Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige

by Selma Lagerlöf

Other authorsBertil Lybeck
Paper Book, 1981



Call number




Stockholm : Bonniers juniorförl., 1981


Fantasy. Juvenile Fiction. HTML: Younger readers who enjoy fantasy tales like the Harry Potter series will love Selma Lagerloef's timeless classic The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. One day while his parents are out, Nils encounters a magical being who shrinks him to a fraction of his former size. Nils then sets off on a cross-country adventure, hitching a ride on a goose and learning about the wonders of nature in the process..

User reviews

LibraryThing member netaylor
Nils Holgersson is a 14 year old boy who experiences an unusual punishment for his cruelty to animals, his selfish behavior, and his mistreatment of a magical elf. NIls is transformed into a little boy the same size as an elf. He finds himself on an adventure with a domesticated white gander and a
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group of wild geese. He travels with the wild geese, riding the white gander. His journey introduces Nils to the world of wild animals and the perspective of the wild geese and many other animals. He comes to understand that he is a part of this wild community and that he must help the animals he once mistreated. The fantastical worlds he visits leap off the page and take the reader into worlds only dreamed of.
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LibraryThing member labfs39
In 1902 the National Teachers Association of Sweden commissioned Selma Lagerlöf to write a geography book for students. She spent several years studying bird and animal life before writing her internationally famous book about the boy who travels across Sweden with a flock of wild geese.

Nils is a
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naughty child, and his parents despair over his cruelty, caprice, and laziness. One day, when his parents are at church, Nils captures a tomten (an elf-like creature that looks after the welfare of the farm) and threatens it. As punishment, the tomten turns Nils into one as well. Nils runs outside and discovers he can understand the speech of the birds and animals. When a flock of wild geese fly overhead, a tame gander flies after them, carrying Nils with him.

Thus begins the adventures of Nils as he flies north to Lappland with the geese on their summer migration. His adventures are accompanied by descriptions of the Swedish countryside, often interlaced with legend and tales that make it easy, even for a non-Swede such as myself, to remember. In addition to the topography, Lagerlöf includes information about the habits of animals, the types of plants that grow in each habitat, and information about the types of industry common to each area. The result is a wonderful mix of fact and fiction that reads like adventure but imparts a tremendous amount of information. And Nils returns home a wiser and much nicer little boy.

Originally published as two books, I read them back to back, as the English translation was published as one volume.
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LibraryThing member auntieknickers
A great adventure story and fantasy, although it was written as a geography lesson for Swedish children! Worth reading for any child.
LibraryThing member overthemoon
I was delighted to find this second-hand book, in perfect condition, copiously illustrated with beautiful coloured paintings and black and white drawings, headpieces, tailpieces, middle pieces - and a map of Sweden.
LibraryThing member hbergander
Nils was my friend and hero, when I was eleven or twelve years old. For playing dirty tricks I was punished like any other child in the fifties. Instead of the cane sometimes I would have preferred being changed in a dwarf and going anywhere. Later on, as a bookseller, I came to know, that a real
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boy named Nils Holgersson lived a couple of years with Selma Lagerlöf. He did not fulfill her expectations as to education, became a construction worker and emigrated to America.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
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.
LibraryThing member stef7sa
Great to read again after 45 years! Surprisingly modern ecological and nostalgic theme.
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member tnilsson
While this is a very famous story, it's not in my view a good children's book, at least by modern standards. It's quite slow and rather boring, spending far more time on Swedish geography, history, flora, fauna, folktales, and life during the 1800s and early 1900s than it on its purported story. If
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you plan to read this story to kids, find a greatly edited book that contains a lot of illustrations and maps and read them that. The original 2-volume set is better read by adults who can put up with its antique style and its lack of illustrations and maps. So I'd recommend it, but with reservations when it comes to kids.
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Original publication date


Physical description

595 p.; 22 cm


9148506095 / 9789148506094
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