Pippi Longstocking

By Astrid Lindgren; translated by Florence Lamborn; illustrated by Louis S. Glanzman

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: The Viking Press, 1985, 1950

Genre: Humorous stories

ISBN: 9780670557455

Intended audience: children – tween

Number of pages: 160

Setting: The end of a tiny town (in Sweden)

Time period: Not specified

Plot summary: Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking is a nine year old girl who “always come[s] out on top”(p. 12).  She has an angel for a mother and a cannibal king for a father.  She lives with a monkey named Mr. Nilsson and a horse.  She is also remarkably strong and not afraid to use her strength when she needs to.

Illustrations: There is small black and white line drawing at the beginning of each chapter as well as a one full page black and white drawing per chapter.  The small drawings only show Pippi, whereas the larger drawings often include other characters.  Pippi looks like she is having a great time in all of the drawings.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: The first chapter is a bit slower than the rest as Pippi and Villa Villekulla are described.  By the second chapter, the story moves at a consistent pace.

Characterization: Told in third person with the focus upon Pippi.  Tommy and Annika are the most important secondary characters.

Frame: Villa Villekulla is the perfect home for Pippi (and where most of the story is centered).  It has an overgrown garden, a porch large enough for a horse, and best of all – no adults live there.

Story line: Pippi’s view of the world is much different from others, but she doesn’t let it bother her.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

(In the MARC display) 650  1 Humorous stories.

Similar authors:

Other works by Astrid Lindgren

The Nicholas series by Goscinny

The Diary of a Killer Cat and The Return of the Killer Cat by Anne Fine

The Eloise series by Kay Thompson

The Bonnie McSmithers series by Sue Ann Alderson

Princesses Don’t Wear Jeans and Dragons Don’t Read Books by Brenda Bellingham

Wild Robert by Diana Wynne Jones

Personal notes: I decided to read this after learning that Lisbeth Salander’s character (The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire) was based upon Pippi Longstocking.  I can definitely see similarities between the two.

Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – exceptionally strong girl, Swedes

Themes –

Be yourself.

Don’t let other coerce you into doing something you don’t want to (including authority figures).

It may be wicked to lie, but it’s also quite fun sometimes.

Stand up to bullies and robbers.

Use one’s strengths and skills to do good.

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