Soda Pop

Soda Pop is a really great dad who loves bright orange clothes and wears a tea cozy on his head. He has brought up his son Mazarin on sweet buns and love. Grandfather Dartanyong emerges from his woodshed every morning with a new identity, and Great-grandfather has moved into a tree, eats birdseed, and thinks he is a cuckoo.

In this world anything can happen so no-one is surprised when the garage is suddenly full of tigers and mayhem ensues.

Soda Pop is a much loved Swedish children’s novel by the pioneering children’s author Barbro Lindgren, whose work has had a major influence on children’s literature in Sweden.

The characters are unusual in the extreme, the situations fantastical and the humour is both slapstick and surreal. There is a little darkness here too behind the laughs as Great-grandfather shows signs of dementia and father is irresponsible, leaving Mazarin the child to be the sensible one in the household as things begin to go wrong.

And go wrong they do in somewhat spectacular style with so much happening that at times it is hard to keep up with the action. Nothing makes sense but that is the charm of the book and the simple but colourful illustrations by Lisen Adbåge bring the crazy antics to vivid life. Recognised as an absurdist classic, and drawing comparisons with the work of Spike Milligan, Soda Pop is perhaps not for everyone, but for those willing to go with the madness it should prove a rewardingly funny read.