Pippi Longstocking and Other Children's Stories by Astrid Lindgren
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The Tomten

The Tomten

The Farm Troll That Is Every Child's Friend

The Tomten is Astrid Lindgren's classic children's tale about a tomten. A tomten is quite like an elf, but he lives exclusively on farms. He is a good natured being that usually helps farm people to go about their works. When he is not helping out the farm people, he is looking after their children at home. He has a special fondness for children. When the children are asleep at night, the tomten is always watchful of them to ensue that no danger would ever befall them. This wonderful story is about one such tomten living in a little Swedish house.

There's something special about every book that Astrid Lindgren has presented to the children of the world. In her stories about the Tomten, she has painted a very adorable picture of this adventurous and free-spirited creature. The people of the house that he protects know about him and are relaxed because he is there to protect them. The Tomten is certainly quite strong – he is capable of keeping any kind of adversity at bay. At the same time, he can think out solutions to problems that arise. This is why people who have read the Tomten books and grown up with them feel that these are some of the most complete children's books ever written because they have the right dollops of emotion, action, adventure and humor that a child must enjoy at their age.

Astrid Lindgren wrote two books about the Tomten. The first book was simply named as The Tomten. This was the book in which the Tomten was introduced and his various antics in the farm were explained. This is a short children's tale that features the Tomten as the central character. Children have read and reread this story because of the appeal that the Tomten exudes.

The second book is named The Tomten and the Fox. This book is mostly an adventure tale about a fox named Reynard who gets hungry and tries to plunder a farm – the very farm that the Tomten is protecting. However, the Tomten gets wind of this plan and he does his best in order to protect all the creatures that are present in the farm. He does so quite cleverly, but then his very nature makes him feel pity for the fox. He understands that it is the fox's nature to eat the animals that are present in the farm and his heart melts when he realizes that the fox will have to go hungry. He then makes a solution for this problem too, and sees that the fox is well-fed also without harming any of the animals in the farm.

It is such incidents of compassion and bravery that have kept the children from all over the world hooked to the stories of the Tomten since over two decades now. Though the stories of The Tomten may not be as popular as some of Astrid Lindgren's other popular stories, they do have a following of their own and are veritable classics in themselves.

The Tomten Video Clip on YouTube