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Emil of Lönneberga
Your Friendly Next Door Prankster
Emil of Lönneberga who lives in a dainty farmhouse in the town of Småland in Sweden is one of Astrid Lindgren's most interesting characters. He is also one of the youngest; he is five years old in the first book. But that does not mean he is not naughty. In fact, he has a great list of pranks always up his sleeve and he is never unfazed to try them out. However, like some of the other characters of Astrid Lindgren, Emil's mischief is mostly cute and innocent. Though his mischief often makes his father see red and get wild at him, the mother is always hopeful that the prank was done in all innocence. This is exactly what most readers of the Emil stories feel also and that is what has made him one of the most favorite characters in international child fiction.
The fact that Emil of Lönneberga lives in a farmhouse is of great significance! This is where he has unfettered freedom to do his pranks. Most of his pranks are targeted at saving people he love from some problem that he perceives. They are endearing also, like the time when he gives food meant for guests to some poor people because he feels their need is greater. This is labeled a 'prank' in his own home, but the intentions are definitely noble and give him good brownie points for character.
Speaking of character, Emil is really quite good at heart. He also knows to reciprocate goodness, which is seen in his behavior with Alfred, the farmhand, who is one of Emil's best friends. For all Alfred's trust and good faith in him, Emil reciprocates by even saving his life at one point of time.
However, not all of his pranks are done with such noble intentions. There are several pranks that are just pranks too, like when he makes everyone believe that his sister has a disease. And this is the time when the books become real funny. The childish humor in the Emil books is really likeable because of Emil's harmless but interfering pranks. It is no wonder that his father Anton gets wild at him often and to escape his ire Emil has to lock himself up in his little tool shed.
A very unique aspect of Emil's young life is that he is very deft with his hands. Whenever he is locked in his tool shed, he comes up with a woodworking marvel which is his great hobby. Some of the wood figurines that he makes are shown to be quite lifelike too.
This is what a good child fiction character must be like. The humor is needed to interest the kids but at the same time there must be subtle lessons strewn about. Emil of Lönneberga is full of talent and goodness, due to which no parent will think twice about before giving one of his books to their kids. There is always a lesson to be learnt. Astrid Lindgren has made him really special by showing that Emil becomes a very popular and important government officer when he grows up.
Emil i Lönneberga on Wikipedia
Emil i Lönneberga: Hujedamej - Swedish Theme Song
Emil of Lönneberga Video Clips on On YouTube