Text by Magnús Scheving and drawings by Halldór Baldursson.Æskan, 1997 - 102 pages. Review by Anna G. ÓlafsdóttirOriginal title: The Sports elf goes on holiday Latibær í Vandræðum is not quite a proper name in Magnús Scheving's story because as most kids remember, Latibær is no longer Latibær but Sólskinsbær. The people have turned the page and adopted a better way of life, cyc...
The Sports elf on the move and flies in the air – Maggi mjói does not eat food – siggi seat saves teeth – Nenni níski wants to have everything – solla stirða does not reach the toes – Halla hrekkjusvín goes loose – Goggi mega doesn’t want to fall asleep – Glanni glæpur does nothing.
by Magnús Scheving Lazytown, 1999.
There is no question about Magnús Scheving, a play writer and Sports elf. He has now written eight books for young children, with hardcovers. Yes, the books are printed on thick sheets and are therefore quite heavy – fine for training small muscles. And it’s definitely in the spirit of the Sports elf, who in recent years have had the goal of making children understand that it’s fun to exercise and have respect for the little things.
The books are, of course, about the Sports elf and the people of Latibær. The Sports elf shows up when something goes wrong and teaches children new and better habits than they are used to. Solla starts to practice and Siggi learns to brush his teeth. Nenni learns to share with others, Halla stops joking and Goggi relaxes and goes to sleep. Maggi stops eating junk food and Glanni gets reasonable legal fees. Life is simple and fun in Latibær and the eight books describe it in a lively and colorful way.
The drawings and the joy of color in the books emphasize the story and the vitality that comes from the author and his message. It does not matter who draws, which is a shame because the illustrations are as significant as the text and they are what grab the children’s attention.
It is not surprising how well Magnús reaches children, as flashy and playful as the Sports elf, his creation, is. There are also many little Icelandic sports elves who have put on his clothes, jumped up on a table and bounched in green trousers and a blue shirt, with an orange hat on his head. The video about Latibær has been played countless times in the homes of children and has not infrequently been sung aloud. The youngest children are the greatest fans – they have not yet discovered American action stars such as Batman and Superman, let alone Jedi heroes from Star Wars. The hardcover books certainly come in handy to reach the goal of those who read them and their parents, the books are a fairly average long books.