Sarah's Reviews > Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
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's review
Apr 29, 10

bookshelves: adventure, children, classics, library-book, series, fiction
Read from April 12 to 14, 2010

I never saw the Pippi Longstocking movie because when I was that age, anything live-action was verboten -- especially films for children which all came out as cloying and artificial. Pippi was pigeon-holed with Little Orphan Annie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and whatever other nonsense was on the Disney Channel (which I didn't have, anyway).

It was unfair of me think that the books would be similar. Pippi is actually a charming and good-hearted soul who lives in her own little world of wonder wherein nine-year olds live happily on their own and lift horses around whenever the need arises. Yet, despite her ability to come out happy in the end, there is a kind of longing in her to understand the boring things around her that everyone takes for granted: schooling and coffee parties, for instance. She is a font of wild, preposterous stories that she tells knowing they aren't true and she just doesn't know why.

I think it is to distract the reader momentarily from the fact that the most wonderful thing is Pippi herself. She is innocent, but not defenseless. Carefree, but not insensitive. She's self-serving, but generous. She is everything unique and non-conformist and anti-establishment, but she's tolerant of and loving to to people who aren't.

On the one hand, we have a book full of stories that I can see parents wincing over because of the very dangerous and insolent lifestyle Pippi leads, but on the other, we also have a book full of stories about a little girl who's "mother is an angel and father is a canibal king" and is just trying to get by without their or anybody's guidance, but who manages to keep happy, content in the little things despite the apparent magic available to her, and unscarred by the misunderstanding adults who seem to think she should be somebody else.

Overall, lovely little stories good for the bedtimes of little people. The edition I read had three books in one, but I only read the first and a few pages here and there of the other two. I didn't read anymore because I felt I got the gist of what was going on and the thing had to be back at the library, anyway.

A note about the movie. I still don't think I want to see it. Pippi is too big for a piddly little movie screen.

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