If you’ve ever suspected that Europeans are more uninhibited than North Americans, look no further than Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies. The Swedish edition.

My friend and fellow bookseller, Loraine, brought back a copy of Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies from Sweden in 1991. The deliciously whacked story of a kid with seven identical (and diminutive) daddies is a blast, especially as no explanation for the multiple fathers is provided. Steaming cups of coffee are visible in several scenes, therefore one can assume this is not a family of feminist polygamist Mormons. However, it is a story about difference, and childhood mortification. The conflict occurs when Else-Marie’s mother has to work overtime and can’t pick up her daughter from school, leaving the seven little daddies to step in and take her place. Else-Marie loves her daddies, and worries they will be teased for their size and quantity. Who hasn’t been embarrassed by their parents at one time or another? I still am. However, the daddies are an affable lot, and both Else-Marie and her daddies make it through unscathed. After a meal of fried fish and cream puffs, the family curls up on the couch together to watch an episode of the Ingmar Bergman Comedy Hour. Home Swedish home.

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