Thursday, June 4, 2015

Happy Birthday, Pippi!!

This year is the 70th anniversary of the publication of the first book in Astrid Lindgren’s much loved Pippi Longstocking series. The Swedish Institute is planning a year-long celebration and is encouraging Pippi fans all over the world to organize their own Pippi events. (

The daughter of a buccaneer captain, Pippi (who was named by Lindgren’s then nine year old daughter) has four “best friends:” her
horse, her monkey, and Tommy and Annika, neighborhood children.
She loves the seafaring life but her father buys a villa so she will have a more stable home. He is shipwrecked on a South Sea isle and becomes a king of the natives there. Pippi visits him but decides to remain in her villa in Sweden.

The SI website reminds us of why we love Pippi:

Pippi Longstocking is in truth an unusual young girl. She is financially independent since she owns a sackful of gold pieces. She can shoot a revolver and sail on the seven seas. She is both cheeky and kind, she can carry a horse and she can out lift the strongest man in the world, Mighty Adolph.

Pippi Longstocking is a girl rebel, and since 1945 she has helped liberate children all over the globe. In her storybook world, she has saved them from adult laws and from the dreaded “pluttification” tables at school. She has also provided them with unlimited amounts of fizzy drink and stood up for the weak and oppressed. So it is not strange that the anti-authoritarian Pippi is censored in dictatorships and conservative states, and that she has aroused the fury of many adults.

Astrid Lindgren
The first Pippi Longstocking books were based on bedtime stories Astrid Lindgren made up for her daughter. There are eleven in all, each involving a pip of an adventure.

So, happy birthday, Pippi! And many more!

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