The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Swedish / Finland

Mitt bottenliv. Av en ensam axolotl

(My life at the bottom. Told by a lonely axolotl)

Bondestam, Linda (text/illus.)
Helsingfors; Stockholm: Förlaget; Berghs, 2020. – [41] p.
ISBN 978-952-333-296-6

Axolotl  | Sea  | Environmental destruction  | Loneliness  | Picture book

Reading age: 4+

White Ravens issue: 2021


”Once the world was completely newborn”, that’s how this picture book opens. Yet all of a sudden, there are skyscrapers, flashing advertisements, and people eating out of cardboard boxes; and there is rubbish all over the place, including the oceans, of course. On the flipside, rusty cans serve as a table and a bed for the axolotl who tells the story, while a discarded iPhone provides entertainment for him. The book, executed in brightly coloured collages, opens up an suspenseful and conflicting field of discussion: Although the destruction of the environment is obvious, the axolotl has become accustomed to the waste and even recycles it to a certain extent. The rubbish doesn’t bother him half as much as his loneliness, because he believes that he is the only specimen of his kind in the world. However, after an environmental disaster, he of all creatures finds an axolotl girlfriend and starts a family with her – in a completely rubbish-free place! This is certainly not a ”bottenliv”, but rather ”ett toppliv” (a life at the top)! [IG]