Pippi Longstocking is a story for children that mixes real and unreal, and probably incredible. The main character in the story is Pippi Longstocking, a curious nine-year-old girl, with red hair and a potato-shaped nose. She is very strong and has remarkable humor and kindness.
In the preface of the novel, we learn how this story is made. The author reveals how her sick seven-year-old daughter told stories every night, and one night the girl imagined the name of Pippi Longstocking and wanted to hear the story about that girl. This was a start of a story about a girl Pippi, and her character is made from the author’s desires and fantasies about how she wanted to be a strong girl when she was little.
A story about Pippi is an ideal life of every child. Pipi lived freely without any restrictions. She took care of herself, she went where she wanted, she slept when she wanted and went to the school when she felt the need.
Astrid Lindgren was met with many negative comments that Pipi is not a good role model to children, but she said that she wrote this novel, because she wanted to provide entertainment, joy, and pleasure to children.
The novel tells the story of the children’s imagination and ingenuity. Children always come up with new adventures and are ready to play and fun. We can learn many things that are not taught in school. This is because Pipi thought that too much learning could destroy even the most powerful mind.
Genre: children’s novel
Place: the street where Pippi lives, island Gula-Gula
In a Swedish city in a shabby house lived a very unusual girl. Her name was Pippi Longstocking. Her father was a sailor, and his name was Efraim Longstocking. He bought the house so he could have a place to live in when he abandons the sea. There was an accident, and a wave took Ephraim from the deck. Pippi never saw him again but was certain that he would show up eventually.
She was an unusually strong girl that could take care of herself. In her neighborhood, there was a house in which Annika and Tommy lived. They used to spend their days in boredom and wanted a new kid to come. It was Pippi but when they first saw her they were surprised by her unusual look and behavior.
Pippi called them for breakfast, and they became friends. She introduced them to other residents of her house. There were Nilsen, the monkey and a horse that lived on the front porch just because he was a disturbance in the kitchen and did not like the bedroom. The second day Annika and Tommy went to Pippi’s house. When they arrived, Pippi suggested that they should play a game of searching things. As Pippi was a strange girl, she was interested in finding strange things.
In the search, they found a boy Willie who was beaten up by five boys. Pippi was angry because of this great injustice, and then Tommy and Annika saw how strong she was for the first time. She hung the two boys on a branch, sat one on a pole, threw one over a fence and stuffed the last one in a baby carriage. She was sorry that Tommy and Annika didn’t find anything strange, so she told them to check the hole in the wood where they found something for themselves.
It was bedtime and Pippi even slept unusually. She would put her legs on the head of the bed and her head under the covers because according to her people slept like that in Guatemala and that was the best way to sleep. She would sing herself a lullaby every night.
Pippi was nine years old, and the people of the city were concerned about her. They thought it was unsafe for a girl to be living alone. They sent two police officers to convince her it was time to go to an orphanage. Pippi did not like police officers so when they started chasing her she thought they were playing. When she got tired of playing, she carried both of them out of the house. After that, they decided that Pippi does not belong in a children’s shelter.
She decided to go to school as Tommy and Annika did. She came to school on her horse and galloped loudly through the classroom. She was also late because she did not like to get up early. Pippi did everything her way as always, so the teacher decided that she was too restless and immature to go to school and send her home.
Pippi said that she was sorry about her behavior but that she didn’t have anyone to raise her up because her mother was an angel and her father was the king of the natives. She said to the teacher that she was nice and gave her a gold watch. She ran out to the backyard where children gathered around her horse while she was telling the stories about a great school in Argentina where most of the time children are on vacation and their most important work is to eat candy.
Every day spent with Pippi was an adventure for Tommy and Annika. They found a hole in an old oak that will serve as their shelter and went on a field trip where Pippi tamed a bull that attacked Tommy, and they even saw a circus show. Pippi couldn’t stay seated for a second, so she had to participate in every act. The visitors loved her, and the manager was furious.
Pippi had a lot of golden coins, and she started counting them right when two robbers were passing by and saw the light in her house. They saw that she had a lot of money and lives alone. Of course, they tried to rob her, but she managed to defend herself. In the end, they danced the polka with her, and she gave each a golden coin.
Pippi’s birthday came along. She invited her friends Tommy and Annika. It was an entirely different birthday where even the guest got presents. Pippi suggested that they should go to the attic and say hello to the ghosts. Tommy and Annika were suspicious and frightened of an owl and then of Pippi that wore a big white shirt that used to belong to her father. Going through her father’s sailor chamber, she came to the conclusion that she will be a pirate.
They went to town one day, and Pippi bought candy for all of the children. After that, she bought them toys. In the pharmacy, she purchased a lot of medication for different diseases, and then she drank them all together to prevent any illnesses.
Summer was here, and a surprise came along. Pippi’s father came back. He told her that he was the king of the natives for half a year and the other half he spends sailing. Efraim was going back to the island Gula-Gula and wanted Pippi to come with him. They threw a big going away party but when the time came to pack her bags Pippi couldn’t abandon Annika and Tommy.
The kids spend their time playing and having fun until Annika and Tommy got chickenpox. Pippi tried to make them laugh over the window. The disease passed, but Annika and Tommy were pale and skinny. Pippi got a letter from her father saying to come back to Gula-Gula to become the princess of the natives. She came up with a great idea.
She invited Tommy and Annika to go with her and recover from the horrible disease and their parents allowed. They boarded a ship and went to the island. The natives prepared a big party and Pippi, and her friends got together just fine with the other kids. One day dad Longstocking took the grownups for a tour, and the kids were left alone.
The kids took advantage of their absence and went for an adventure. They went to the caves where the natives kept coconuts. Even though Tommy encouraged Annika, it was him who fell into the sea. Pippi saved him by grabbing a shark, giving him a lesson and throwing him far away.
Two robbers showed up on the island. Pippi already knew them. The kids on the island did not own marbles, but they used pearls instead of them. The greedy robbers saw an opportunity in their game. They tried to convince the kids that they want to buy them and then they decided to wait until the children weren’t hungry enough to leave the cave but they didn’t know that the kids have coconuts. They would not give up, so Pippi threw their boat. They never came back, and Pippi told her father that everything went fine while he was away.
Despite the great fun, they were having Tommy and Annika wanted to see their family. They wanted to come home for Christmas, but at the end, they got home in January. Their family threw them a party with a Christmas tree so that they would feel like they are home for the holidays. The kids said that they never want to grow old and always want to have fun with Pippi. Pippi offered them pills that will keep the young forever. The kids fell asleep happy and were looking forward to a new day with Pippi.
Characters: Pippi Longstocking, Tommy, Annika, Efraim Longstocking
Astrid Lindgren Biography
Astrid Lindgren (1907. – 2002.) is a Swedish writer that wrote over 30 children’s book, text for picture books and even a few movie scripts.
After she had finished her studying, she went to work for a local newspaper. After she had got pregnant, the editor proposed to her, but she said no and moved to Stockholm where she decided to become a stenographer.
The book that brought her fame and put her on the list of the 20 most translated world authors is Pippi Longstocking. She wrote more than 120 stories that were translated into 80 languages. One of them was “Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter“. A lot of her works were screen adapted and based on some of the people made cartoons.
Her literary works were awarded in Sweden and Germany, and she was the winner of the prestigious international award for children’s literature Hans Christian Andersen in 1958.
She was a big fighter for children and animal rights.
Book reports from Astrid Lindgren