It is Findus’ birthday, so Farmer Pettson wants to bake a big stack of pancakes for the cat who has three birthdays a year. But how can they get the eggs when the bull is in the way?
Before he can start baking, Pettson has to fix a puncture on his bike, find the keys to the shed and distract Anderson’s bull. Only then can he bike to the shop to buy flour for the pancakes.
Findus and Pettson live in a ramshackle red farmhouse in the country, with a henhouse, workshop and woodshed. Their world is a fascinating, magical one inhabited by tiny creatures who move Pettson’s tools about when he isn’t looking.
Sven Nordqvist’s Findus and Pettson books have sold over six million copies worldwide in 44 languages. His stories have been adapted for TV, film and theatre. He is one of Sweden’s most popular illustrators, winning the Swedish Literature Award, the Astrid Lindgren Prize and the Elsa Beskow Medal.
October 19th, 2007
After spending all of August trying to persuade Daughter to make me a pancake cake and failing, the witch was pleased to find that Findus of Swedish pancake fame is coming this way. The sensible people at Hawthorn Press are publishing Sven Nordqvist’s hilarious tale of crusty old Pettson and his cat Findus, who has three birthdays a year. (Between you and me, I always associated the name Findus with frozen peas, but that’s beside the point.) Offspring have enjoyed the pancake tale for years, and now it’s your turn, at long last.
Pettson and Findus live in a little red cottage in the country, and in this first story they encounter some obstacles to their plans for birthday pancakes. But obstacles are there to be overcome, aren’t they?
Sven Nordqvist, author and artist, grew up in the same town as the witch, though I don’t think our paths crossed. The Retired Children’s Librarian remembered that Sven made the posters for an event at the library as he was local talent. And I did come across the man in Gothenburg last year in my search for more signed books for the collection. (Artists do good signings.)
More coincidence here for the Pullman quote mad family—Philip is a fan, and this is what he has to say:
"It’s not often that we come across books with such immediate and lasting appeal as Sven Nordqvist’s Pancakes for Findus and his "Findus" series. The stories are ingenious, the characters are quirky and original, and the illustrations are absolutely delightful—I’ve seldom seen such an endless, apparently effortless flow of invention. Readers young and old will spend happy hours poring over them to find all the details, and revisit them again and again. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Hurrah for Findus!"
Hawthorn’s contact with my local bookshop mentions the book as being liked by the witch, and by Pullman. And it’s not often that the witch and Philip get bracketed together like this, so I shall shut up here and leave it to Pettson and his pet to charm you.
And then go make some pancakes.
Sven Nordqvist is a leading Swedish children's illustrator and writer. Nordqvist was born in Helsingborg and grew up in Halmstad, Sweden. He originally wanted to be an illustrator but was rejected by several art schools. Instead, he studied architecture in Lund and worked as a lecturer in architecture in the university. Meanwhile, he looked for work as an illustrator of advertisements, posters, and picture books. In 1983, he won first prize in a children's book competition and since then has worked exclusively as an author and illustrator of children's books, which have won awards in Sweden and Germany. The Findus and Pettson stories draw on his own playful adventures with his two young sons. Nordqvist's unique illustrations are inspired by his delight in everyday life.