Dark and hilarious.

Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

All the Dear Little Animals


A funny illustrated chapter book about three children who decide someone must bury all the world’s poor dead animals.

Translated by Julia Marshall


AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 2020. Pre-orders now.



  • Description

    One summer’s day we started a business called Funerals Ltd., to help all the poor dead animals in the world. Esther did the digging, I wrote the poems, and Esther’s little brother, Puttie, cried.


  • Book Details

    Country of OriginSweden
    Reader Age5-7 year, 6-8 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Kirkus Reviews (starred)

      The story cleverly—and tenderly—pivots near its end, giving it a touching depth (with a twist). Eriksson’s keenly observed illustrations include full-page and double-page spreads as well as spots, and they are as wickedly hilarious as the text in their understated expressions and details.

  • Reviews

    1. Publishers Weekly (starred)

      Nilsson and Eriksson bring a whiff of Scandinavian noir to this lengthy, small-format picture book. After an encounter with “something sad and tragic”—a dead bee—Esther buries the insect, then makes a pronouncement. “Someone unselfish must make sure all these dead things get buried,” she tells the narrator, a boy in a plaid shirt. So they start a business, Funerals Ltd. The boy is a reluctant undertaker but a good writer (“There are lots of words inside me”), and he contributes a short poem for each funeral (“Farewell Harold, wee Harold so bold”). Esther solicits new business, sometimes with startling cynicism—“We will never forget him. That’s what we’re paid for!” Deftly translated by Marshall, the text laces honest consideration of a difficult subject with winningly mordant humor. Lindgren Award–winner Eriksson’s (My Heart Is Laughing) lightly penned images of the children burying animals are the visual equivalent of Nilsson’s offhand tone. It’s only after the children tackle logistical matters—touching corpses, how to explain death to Esther’s little brother, whether the gravestones need proper names—that a moment of real tenderness occurs: they witness a blackbird’s sudden death, and even brusque Esther is moved. A sly, thoughtful, many-layered story.

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