Literature: Pettson and Findus

Cover of the first book

Pettson and Findus is a Swedish series of childrenís books written and illustrated by Sven Nordqvist.

The stories feature an old farmer named Pettson and his cat Findus who live in a small village in the Swedish countryside. Pettson, Findus (who behaves more like a small child than a cat) and the chickens are all able to converse with each other, but they hide this from the other villagers who subsequently have come to view the old man who talks to his pets as something of a weirdo.

Pettsonís love for inventing strange apparatuses and the fact that even harmless activities like baking a birthday cake or gardening tend to result in absolute chaos certainly donít help.

To date, ten stories have been published in Swedish, plus some tie-in books like a song book and a cook book.The books were very successful in Sweden and have been translated into over 40 languages. There are two different English translations. The UK version uses the original names of the characters, the US version refers to them as Festus and Mercury.

Pettson and Findus provides examples of:

  • Canon Illustrations
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Pettson.
  • Funny Animal: Findus is basically a small child in a cat's body.
  • Funny Background Event: All the illustrations are full of little visual jokes and tiny creatures doing all sorts of quirky things, sometimes referencing the actual plot.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Pettson invents some strange things in the books, such as the fishing bow (a bow and arrow with a fishing line tied between them, to let you fish further from the shore), and a lot more in the animated films.
  • Grows on Trees: In A Rumpus in the Garden, Pettson is planting carrots. Findus doesn't like carrots, so he plants a meatball instead.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Findus wears pants and a hat, but no shirt or shoes.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Muckla, most of the time. They are tiny troll-like creatures who sometimes show up in the illustrations as Funny Background Events. They also like to steal things.