Emil and Piggy Beast (also titled Emil’s Clever Pig) was translated from the Swedish by Michael Heron. The illustrations by Bjorn Berg are perfect for Emil books. It’s reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s stories and the illustrations by Quentin Blake that accompany them.
In this Emil edition, Emil attends an auction and buys a lot of junk (according to his father), but it works out okay in the end.
He also attempts to pull Lina’s bad tooth. I’ve seen another Emil book listed on some Lindgren lists titled Emil and the Bad Tooth. The pagecount on Emil and the Bad Tooth is very short (60 pages) when compared to Emil and Piggy Beast (191 pages). I’m fairly confident that the story itself is the same in either book and that Emil and the Bad Tooth is a short-story or picture book version. I cannot find any information on Emil and the Bad Tooth, so if you know more about it than I do, please let me know.
One of my favorite chapters is titled: “Tuesday, the Tenth of August, When Emil Put the Frog in the Lunch Basket and then Behaved So Badly that I Hardly Dare Write About It.” Lindgren’s voice in these books is phenomenal and a big part of their charm.
Emil also manages to lock his father in the outhouse, get his pig drunk, and save his best buddy Alfred from certain death. (“Sunday, the Eighteenth of December, When Emil Did Such a Noble Deed that the Whole of Lonneberga was Proud of him and all his Past Tricks were Forgiven and Forgotten.”)
I can’t help but agree: “Emil is a dear little boy,” she [Emil’s mom] said. “I know he set fire to the parson’s wife the other day, but he’s already sat in the tool shed for that, and there’s no need for you to carry on about it now.”
Yes, Emil is definitely a dear little boy. He deserves his place alongside Pippi Longstocking as Astrid’s legacy. I can’t remember a series I have enjoyed more than Emil.