Barna Hedenhös

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Barna Hedenhös
Author Bertil Almqvist
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Genre children
Published 1948-

Barna Hedenhös (English: The Hedenhös Children) is the name of a series of Swedish children's books in the 1950s written by Bertil Almqvist.[1] The story is set in the Stone Age and follows the Hedenhös family. Barna Hedenhös is mostly known as a book series, but Almqvist also made an animated television series about the Hedenhös family that was broadcast on SVT in 1972.[2] Additionally, Almqvist made a comic version of the Hedenhös books for the comic book Tuff och Tuss during the 1950s; the comic version later was remade for the Pelle Svanslös children's comic book in the 1970s.[3]


The books tell the story of the Swedish family Hedenhös, consisting of the father Ben, mother Knota, and their two children Sten and Flisa, and their dog Urax.[4] The family also has a horse called Hårfagre and a cow called Mura.[1] The books contain both actual events and fantasy episodes.[1]

In all of the stories, the Hedenhös family invents or comes up with things that are known in the modern world today.[5] As an example, the Hedenhös family moves to an island they call "Stockholmen" – the implication being that it was the Hedenhös family that established and was the first to live in present-day Stockholm, Sweden.[5] Another example is that the Hedenhös family launches the "Urlympiska spelen" ("Protolympic Games") and takes part in it, thus being revealed to be a predecessor to the modern Olympic Games.

Racism accusations[edit]

The original Barna Hödenhös books have been accused of being racist by present-day journalists.[6] For example, dark-skinned people in the books are referred to as "negros",[6] which is considered an offensive term nowadays. In 2013 Bonnier Carlsen temporarily halted its re-release of the books as Barna Hedenhös upptäcker Amerika (English: The Hedenhös Children Discover America) since the 1950 publications refer to Native Americans as "red skins".[7] A new text was inserted in the section concerning the first interactions between the Hedenhös family and the Native American tribe, so it would not cause offence.[7]

Sveriges Television's Christmas calendar[edit]

In 2013 it was revealed that Barna Hedenhös would be the 2013 feature on the SVT Christmas calendar TV series for children, broadcast by Sveriges Television, and would premiere on 1 December on SVT.[8] The series was named Barna Hedenhös uppfinner julen (English: The Hedenhös Children Invent Christmas).[8]

Book series[edit]

  • 1948: Barna Hedenhös: bilder från stenåldern
  • 1949: Barna Hedenhös reser till Egypten
  • 1950: Barna Hedenhös upptäcker Amerika
  • 1950: Barnens dag i Hedenhös (picture book)
  • 1951: Barna Hedenhös på vinterresa i Sverige
  • 1952: Barna Hedenhös och de urlympiska spelen
  • 1953: Barna Hedenhös åker bananbåt till Kanarieöarna
  • 1954: Barna Hedenhös blir kungliga
  • 1955: Barna Hedenhös i världsrymden
  • 1957: Barna Hedenhös reser till Paris
  • 1962: Barna Hedenhös bakom stenridån
  • 1969: Barna Hedenhös på Mallorca
  • 1971: Barna Hedenhös besöker England
  • 1991: Den stora boken om barna Hedenhös
    • Barna Hedenhös
    • Barna Hedenhös reser till Egypten
    • Barna Hedenhös upptäcker Amerika
    • Barna Hedenhös åker bananbåt till Kanarieöarna
    • Barna Hedenhös reser till Paris
  • 1992: Barna Hedenhös på nya äventyr
    • Barna Hedenhös på vinterresa i Sverige
    • Barna Hedenhös och de urlympiska spelen
    • Barna Hedenhös i världsrymden
    • Barna Hedenhös på Mallorca
    • Barna Hedenhös besöker England


  • 1996: Barna Hedenhös på Stockholmen (multimedia)
  • 1997: Barna Hedenhös hittar hem (after the film Barna Hedenhös bosätter sig i Sverige)


  1. ^ a b c "Anklagades för rasism – dras in". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). 20 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Barna Hedenhös" (in Swedish). Seriewikin. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Barna Hedenhös" (in Swedish). Seriewikin. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Barna Hedenhös 7, Urax på äventyr av Bertil Almqvist". LitteraturMagazinet (in Swedish). 22 November 1963. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Här får Hedenhös liv i Ystad" (in Swedish). Ystads Allehanda. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Linda-Marie Nilsson (20 November 2013). "Regissören rasar mot "Barna Hedenhös": Rasistiskt". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Bonnier Carlsen stoppar Hedenhös-bok". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). 20 November 2013. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Torbjörn Ivarsson (24 December 2012). "Nästa års julkalender i SVT rena stenåldern". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 24 November 2013.