Emil in the Soup Tureen was my first experience with Emil – a clever, caring, boy who tries to help out but usually makes the situation worse in a hilarious way.
The translation (Lilian Seaton) and pictures (Bjorn Berg) are beautiful, the stories are grand. Emil is someone all kids (and, cough, many adults) will relate to.
The one issue I have with this book is the title. While “tureen” is a word, it is not a common one, and definitely not a word that children would know. “Soup pot,” “soul kettle,” or “soup bowl” would all have been a better pick. What kid will be drawn to the story if they don’t understand the title? Luckily Bjorn Berg’s pictures make up for it. A little.
There are three Emil stories in this book (and in all Emil books?): when Emil got his head stuck in the soup tureen, when Emil hoisted little Ida up the flagstaff, and when Emil went on the spree on Hultsfred Plain.
Ridiculous online review for this book: “Every boy will love this book, and even girls…”
Favorite quote from this book, the best opening description of any character ever (with possible exception to good old Eustace Clarence Scrubb courtesy of Mr. Lewis): Once upon a time there was a boy called Emil, who lived in Lonneberga. He was a harum-scarum, stubborn little chap, not as nice as you, of course, but he looked nice enough, that is to say when he wasn’t screaming.