Leif the Lucky – A gorgeously illustrated bio on Leif Erikson, the first European to set foot in America


The D’Aulaires wrote a number of well-done children’s books that still are in use at my library. Holling Clancy Holling also wrote several less known but equally well written books about frontier life; usually they focused on the history of a single thing, like a model canoe or a cottonwood tree at a major trail intersection.

We had a great book about the Norse gods that looked similar to this and the authors’ names sound familiar.

I was just looking at that in the bookstore today. They also seem to have one for the greek gods.

How’s their treatment of the Native Americans who “drove off” the Greenlanders? Book looks beautiful but I admit to being skeptical of how a 1941 book might portray brown people.

1 Like

Another vivid, energetic, yet freely profane accounting of the Scandis early history (aka the “Scandinavian Aggression”) on our continent is this:


Language is NSFW, but the whole series is pretty damn funny. Note that Lesson 1 is last list item… reverse chrono order.

I’m no ancient Scandinavian history scholar, but I sense the author Rowdy Geirsson takes pains to stick to the facts. I learned a lot.

“the first European known to have to set foot in America”

Some unfortunate depictions verbal and visual of “Skraelinger” (indigenous peoples encountered in Vinland), reference to the “waddling Eskimos” of post-Norse Greenland. Rejected for school library, in spite of learning resource potential (incl. ‘gay’ King Olav – ah! the evolution of language!)
The D’Aulaires’ classic volumes of Greek and Norse myths remain popular items on the shelves.

Thanks for this article. The authors were my grandparents, they have a number of books still in print, the most popular boing their Greek Myths and Norse Myths

Their illustration technique was to use limestone lithographs, a labor intensive process that resulted in the unique look and feel of their images.

My father archives a lot of their sketches, illustrations and rarities on the d’Aulaire Children’s Book Facebook Page. Tell 'em Boing Boing sent you!


I was lucky too. Had this book to read when I was young. Loved it then, remember it fondly now. Good to know it’s back in print.

It was so kind of the Americans to pay for Leif’s huge statue in front of the Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik to commemorate his discovery of Canada.

Putting scare quotes around “discovered” is a very trite objection to giving Columbus (or any European) credit for anything. (There’s a lot more bad shit he did to legitimately complain about, if that’s what you’re after.) Not all uses of the word mean “discovered for all of humanity.” You wouldn’t complain about a kid saying he “discovered” that marshmallows improve hot chocolate, or someone “discovering” an obscure little bookstore.

1 Like

Oh go ahead and say “politically correct.” You know you want to.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.