Elsa Beskow (1874-1953), born Elsa Maartman in Stockholm, was a pioneering author and illustrator of children's books in Sweden—perhaps the best known of all Swedish children's book artists. Her books were inspired by her own childhood experiences, as well as those of her six children. Central themes were the relationships between children and adults and children's independent initiative. Her books are continually reprinted, and many have become classics. She also illustrated ABC books and songbooks for Swedish schools.