The story of Bo Vilhelm Olsson (Karl Anders Nilsson in the English translation), who becomes Mio and ends up in the Land of Faraway where he is given a mission to fight the evil knight Kato, is one of Astrid Lindgren’s most beloved stories. A magnificent, beautiful, and poetic tale that prompts the reader to contemplate life and death, good and evil, and the power of love.
Astrid Lindgren recounted how she got the idea for the book when she walked through the Tegnérlunden park in Stockholm and saw a boy sitting alone on a bench. It was a dark autumn evening and he looked so lonely and sad. She made her character live in number 13 Upplandsgatan since that’s the door she noticed the boy disappearing through.
The novel was the first of Astrid’s stories illustrated by Ilon Wikland, and became the start of a long collaboration.