Barneblad: From children’s book to TV show


Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Many television programs start out as books, and it’s always interesting when the characters we see in our heads suddenly appear live on the screen. Here are a few Norwegian children’s books you can watch (or read) this summer.

Karsten og Petra (Casper and Emma)
Five-year-old Karsten and Petra are the main characters in a series of books by author Tor Åge Bringsværd, illustrated by Anne G. Holt. The first book was released in 1992 and there are now over 40 books in the series. Their stuffed animals, Frøken Kanin (Miss Rabbit) and Løveungen (the Lion Cub) are their famous friends.

These characters have also starred in a TV series. If you want to see these programs, go to the public television’s children’s site ( and type “Karsten og Petra” in the search bar.


One book about these crazy kids, called Karsten og Petra hilser på Kongen (Karsten and Petra greet the King), is about the 17th of May in Oslo. Karsten and Petra are going to celebrate with their grandmother. If you look at the illustrations, you will see famous places like the Parliament and Vigelandsparken. This Norwegian picture book also gives you a bit more history about the 17th of May and why we celebrate it.

Karsten and Petra now appear in three movies (the third movie came out in 2015).

You can also google Karsten og Petra filmer and get clips on YouTube.

Their English names are Casper and Emma. If you google “Casper and Emma,” you can find movie trailers with English subtitles.

Find out more on their Facebook page:

Knerten (Twigson)
Do you ever imagine that things like sticks and branches can come to life? Popular children’s author, Anne-Cath Vestly did just that for the stick man, Knerten. His story starts when Lillebror (little brother) moves from Oslo to the countryside where he has no friends… until his imagination brings him Knerten. The first book was published in 1962 and was followed by a series of books about Knerten and Lillebror.


The first movie came out in 2009, and is still a favorite for children of all ages. The next two movies are called Knerten gifter seg (Twigson ties the knot, 2010), and Knerten i knipe (Knerten in trouble, 2011). If you want to watch a Knerten movie on YouTube, Google “Knerten film YouTube.”

Knerten also has a Facebook page:

Jakob og Neikob (Yesper and Noper)
These two characters don’t agree on ANYTHING. Jakob (Yesper) always says yes and Neikob (Noper) always says no. First published in 2008, author Kari Stai wrote her book in Nynorsk (new Norwegian), and has since written two additional books about Jakob and Neikob’s adventures together.

stai_jakob og neikob_cover.indd

The books have been translated into different languages, and the English version was translated for people living in India and was published in 2014. You can find the English version at: or watch a short film on YouTube at:

Jakob and Neikob ALSO have a Facebook page:

What do you think?
Do the movie versions of Karsten and Petra (top right photo) look like you’d expect based off the books (top left photo)?

Would you like to read about Knerten (bottom left photo)?

What do you think a movie version of Jakob and Neikob would look like (bottom right photo)?

This article is a part of Barneblad, a monthly feature by Heidi Håvan Grosch to share with kids and grandkids.

This article originally appeared in the July 1, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.