Title: Pippi Longstocking
Author: Astrid Lindgren
Major Themes: 20th century (1900s), United States, Children’s Fiction Readers
Synopsis: Pippi is crazy, wonderful, and fun-loving—and when she moves into the Villa Villekulla, she soon makes friends and gets into trouble.
I’ve loved Pippi Longstocking ever since my aunt gave it to me right before we moved to New Zealand. Even though it’s unrealistic, it makes a wonderful story that all ages will enjoy and laugh along with.
Pippi isn’t your average girl. For the first part of her life, she was brought up on a ship. When her father blew overboard one day in a storm, she soon told everyone that he had floated to an island owned by cannibals and became their king. While Pippi waited for him to build himself a boat to come get her, she retired to an old house he had bought years before named Villa Villekulla. Two things she took with her from the ship were her pet monkey (“Mr. Nilsson”), and a big suitcase full of gold pieces.
Two children lived in the house next to Villa Villekulla—Tommy and Annika. The three children soon became good friends. Pippi never did seem to stay out of trouble—somehow, she was always in the thick of it. Like the time she went to school and worried the teacher half to death with her endless questions and sauciness. Or when she played tag with several policemen.
If you want your children to grow up well-mannered and polite, then don’t let them read Pippi Longstocking. But if you don’t mind them reading something fun and impossible once in a while, then this will be perfect. I love this story because Pippi is such a loving character. Even though she is rough, unladylike, and not very polite, she has a kind heart and (most of the time) tries to do what is best for others. This is a great reader—one all children will enjoy.
WARNING: There is lying throughout the book, although most of the time Pippi is made to admit that she’s lying.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12