“Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren is the story of a young, perky, and imaginative girl who lives alone with her pet horse and monkey in a house in Sweden called “Villa Villekulla. According to Pippi, her father has been lost at sea and her mother died when she was a wee babe, but Pippi owns a large stash of gold coins, allowing her to take care of herself and to do as she pleases.
Pippi’s house is next door to a family with two children: Tommy and Anika who are mesmerized with Pippi’s independence and creativity. Play dates with Pippi include: tea parties in the tree, cookie baking on her kitchen floor, and birthday parties with the horse invited inside the house.
Pippi has super-human strength and fends off bullies by tossing them into trees. She even outsmarted robbers in her own home!
Eventually, Pippi gets jealous of the fact that Tommy and Anika get Christmas Vacation because they go to school (although she fails to realize she is on holiday ALL of the time because she doesn’t attend school herself), so she shows up one day to their class late in a rowdy commotion on the back of her horse. The teacher can’t handle the fact that Pippi seems to say or do whatever pops into her mind and gently forbids her to come back until she’s a little older and has a better grasp on manners.
How did Charlotte enjoy it?
Pippi’s cleverness as well as her penchant for telling tall tales and elaborate stories made this a fun and wacky book to read with Charlotte. I tried to read it to her a year prior, and it didn’t quite capture her interest, but now at 6 years old, she found “Pippi Longstocking” absolutely hilarious. Her favorite chapter was “Pippi Comes to the Rescue” which is where Pippi saves two small children from the top of a skyscraper by climbing a tree.
I read “Pippi Longstocking” as a child, so reading this with Charlotte really took me back. As a parent, what I enjoy about Pippi is that she isn’t a princess, a fairy, a brat (on purpose)… she’s just a kid’s kid: Fun, adventurous, and rambunctious. I think I consider her a little girls’ version of a super hero!
Astrid Lindgren, the author, lived in Sweden and passed away in 2002. She won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, which is considered the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.
If you’re interested in reading the version of “Pippi Longstocking” that Charlotte and I read together, it was translated by Tiina Nunnally in 2007 and illustrated by Lauren Child. The ISBN is: 976-0-670-06276-8
I’d recommend “Pippi Longstocking” to children ages 6 and up!
(Oh, and if you read my reviews regularly, you might know that I sometimes enjoy following up our books by watching the movie versions. I am definitely not going to do that this time. As a child in the 80’s, I remember watching a couple different “Pippi Longstocking” movies and they did not do the books justice and left a terrible taste in my mouth!)