After we finished listening to Paddington, my girls and I listened to the Audible edition of Pippi Longstocking in the car as we drove around town on errands. I grew up with Pippi- even before the 1988 movie- and I was excited about sharing Pippi with them.
Pippi Longstocking is a unique little girl, who is probably best known for her bright red pigtails that stick straight up and her incredible strength. At the beginning of the story, Pippi has just moved into Villa Villekulla, a house in a little town in Sweden. Pippi lives all by herself- her mother has passed away, and her sea captain father was blown away in a storm. Pippi is not completely alone: she has a little monkey named Mr. Nilsson and a horse.
Almost immediately, Pippi becomes acquainted with Tommy and Annika, who live next door with their parents. Pippi, who has spent her entire life on her father’s ship, is delighted to have other children to play with. Likewise, Tommy and Annika are delighted to meet such an unconventional little girl.
Over the course of the story, the children go to the circus, have an adventure in the woods, and Pippi is even persuaded to go to school. Her super strength comes in handy when she finds robbers in her house and when she comes across a house on fire with two boys trapped inside.
Pippi is a rascal, and that’s what makes her so appealing to children. Her misbehavior is particularly evident when Pippi is invited to a coffee party at Tommy and Annika’s house and when she goes to school. It should be noted that Pippi is not deliberately naughty, and she often apologizes for her behavior. It’s just that she was raised at sea, and doesn’t always know about things like coffee parties and “plutification” tables (Pippi’s word for multiplication).
I would recommend Pippi Longstocking. This was first published more than sixty years ago, but it remains relevant. My girls loved listening to Pippi, and chose it over listening to their favorite radio station. Pippi is a good friend, and by playing with her, Tommy and Annika step out of their comfort zone and try new things. We are looking forward to Pippi’s next adventure!