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The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (1906)

by Selma Lagerlöf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,1592413,837 (4.04)38
Selfish and lazy, fourteen-year-old Nils learns kindness and wisdom after he is bewitched into an elf-sized boy and carried off by a barnyard goose to join the migration of wild geese across Sweden to Lapland.

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» See also 38 mentions

English (12)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Sweden's most beloved adventurer, Nils is a disobedient child shrunken to the height of a gnome. He slowly befriends various native animals and flies around Sweden on a goose. He grows more mature as he copes with death and suffering, learning to help as he can.

You'll learn more about Sweden's plants and animals than you bargained for. Martens are pretty cute though. ( )
  eatonphil | May 8, 2022 |
After a brief encounter with an elf, a rude young boy named Nils is turned into a miniature version of himself who can now communicate with animals.

This was an interesting book, to say the least. For starters, I was surprised by how lengthy this picture book is and how much text was crammed in per page. I noticed this with another picture book translated from Swedish into English and am wondering if perhaps that's just how picture books are made in Scandinavian countries. (Just surmising, I have no real expertise on this subject.) It is broken down into chapters, but every page has illustrations like a picture book. It is more likely for older elementary school students because the attention span will just not be there with younger children, unless of course it is read just a chapter or two at a time.

I'm guessing there's a moral in here somewhere about being a good person and a loyal friend, but it's kind of hard to tell at times. The adventures are more like mishaps than edge-of-your-seat thrills, although I find that's fairly common in many children's books with that title or subtitle. Still, there wasn't much in here that really felt exciting or noteworthy in any way. I read it a week ago and I've already pretty much forgotten most of it.

The illustrations are done with a limited palette of blues, reds, and some browns. The really neat aspect was every so often there are these stencil-cut pages. (I really don't know how else to describe them.) There will be a page spread with just an illustration of a scenic backdrop and in between them is a page that allows you to see through to the backdrop either way. This stencil-cut page will show the outline of a bear, birds, trees, etc. It was quite lovely and my niece and I both agreed it was an awesome addition to the book.

Oddly enough, the character 'cheat sheet' and table of contents were at the very end of the book. So was a map of Sweden, which highlighted the journey the geese took as they migrated. That was pretty neat for showing the geographic context. This will probably be especially useful for those who are unfamiliar with Sweden's various regions. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Sep 20, 2020 |
Great to read again after 45 years! Surprisingly modern ecological and nostalgic theme. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Maybe if I can find it on e-reader I'll try again, but the library copy is huge & heavy and not sufficiently mesmerizing. I read a fair bit, put it down, and could not make myself pick it up again.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
As far as I remember, I had to read this in the primary school and I didn't like it.
  drakonas | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (225 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lagerlöf, Selmaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baumhauer, H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Díez, RolandoPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heijden, Elina van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jongeneel, WivecaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klaiber-Gottschau, PaulineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lybeck, BertilIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schulz, WilhelmIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steinfeld, ThomasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thönissen, UteIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Er was eens een jongen.
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Selfish and lazy, fourteen-year-old Nils learns kindness and wisdom after he is bewitched into an elf-sized boy and carried off by a barnyard goose to join the migration of wild geese across Sweden to Lapland.

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