Nangijala is the land of campfires and fairytales, and that’s where you go when you die. This is what Jonatan Lion tells his brother Scotty who is lying there seriously ill. How terrible it is that some have to die before they’ve even turned ten – how can this be? Scotty wonders. I think it’s going to be wonderful for you, Jonathan reassures him. In Nangijala your life will be an adventure from morning till night – and even all through the night. Because Nangijala is the place where fairytales happen.

'My brother, Jonathan, knew that I was going to die.

'How can things be so terrible,' I asked. 'That some people have to die, when they're not even ten years old?'

'I don't think it's that terrible,' said Jonathan. 'I think you'll have a marvellous time.'

It was a gravestone on Vimmerby churchyard that gave Astrid the idea for the eternally topical story of the Brothers Lionheart, her second most translated book. The stone said: “Here rest the frail brothers Fahlén, died 1860”. She then knew that it was to become a story about death and two brothers.