I couldn’t find this book in the library system. I couldn’t find this book for sale in the United States. I finally had to order it from England. I’m so very glad I did. This is a beautiful book with delightful pictures by Bjorn Berg. Its original title was Emils hyss nr 325 (Emil’s 325th prank) in 1983’s Swedish edition. It was translated by David and Judy Scott.
Much more than the original three Emil books (Pranks, Soup Tureen, and Clever Pig) this is a picture book – with big, beautiful color pictures on each page. The original Emil books are longer (well over 100 pages, with this one having only 60 pages) but have fewer pictures — and none in color, whereas all the pictures in this book are in color.
Emil’s mother hates the flies that get inside and wants to buy fly-paper, but Emil’s dad is too cheap and threatens that the whole family will end up begging if money is spent so frivolously. Emil gets the brilliant idea: “If the begging has to be done, it would be better, perhaps, if I got a begging stick straight away and begged enough money to buy some fly-papers.”
Emil dresses up like a beggar, earns enough to buy fly-papers, and hangs them up in the kitchen all by himself as a surprise. He muses: “Here all the flies in all of Katthult could once and for all be lured to their doom.”
Alas, it is not only the flies who get stuck to Emil’s surprise fly-papers.
The whole book is a delight, but this line popped out at me: “Now Emil lay there in his bed and thought so hard that his brain creaked.”
I am so glad that I ordered this from England. It was so worth it. Emil is a great series.