A poignant ode to fidelity and the simplicity of true friendship.

Dimity Powell

The Tale of the Tiny Man

A classic picture book from Sweden with a very happy ending about feeling lonely and finding friends. It is possible, after all, to have more than one friend!

There was once a tiny man. One day, at the first sign of Spring, he decided to pin a note to a tree that said FRIEND WANTED. Then he sat down on the step to wait.

After ten days, he woke to find a cold nose in his hand. Beside him was a big dog with a beautiful curve in its tail. The tiny man had made a friend at last.

They play and walk and laugh every day. But then the girl in the polka dot dress comes to the step. The little man watches as the dog put his soft muzzle into the girl’s hand and worries that he has lost his only friend.

A touching picture book that explores learning how to make and share friends, feelings of being left out and discovering group dynamics. Packed full of emotion, this hardback picture book also teaches young children about self-esteem and empathy. A perfect story to read aloud with preschoolers or for young children just starting out at reading by themself.

A much-loved classic children’s story in Sweden, this celebratory edition features new illustrations from Eva Eriksson, illustrator of the My Happy Life series. It has also been made into a successful theatre show.

Barbro Lindgren is a pioneering children’s author from Sweden. She has won many international awards, including the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Eva Eriksson is one of the best-loved illustrators in Sweden, whose awards include the Astrid Lindgren prize and the August award.

Look inside video | Teacher notes

Translated by Julia Marshall

Ebook available wherever you buy your ebooks

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin Sweden
    Reader Age 2-5 year, 5-7 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children’s and Young Adult Literature

      A tender and sweet story with soft and gentle illustrations.

    2. Swings & Roundabouts

      A perfect book to explore learning how to make and share friends.

    3. School Library Journal, Betsy Bird

      This book taps so perfectly into that feeling kids get when they have to share their friends.

    4. Youth Services Book Review, starred review

      The illustrations are trademark Eriksson, filled with softness and detail with light shining in all the right places.

    5. Five Books, Best Kids’ Books of 2022

      The Tale of the Tiny Man can serve as a good starting point for a discussion with children about emotions relating to exclusion or inclusion.

    6. Donovan’s Literary Services

      A story parents will want to choose for read-aloud interest and for discussions about friendship, loneliness, and making connections.

    7. My Kids Read the World

      Beyond being a beautiful story that is in no way didactic, this would be perfect for use in the classroom as an invitation to explore ideas such as: making friends, how to be a friend, empathy, jealousy, loneliness, and self-esteem.

    8. Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

      And o! The drama! The pathos! The desolation! The joy! It’s ALL THE FEELINGS. And if the children in your life ask you to read it to them over and over and then some more, don’t be surprised.

    9. Radio Southland – The Book Show

      It made me feel sadness and happiness and you pick up something of friendship and loneliness along the way too. Another winning book from Gecko Press that’s for sure.

    10. Outside In World

      A timeless classic that is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written over 40 years ago.

    11. Just Imagine

      The prose has a delicate poetry that you find in the most satisfying of picture books. For me this would make a perfect story to read aloud, all is resolved and yet readers are left to consider the plight of those who are left out, the beauty of friendship, and to empathise with those around them.

    12. School Reading List

      Thought-provoking and evocative with atmospheric illustrations, this is a memorable picture book story of friendship, understanding and acceptance that will resonate with younger readers.

    13. Scope for Imagination

      Themes of respect for others, consideration for the elderly and friendship fill the pages of this gorgeously illustrated story.

    14. The Book Beat bookstore

      A charming children’s story about a friendless man who looks like Mr Magoo. Eva Eriksson’s illustrations are excellent at conveying the story’s changing moods.

    15. Foreword Reviews

      Book of the Day. Audiences will also be “pleased as punch” over the tiny man’s turn in fortunes.

    16. Kirkus Reviews

      A sensitive, atmospheric story depicting the fragility and rewards of friendship.

    17. The Listener

      A precious tale of a lonely man’s friendship with a dog.

    18. The Kids Bookstagrammer

      This is a very emotional read, beautifully written and very delicately and softly illustrated.

    19. Red Reading Hub

      This beautifully told and illustrated story looks at various emotions including empathy, loneliness and prejudice. Whether read alone or aloud, there’s much to think about and one hopes, talk about with family members and/or classmates.

    20. Poetry Box

      The sentences are as sweet as honey, even on the gloomiest page. The illustrations are warm and alive and captivating.

    21. A Word About Books

      Gently exploring social prejudice and discrimination, this emotional story will tug at the heartstrings. Featuring classic illustrations, The Tale of the Tiny Man is a sweet story about loneliness and finding the perfect friend that will resonate with readers of all ages.

    22. Dimity Powell

      A poignant ode to fidelity and the simplicity of true friendship. Its appeal relies on powerfully defined characters, the main one being a tiny man in lieu of a child which means adults sharing this story with younger readers will enjoy its relatability as much as children.

Available worldwide from your local bookstore or online.

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