Anders Larson is the father of Kirsten Larson. Kirsten refers to him as "Papa".




Kirsten's papa is a hard-working man who is eager to start a new life on the American Frontier with his brother. Papa can be stern, and he has a deep voice. He doesn't like to lose his patience.

In the Books

Meet Kirsten: An American Girl

Papa first appears calling for Kirsten when she is out on the deck with Marta during a storm.He says a storm is coming and with the rocky coast and wind it could be dangerous. He lifts Kirsten and Marta out of the rope coil to lead them down below deck. Water is washing over the deck and into Kirsten's boots as she makes her way towards the hold. Papa hurries the two girls down below.

The storm passes and everyone is save. The Larson's stand on the deck of the Eagle, which is heading towards the coast. Papa, who is holding Peter says that he can smell earth again.Mama smiles and leans to whisper to Papa that she often worried that they would not make it. Papa says that she is brave and has heart and he is proud of her and their children. Lars, who has been talking to sailors, says that they will land in New York tomorrow. Mama is glad as they will have fresh bread and she can wash their clothes. Lars says they won't be able to leave before they are examined by the health inspector; he explains the purpose of the health inspector, who will not let anyone who is sick stay in America. Peter worries that Mama is sick and reaches out for her; Mama hugs him. Papa explains that Mama has only been seasick, and that is common; the health inspector is looking for more serious illnesses such as cholera that are fatal. Lars says no one has cholera, and Papa assures Peter there will be nothing to worry about and they will be in New York to continue the journey to Minnesota.

When the ship docks at New York Harbor, Kirsten asks Papa why she's dizzy and Papa explains that they have gotten used to the ship's movement and need to get used to being on land again.

After buying tickets for the rest of the journey, Papa and Lars return with fruit as well. Papa scoops out fruit for Kirsten and Peter before he and Mama share the rest. Mama remarks at the size of the cherries and Lars says everything in America is big, including New York. Papa says they will see more tomorrow as they will leave west tomorrow. Mama asks if he found an honest agent; Mr. Peterson on the boat was cheated of his money. Papa assures her that the agent he chose is good; he is from Sweden, speaks English, and was able to help them exchange their money as well as get the tickets. Mama laments that it will be a long trip to Minnesota. Papa says the agent will guide them to the Mississippi River and they only have a few more weeks travel left. He urges Mama not to lose heart. Peter tugs on Papa and says they need to go buy food. Mama hands Kirsten the milk jug, warning her to stay with her father as she doesn't speak English. Papa takes Peter's hand and the three head down Broadway Street.

As they walk Kirsten is fascinated by all the things around her and asks Papa to slow down so that she can see it all. They get to the bread shop and Papa buys several rolls, giving one to Kirsten and one to Peter. Papa loses Kirsten when a boy bumps into her and she tips over a black boy polishing a man's shoes.

After Kirsten finds her parents again, Papa runs to her as she calls out to them. Papa says that they were scared as they couldn't find her. Kirsten says she though they would leave without her. Mama says they never would and asks how she found her way back. Kirsten realizes the woman is gone and explains that she drew the boat and the lady led her back. Papa says that Kirsten is very smart--and next time she should be smart enough to stay near. Kristen promises, meaning it with her heart.

During their journey on The Redding, the Mississippi riverboat that would take them to Minnesota, Kirsten asks Papa why they can't go on the upper deck. Papa explains that the deck is for rich people. Kirsten asks if they could pay more to go up there and Papa says they only have a little money left. which will be needed to hire a wagon to the farm.

After finding out that her friend Marta died, Kirsten begins to sob miserably, unable to say even Marta's name. Mama wraps her arms around Kirsten and Papa pats her shoulder. Papa tells Kirsten to stop crying, but Mama cradles her and says to let Kirsten have her tears.

It is raining when the Larsons disembark The Redwing. Mama touches Kirsten's cheek and tells her to cheer up as Papa and the boys will soon be back with a wagon, making it a short trip to the rest of the farm. However, Papa returns with a frown; they do not have enough money for a horse and wagon. Mama asks what they will do and Papa says they must walk to the farm and leave the trunks. Mama looks at the two trunks and says everything they own is in the trunks and how will they manage. Papa says they will carry what they can and get the trunks later. He begins to take out blankets and tools from inside the larger trunk. Mama pauses and says it can't be helped and they will send for the trunks soon. People are more important than things; they have all made it and are well. She makes a bundle of the remaining food and closes the food trunk. Papa tells Kirsten she will be needed to carry things and will have to leave Sari in the trunk.

Kirsten Learns a Lesson: A School Story

Kirsten's Surprise: A Christmas Story

Happy Birthday, Kirsten!: A Springtime Story

Kirsten Saves The Day: A Summer Story

Changes for Kirsten: A Winter Story

Anders, as well as Olav are gone for the winter to work in a logging camp. He writes to Mama that the logging is going well and hopes that his earnings, as well the money earned from selling the pelts, will be enough to buy more land for farming, unaware that the Larson cabin has been destroyed during his absence.

At the end of the trapping season and with the money earned from both Old Jack's pelts and the ones from the trap lines, Papa sends another letter to his family, stating he and Mr. Stewart have already arranged a deal on the Stewarts' house and for the Larsons to prepare for his return. Kirsten is the first person to see Papa arriving home, at their new house.

Kirsten Snowbound!

Anders is away at a logging camp. Kirsten is hoping for a letter from him telling the family when he'd come home.

Kirsten's Promise

The Runaway Friend


  • It was first believed that Anders's first name was Lars, as the American Girls Album and An American Girl's Family Album both state in Last name facts that Kirsten's last name was "Larsdotter" in Sweden, as Papa's name was Lars. This has been been confirmed as incorrect.

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