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Astrid Lindgren on the Web:
Astrid Lindgren on Wikipedia
A Theme Park Astrid Lindgren's Värld (World)
Astrid Lindgren on Guardian.co.uk
Astrid Lindgren and Her Stories on Astridlindgren.se
Astrid Lindgren on Rightlivelihood.org
The Role Model You Won't Want Your Kids to Have
Astrid Lindgren was known to come up with some of the most unconventional characters for children's fiction. Each of her characters is somehow or the other out of the ordinary mould. One of the prime examples here is that of Karlsson-on-the-roof, who is often denounced by critics as being a very bad role model for the kids. However, that does not stop him from being gregarious, downright funny and even appealing and charming in his own way. It must have taken Astrid Lindgren a lot of effort to come up with a character that you will love and hate at the same time, and the mastery of character evolution is clearly evident throughout the series.
So who is Karlsson-on-the-roof? He is exactly what his name suggests. He is a man that lives on the roof of an apartment building in Stockholm. Physically, he is a very short and fat man with red hair and a prominent round nose. He is designed to be very appealing in a different sort of way and his variously colored clothes almost always with suspender belts on his trousers make him look chubbier and funnier.
But it is his character that actually takes the cake. This man is most confident about himself. By his own admission, there is nothing he cannot do and he has proved that time and again. He can also fly, and that is definitely his most important characteristic. He has a sort of propeller attached to his back which can be operated with a button somewhere in the middle of his stomach. The awareness of the fact that he can fly makes Karlsson-on-the-roof virtually unstoppable.
His escapades are usually with Lillebror or Little Brother who lives in the house whose roof he stays on. Lillebror is a very young boy and is always led on by Karlsson-on-the-roof into trouble. In one of the stories, Karlsson-on-the-roof suggests that the two of them disguise themselves as a tent and spy on his sister who has just brought her boyfriend home. Lillebror buys it and involves himself in the mischief, only to make rude kissing sounds when his sister and her boyfriend actually kiss and get caught. Of course, it is Karlsson-on-the-roof that cajoled him into it!
There are oodles of such mischief that this portly self-confident man indulges himself with. He says he can do it and really does it. But most times he does things in wrong and even devious ways. That doesn't mean he isn't funny - he is despite his knack for never following orders - but even then parent's groups are up in arms against the character labeling him as a bad influence on the kids.
However, Karlsson-on-the-roof persist all criticism to his character. In the stories, he is first hated by most adults, especially Lillebror's family and housekeeper whom they nickname as housetormentor, but his character makes them become gradually affectionate towards him. Exactly so in the real world, adults have begun appreciating Karlsson-on-the-roof's antics and made him an integral part of the child literary world.
Karlsson-on-the-Roof on Wikipedia
Karlsson På Taket - Världens Bästa Karlsson Swedish Theme Song
Karlsson on the Roof Video Clips1 on YouTube
Karlsson on the Roof Video Clips2 on YouTube