Emil Svensson lives with his mother and father, little sister Ida, farmhand Alfred, and maid Lina on a picturesque farm in Småland. He is an unusually lively little boy, who just can't resist trying out every whim that enters into his white-haired head. Always with the best intentions in mind, because he is a good-hearted child, but often with catastrophic results, especially for his short-tempered father. As a result, Emil spends a lot of quality time in the wood shed carving wood figurines and waiting for Anton's temper to cool down. And the father's patience is certainly tried, as Emil gets his head stuck in the family's only soup bowl, hoists little Ida up the flag pole, and arranges a lavish christmas party for the poor.