From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Russia stamp 1992 No 18.jpg
Karlsson with Lillebror (little brother) on a Russian stamp (1992).

Karlsson Flies Again
Karlsson-on-the-Roof is Sneaking Around Again
AuthorAstrid Lindgren
Original titleKarlsson på taket
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback)

Karlsson-on-the-Roof (Swedish: Karlsson på taket) is a character who figures in a series of children's books by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. A cartoon adaptation of the series became popular in the Soviet Union when it was released in the 1970s. These adaptations are still celebrated as an integral part of the Russian cartoon industry. Karlsson, together with Cheburashka and other such characters, are recognized as a national icon. Lindgren may have borrowed the idea for the series from a similar story about Mr. O'Malley in the comic strip "Barnaby" (1942) by Crockett Johnson.[1]


Karlsson is a very short, portly, overconfident man who lives in a small house hidden behind a chimney on the roof of a very ordinary apartment building on a very ordinary street in Vasastan, Stockholm. When Karlsson pushes a button on his stomach, it starts a clever little motor with a propeller on his back, allowing him to fly. Karlsson is the best at everything, at least by his own account. In actual fact there is one thing at which he excels: being a playmate to a young boy named Svante, nicknamed Lillebror (little brother), who lives in the apartment building with his family.

Karlsson is quite mischievous, often getting Lillebror in trouble, but everyone in the end – even Lillebror's family, his cranky uncle, and their dour housekeeper Freken Bok – grow to like Karlsson and appreciate his sense of humor, energy, and good nature.


There are three Karlsson-on-the-Roof books:

  • 1955: Karlsson-on-the-Roof (ISBN 0670411779)
  • 1962: Karlsson Flies Again
  • 1968: Karlsson-on-the-Roof is Sneaking Around Again


The characters from the Soviet animated film directed by Boris Stepantsev depicted on a Russian stamp, 2012.

There have been several film versions of the series. A live-action version, Världens bästa Karlsson, was released in Sweden in 1974, as was an animated film in 2002.

The two Soviet animated films, directed by Boris Stepantsev at Soyuzmultfilm studio in 1968 and 1970, are among the most[citation needed] celebrated and loved cartoons in Russia and other ex-Soviet countries. Karlsson was voiced by Vasily Livanov, Lillebror by Klara Rumyanova and Fröken Hildur Bock by Faina Ranevskaya in both animated films. In 1971, the character was also adapted for the Soviet stage at the Moscow Satire Theatre, where Karlsson was portrayed by Spartak Mishulin.


The Russian designer Lev Razumovsky created a Karlsson toy [2] in the 1970s. The Belarusian OJSC Minsk Watch Plant manufactured Luch-branded watches with a depiction of Karlsson on the dial.