Christmas in the Nordics

Welcome to Nordic Literature Week!

Nordic Literature Week aims to fill Nordic and Baltic schools and libraries with readings, exhibitions, debates, and cultural experiences. And even though we are in different places in the world, we are all participating in the same event and part of the same reading community. This year's theme is  Christmas in the Nordics – welcome to Nordic Literature Week 2023!

Nordic Litterature Week is taking place November 13th - 19th 2023 On the big read aloud day on November 13th, young and old will gather in schools and libraries throughout the Nordic and the Baltic countries to listen to the readings of the same texts. Morning Dawn for children and youths starts at 9 am. Evening Dusk for adults begins at 7 pm. The times can, of course, be adapted to the needs of individual institutions.

There are endless opportunities during the Nordic Literature Week. With this Catalogue of Ideas, we wish to inspire kindergartens, schools, libraries, and other cultural institutions to put together an exciting and diverse program during the Nordic Literature Week. The ideas are categorised into target groups: children, youths, and adults. However, age is only a number, and the ideas can inspire activities across the age groups.

We wish all arrangers and participants a lovely Nordic Literature Week 2023!

Happy reading,

Anna Foucard
Project Manager


Special thanks to:

Alfred Arvidsson, Andra Heinat, Anniken Ørndal Iversen, Ásdís Eva Hannesdóttir, Brigita Urmanaite, Cia Numelin, Eilen Anthoniussen, Ieva Hermansone, Marika Lindström, Marjun Patursson, Merete Riber, Mikaela Wickström, Sara Razi Ullah.

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Reading aloud for children and youths

Morning Dawn

It is at dawn that the read-aloud session for children and youths takes place. This year's children's reading book is Astrid Lindgren's classic “Nya hyss av Emil I Lönneberga”.

The experience of the read-aloud event starts before the book has even been opened. By closing the curtains, dimming the lights, and lighting a few candles, you can create a captivating atmosphere ahead of the reading. If you have access to a projector, the experience can be enriched by displaying the book's front cover, this year's poster from the Nordic Literature Week, or illustrations from the book.

Ideas for children and youths: While reading aloud

Talk about what you are reading

Let the child interrupt the reading with their thoughts and encourage the children's' imagination. Ask simple open-ended questions to involve the children in reading aloud actively.

Create a cosy environment

Remove furniture and let the children sit on cushions and blankets on the floor while reading aloud. Or create small tents, using blankets or sheets, and light them up by using flashlights.

Read aloud to each other

Use Nordic Literature Week as an opportunity to practice reading aloud. Ask for volunteers in the class to read aloud parts of the extract to the rest of the class. Take the opportunity to practice one of the Nordic languages by reading all or parts of this year's reading text in the original language. An excerpt will be published on November 1st.

Read for a Nordic Friendship Class

Collaborate with a Nordic Friendship Class and read-aloud for each other in a video chat. Alternatively, record the text and share it between your classes. Can you understand the language of your friendship class? Afterwards, you can discuss the book with each other. Do you experience the language the same way? Can you recognise anything from your home country in the text? Please note that this might be more relevant for participants in the Nordic Countries. Find a Nordic Friendship Class at (The site is only available in the Nordic languages)

Co-operate with the local school or library

Nordic Literature Week creates the perfect opportunity to increase co-operation between schools and libraries. Organise a read-aloud event at the library or invite a librarian to do a reading at the school.

Ideas for children and youths: Activities

Dive into the book

Work with the read-aloud book both before and after the read-aloud session. Study the front of the book and discuss what you think the book is about. After the reading, you can discuss which thoughts came up during the reading session. Can you identify yourself in the book?

Nordic corner in the library

Create a Nordic corner with Nordic books about celebrations. Put up this year's poster and put this year's literature, alongside other Nordic literature, e.g. from the Nordic Literature Week's list of additional reading. Find material for visiting kids so they can draw or paint something related to the theme and then make the drawings part of the exhibition.

Circle Story

Start by sitting in a circle and let the pupils take in turns to say either a sentence or a word, building up a story around the circle. Depending on the number of participants and flow, the story can circulate one round or more, until you are satisfied with the story.

Celebrate Emil's 60th birthday!

Explore the party materials from the Swedish publisher Rabén and Sjögren - decorate with Emil posters, arrange a quiz, or build Emil's shed. On the anniversary page “Emil celebrates 60 years”, you will find a lot of fun ideas for the party.

Use the Norden i Skolan platform

Norden i Skolen is a free platform for teachers and pupils who want to work with themes such as language and culture or climate and nature. Create an account at and get access to a large and varied teaching material, including more than 90 nordic short films and documentaries. Please note that this might be more relevant for participants in the Nordic Countries. (The site is only available in the Nordic languages)

Read aloud for adults

Evening dusk

Evening dusk is the read-aloud session for adults. It takes place when the November darkness has set in. This year we will read an excerpt from “Stargate: en julberättelse” by Ingvild H. Rishøi.

The experience surrounding the read-aloud starts before the book has even been opened. Create a captivating atmosphere by closing the curtains, dimming the lights, and lighting a few candles.

Ideas for adults: While reading aloud

Combine the reading aloud session with other activities at the libraries

Do you arrange language-cafés for immigrants, reading aloud sessions for children, knitting-cafés or book-clubs at the library? Read aloud from this year's books and combine these already existing events with the Nordic Literature week and take part in the grand reading aloud community from the 13th of November to the 19th.

Invite an author

Combine the reading aloud with a visit from an author. You could perhaps get an author nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize to visit you, or the Nordic Council's Children's and Youth Prize.

What is Nordic literature?

Combine Nordic Library Week with a lecture or debate on Nordic literature. What is Nordic literature? Is there a particular feeling or mood in the literature from the Nordic countries? Invite a professor or librarian to give a lecture on the concept of "Nordic literature".

Christmas in the Nordics

This year's work of art

Print the poster