" volume, engaging a white race ideology rooted in "Old-World" stereotypes but easily translatable to a "New-World" politics of race. Implications for critical parent-readers and Scandinavian-American identity will be considered.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A