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A RUCKUS IN THE GARDEN by Sven Nordqvist


From the Adventures of Pettson and Findus series

by Sven Nordqvist ; illustrated by Sven Nordqvist ; translated by Tara Chace

Pub Date: May 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7358-4311-0
Publisher: NorthSouth

It’s man (and cat!) vs. nature, with a distinct Swedish twist.

On a lovely spring morning old Pettson proposes a garden to his cat, Findus, who wears a beanie and overalls. They proceed to plant it that very day, and at first all is well. Then come Pettson’s chickens, ravenous for the worms that might be lurking beneath the soil. Once they have been contained, Pettson and Findus try planting a potato patch. That’s dug up by a neighbor’s escaped pig. A third planting is trampled most effectively by a neighbor’s cows. It finally takes the quick mind of Pettson and a paper bag to put things right. First published in Sweden in 1990, this text-heavy tale comforts readers even as Pettson’s frustration reaches a fever pitch. The charm of the writing has much to recommend it, but it’s the art that is the true star of the show. No matter how raucous or riotous Nordqvist’s illustrations become, there’s still room to include little Zen details, such as the chicken with its comb in a single hair roller or a pair of pups in a tree staring lovingly at the moon. Pettson and other humans appear to be white.

A gardening hullaballoo that uses its cacophony of chaos to an infinitely amusing end.

(Picture book. 4-8)