|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)
The series of twelve children's books based on the character was published between 1939 and 1972. The first eleven books were illustrated by Lucie Lundberg. The books about Pelle are seen as a protest against the ever more overt support seen for Nazism in Sweden during the 1930s, and as such constitute a satire on contemporaneous society. The books have been translated to several European languages.
Characters and story
The stories take place in Uppsala, Sweden. The characters of the books are cats, however, they are often based on real people. Knutsson studied at Uppsala University and was involved with the student societies Stockholms nation and Uppsala Student Union, and many of the character are modelled on real-life people from this environment.
Pelle is a kindhearted and gullible cat who is constantly being tricked and bullied by Elaka Måns ("Mean Mike") and his helpers Bill and Bull, who always echo Måns while slightly misunderstanding him. However, good always prevails over evil, and Pelle even gets to experience true love together with Maja Gräddnos ("Maya Cream-nose"). In the first books Pelle is a house cat in the home of the children Olle and Birgitta, but as he grows he enters a relationship with cohabitant Maja in a basement peep-hole.
Unlike the other cats in the series, Pelle has no tail (his name Svanslös "without a tail" reflects this). A large rat bit off Pelle's tail when he was only a few days old. Pelle was born in the countryside, but a family from Uppsala adopted him when he was a kitten. Some of the other cats bully Pelle because his lack of a tail.
- Pelle Svanslös på äventyr (1939)
- Pelle Svanslös på nya äventyr (1940)
- Pelle Svanslös i Amerika (1941)
- Pelle Svanslös Klarar sig (1942)
- Hur ska det gå för Pelle Svanslös? (1943)
- Pelle Svanslös och Taxen Max (1944)
- Pelle Svanslös i skolan (1945)
- Heja Pelle Svanslös (1946)
- Pelle Svanslös och Maja Gräddnos (1947)
- Trillingarna Svanslös (1948)
- Alla tiders Pelle Svanslös (1951)
- Pelle Svanslös ger sig inte (1972)
In 1949 the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm staged a Children's opera, Pelle Svanslös, with music by Erland von Koch. This production was subsequently presented each following year until 2001. In 1990 the stage production was filmed and shown by Sveriges Television. It featured Mark Bartholdsson as Pelle Svanslös, Iwa Sörenson as Maja Gräddnos and Magnus Lindén as elaka Måns.
The series has been adapted for film multiple times. In 1981 the feature animated film Peter-No-Tail was released, starring Mats Åhlfeldt as Peter and Ernst-Hugo Järegård as Elaka Måns. A sequel, Peter-No-Tail in Americat, followed in 1985, with much of the same cast but Erik Lindgren voicing Peter. In 1997, Sveriges Television produced the Nordic Christmas calendar Peter-No-Tail with Björn Kjellman portraying Peter. This was followed in 2000 by the animated feature Peter-No-Tail and the Great Treasure Hunt. Picture books as well as two editions as a comics series have also been published; one comic ran between 1965 and 1972.
An asteroid that was discovered in March 1993 is eponymously named 8535 Pellesvanslös. Similarly the asteroids 8534 Knutsson, 8536 Måns, 8537 Billochbull and 8538 Gammelmaja were discovered at about the same time. They were all named by Swedish astronomer Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist.
- 1981-Peter-No-Tail (1981 film)
- 1985-Peter-No-Tail in Americat
- 1997-Peter-No-Tail (1997 film)
- 2000-Peter-No-Tail and the Great Treasure Hunt
- Sevelin, A.R., "Verklighetens Pelle Svanslös", Holmensis: Stockholms Nations Tidning no.4/2011, pp. 16–18, accessed 16 May 2012.