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Rävjakten by Sven Nordqvist


by Sven Nordqvist

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Pettson & Findus (1986)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Longish picture book; Swiss translation; good story, with chickens!! ( )
  melodyreads | Dec 14, 2016 |
Laugh-out-loud action, adorable characters, a message that resonates in the heart, fun illustrations - I want everyone in the US to read about Findus & Mercury! ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I thought this was a funny little story and has great imaginative pictures but it seems to me to be the worst kind of picture book. The text is very small and there is a lot of it but the pictures are big and have a lot of detail. The story is full of nuance and trickery so it's really best suited for bigger kids, who will be put off by the fact that it is a picture book. ( )
  imtanner2 | Nov 14, 2015 |
The Fox Hunt, 2000 Michael Rollerson translation of Rävjakten.

Swedish children's author Sven Nordqvist returns to the story of farmer Pettson - somewhat grouchy, and prone to forgetfulness - and his prickly cat Findus, in this second book chronicling their adventures. When neighbor Gustavsson stops by to inform them that he is on the hunt for the fox that has been making off with his hens, Findus declares that foxes shouldn't be shot, they should be outwitted. And so begins an ever-more complicated plot to outfox the fox, involving fireworks, a fake hen filled with pepper, and a ghostly visitation. Not everything goes exactly as planned, of course, but the hilarious hijinx that ensue when Gustavsson stumbles upon their little trap serve the purpose, and accomplish all that Pettson and Findus had hoped...

One of three English translations available of Rävjakten - the other two include an American edition, also entitled The Fox Hunt, released in 1988, two years after the original, and a British version, Findus and the Fox, released in 2009 - this edition was translated by Michael Rollerson in 2000, and was put out by the original Swedish publisher, Bokförlaget Opal. Of the two versions I have read (I was not able to obtain the British edition), it is the one I prefer, as it includes a fuller text, and many of the sharp little observations that really make the narrative stand out (and which were omitted from the American edition). In this sense, my reading experience here exactly matched that I had with the first Pettson and Findus book, The Birthday Cake (Opal edition) / Pancake Pie (American edition), in which I felt that the American edition elided certain pointed social observations that might have made their target audience uncomfortable (see my other review of The Fox Hunt for more specifics).

In any case, this was just a delightful tale, complete with all the madcap antics I have come to expect from this wacky duo! The artwork is detailed and engaging, with more than enough to keep young readers glued to the page, and the narrative itself is full of humor, and goodheartedness. As a fox-lover myself, Pettson's compassion, when he spies the pitifully emaciated vulpine 'thief,' was good to see. All in all, another winner from the excellent series! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 16, 2013 |
The Fox Hunt, 1988 American translation of Rävjakten.

In this second picture-book chronicling their madcap adventures, Swedish children's author and artist Sven Nordqvist returns to the story of farmer Pettson, and his cat Findus (Festus and Mercury in this American translation), setting out the extraordinarily convoluted plot they hatch, when a thieving fox begins targeting hens in their area. Alerted by neighbor Hiram (Gustavsson in the original), to the presence of their vulpine adversary, the two decide that it is better to outwit a fox, than shoot him. So begins a campaign to frighten the fox away, complete with pepper-filled 'hen,' fireworks, and a flying ghost!

Engaging enough, when read on its own, this American version of Rävjakten pales in comparison to the fuller translation available in the version (also entitled The Fox Hunt) put out in 2000 by the original Swedish publisher, Bokförlaget Opal. (There was also a British translation released in 2009, Findus and the Fox, but I was unable to track down a copy of that version). Just as with the first Pettson and Findus title, I have discovered that the fuller English translation available from Opal is much to be preferred to the somewhat abridged American edition, which leaves out many of the pointed little social observations of the original, as well as a number of humorous exchanges between man and cat.

To wit: in the Rollerson translation (presumably closer to the original), Findus observes: "Old men with guns I don't trust an inch," which has Pettson laughing. In the (uncredited) American translation, the cat instead says: "I wouldn't trust that old man with a gun," limiting the nature of Findus' (Mercury here) objection to one individual. Similarly, in the Rollerson, Findus declares: "Foxes should not be shot. They should be tricked." whereas he claims in the American edition that "I never shoot a fox when I can trick him instead." This first statement is an argument for one course of action, rather than another, while the second is more conditional. Later in the story, after Pettson/Festus catches sight of the fox, and is moved by his emaciation, and obvious fright, he thinks (in Rollerson): "Perhaps that's why he steals hens... He hasn't the strength to catch up with a hare." - two sentences that are entirely missing from the American text! Another omission, in the American version, is the exchange in which Findus claims only to be thinking of the hens, and Pettson humors him (while clearly thinking otherwise).

The cumulative effect of these seemingly minor omissions and changes, is a narrative that has less bite, and less social commentary. I couldn't help but wonder, as I read through, whether the unnamed American translator was afraid of offending more conservative American readers, by offering too sharp a critique of things like hunting, and the use of guns. Even minor changes - the scene in which the fireworks explode has the phrase "bombs bursting in air" in the American edition (clearly a reference to the American national anthem), that is missing from the more accurate Rollerson; the warning shouted by Findus is changed from "You Must Not Steal Hens," to the more Biblical sounding "Thou Shalt Not Steal Hens - contributed to this impression. I think this is a shame, because part of the appeal of translated children's literature, at least for me, is the opportunity it affords to expose young readers to other cultures, and their way of thinking. Of course, all translation is both a cultural and linguistic negotiation, but I can't help but feel that the American editions of these books are too American in their leaning, and not enough Swedish. They're still worth reading - and when I didn't have the other translation to contrast and compare, as with Merry Christmas, Festus and Mercury and Festus and Mercury: Wishing to Go Fishing, I enjoyed them more - but I'd still recommend the Opal translations above them. Or, you could be obsessive-compulsive like me, and track as many different versions down as possible! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 16, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sven Nordqvistprimary authorall editionscalculated
Einan, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kutsch, AngelikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marshall, JuliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pakkanen, KaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rollerson, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Поливанова… АлександраTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Farmer Festus and his cat find a way of getting rid of a troublesome fox by using their brains instead of a gun.

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