My Life at the Bottom: The Story of a Lonesome Axolotl

Regular price $ 19.95

by Linda Bondestam, Translated by A. A. Prime


5/24/2022, hardcover

SKU: 9781632061386


From award-winning Nordic author and illustrator Linda Bondestam comes a new kind of climate change story, narrated by an adorable axolotl who is--possibly--the last of its kind.

In a forest of seaweed there was ME, a rare and beautiful little axolotl, going for my first-ever swim.

So graceful, and yet so lonesome--out of 987 eggs, mine was the only one that hatched.

Who knows, maybe I was the last axolotl in these waters?

At the bottom of a lake in Mexico City, our axolotl narrator goes to underwater school, collects treasures tossed away by the big lugs on land, and has dance parties with tiger salamander friends. Life is good!

But as the world gets hotter and hotter, the water gets murkier. Friends become harder to find, and the lonesome axolotl grows even lonelier. Until one day when, out of the blue, a colossal wave carries the axolotl into a surprising new future....

Bittersweet, droll, existential, and hopeful, My Life at the Bottom is a tale from the climate crisis unlike any other. Combining her irresistible visual wit with exquisite aquatic art and rare empathy, Linda Bondestam brings us a story of catastrophe that bursts with life.

Target age: 4 to 7


"How do you go about making a picture book for children that touches on one of the most difficult and painful issues of our time--the climate crisis? Bondestam does just this, with heart and mind, in a breathtaking story that bypasses people (or 'big lugs' as they're called in the book) and heads for the margins.... The language is flexible and inventive, rather ingeniously making the axolotl the narrator. Thanks to this irresistibly charming protagonist, the story is brimming with empathy and nerve. By reflecting the small in the big, the reader can recognize and get involved in the fragile globe that we all live on whose future concerns us all." -- The Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize Jury's Citation

"It is exquisitely executed and Bondestam is deservedly one of the most appreciated picture book artists in the Nordic region, with international reach." -- Mia Österlund, Hufvudstadsbladet

About the Contributors:

Linda Bondestam is one of the most celebrated illustrators in the Nordic countries. The illustrator and author of dozens of children's books that have been translated into more than ten languages, she was awarded the Snöbollen for Swedish Picture Book of the Year in 2016 and the Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize in 2017 for Djur som ingen sett utom vi (Animals that no one has seen except us). She lives in Helsinki.

A. A. Prime is an award-winning translator specializing in magical stories for young people. She loves her work because it is the perfect combination of fastidious academia and dreamlike nonsense.