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Findus and Pettson Series

Pancakes for Findus

October 2007
More details
  • Publisher
    Hawthorn Press
  • Published
    15th October 2007
  • ISBN 9781903458792
  • Language English
  • Pages 28 pp.

Pancakes for Findus is the first story in the adventures of farmer Pettson and his cat Findus. Pettson wants to bake a birthday cake for Findus, who has three birthdays a year. But how will they get the eggs with the bull in the way?

Findus and Pettson live in a ramshackle cottage in the country, with a henhouse, workshop, and woodshed. Their fascinating, magical world is inhabited by tiny creatures who move Pettson's things about when he isn't looking.

Pancakes for Findus was the London Sunday Times “Children’s Book of the Week” in December 2007.

(Ages 4-8)

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

Sven Nordqvist (b. April 30, 1946) is a Swedish writer and illustrator of children's books and is known best for his series Pettson and Findus, about old farmer Pettson and Findus, his talented cat. 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, so he studied architecture at Lund Institute of Technology and worked for a while there, lecturing on architecture. Meanwhile, he continued to look 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. During his career, Nordqvist has received awards in Sweden and Germany. His Pettson and Findus books are especially popular in Germany, where the characters are known as Pettersson and Findus. In Danish they are named Peddersen and Findus. In Finnish they are Pesonen and Viiru, and in a few English translations, Festus and Mercury. In 2007, Sven Nordqvist won the Augustpriset literary award in the children's books category, for his book Var är min syster? (Where is my sister?). In 1992, he won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Prize). He is married and has two adult sons.