My Life at the Bottom: The Story of a Lonesome Axolotl

(Author) (Translator)
Product Details
$19.95  $18.55
Publish Date
11.42 X 8.5 X 0.25 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Linda Bondestam is one of the most celebrated illustrators in the Nordic countries. The illustrator and author of dozens of children's books that have been translated into more than ten languages, she was awarded the Snöbollen for Swedish Picture Book of the Year in 2016 and the Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize in 2017 for Djur som ingen sett utom vi (Animals that no one has seen except us). She lives in Helsinki.

A. A. Prime (Annie Prime) is an award-winning translator of Swedish literature. She was born in London and traveled the world studying a number of languages before settling in the English coastal town of Hastings. She now works full-time as a translator, specializing in the weird, witty, and wonderful world of children's and young adult fiction. She holds an MA in translation from University College London and has published more than twenty books in the UK and US. In her free time, she can be found belly dancing, folk singing, horse riding, and sea swimming.


Praise for My Life at the Bottom:

"How do you go about making a picture book for children that touches on one of the most difficult and painful issues of our time--the climate crisis? Bondestam does just this, with heart and mind, in a breathtaking story that bypasses people (or 'big lugs' as they're called in the book) and heads for the margins.... The language is flexible and inventive, rather ingeniously making the axolotl the narrator. Thanks to this irresistibly charming protagonist, the story is brimming with empathy and nerve. By reflecting the small in the big, the reader can recognize and get involved in the fragile globe that we all live on whose future concerns us all."

--The Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize Jury's Citation

"It is exquisitely executed and Bondestam is deservedly one of the most appreciated picture book artists in the Nordic region, with international reach."

--Mia Österlund, Hufvudstadsbladet

"With a big heart, she paints a world that has changed forever, but which still has hope for a brighter future."

--Sissel Ray, IBBY Finland

"The book shows Linda Bondestam's mastery by the use and enrichment of the picture book's entire range."

--The August Prize Jury's Citation

Praise for Good Night, Earth:

"Inventive book design and shifting perspectives add cozy surprises to this bedtime snoozer.... In Hasan-Rokem's translation from the Swedish, the text is poetic, sly, and funny.... Along with adding sly anthropomorphic touches to the rest of the cast, [Bondestam] caps the nighttime scenes with one final one of a comically frazzled family of owls barely getting through a sunrise supper of croissants and hot chocolate before collapsing. Parents of younger children will definitely relate. A droll and imaginative addition to the crepuscular corpus."

--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"In Good Night, Earth, Finnish artist Linda Bondestam's funny and beautiful picture book (translated from the Swedish by Galit Hasan-Rokem), a couple of lumpy green creatures from a faraway planet spy on the baffling bedtime habits of Earthlings. Bondestam's mixed-media illustrations... are wonderfully detailed, and she picked unusual creatures (an axolotl, a tarsier, those meerkats) to depict, giving them all vivid expressions. Some look demonic, some worried, some deeply suspicious, some (the kiwis) slightly crazed. It's the eyes. They all have great, expressive eyes."

--Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Told from the perspective of a green alien family on a faraway planet, Bondestam's endearing solo debut offers a peek into the fictional bedtime routines of animals from around the world.... Offbeat humor permeates the text... and accompanies Bondestam's quirky, multipatterned collage-style illustrations. The penultimate bedtime routine will resonate with parental readers, while the final spreads offer a last laugh for young ones."

--Publishers Weekly

"What a fun, quirky bedtime story!...The facial expressions on the animals have very human fatigue written all over them, which will delight human parents.... The aliens are adorable, and provide a second story while the reader waits to see what happens with each animal family. Half-pages interspersed throughout allow the fun of a lift-the-flap surprise. The language... is poetic, whimsical, sometimes beautiful. Linking it all together is the gorgeous art."

--Stephanie Tournas, Youth Services Book Review, Starred Review

"In this sweet and beautifully designed small book, a little alien peers through a telescope at all the bedtime rituals on Earth. Using mixed media, Bondestam creates rich, layered illustrations featuring animals all across the globe.... Delicate pen-and-ink applied over the colors give the animals very expressive faces.... [I]t neatly resembles Margaret Wise Brown's classic Good Night Moon, and fans of that book will appreciate the contrast."

--Susan Harari, Youth Services Book Review, Starred Review

"Animals around the world are headed to bed in this beautifully illustrated book, which adds an odd twist of quirkiness to make it an intriguing read.... The animals are depicted in a wonderful artistic manner, which adds a dash of sophistication. In other words, these are simply well done and beautiful in their style and flair."

--Tonja Drecker, Bookworm for Kids