With the publication of Pippi Longstocking (1945), beloved author Astrid Lindgren reinvigorated the genre of Swedish children’s literature with the creation of one of its most compelling characters. Pippi has appeared in chapter books, picture books and a series of film adaptations. With bright red pig-tails, a principled yet resourceful outlook, and enough strength to effortlessly lift her own horse, Pippi has truly become an iconic role model for children all over the world.
The daughter of a buccaneering sea captain who lives on a remote island and a mother who died when Pippi was a baby, Pippi lives by herself in a small Swedish village in a house she names the Villa Villekulla, with Mr Nilsson, her pet monkey, and of course her horse. Pippi lives by her own rules: she sleeps the wrong way around in bed, eats whatever she likes, and plays instead of going to school. Her best friends, Tommy and Annika, live right next door. At first, their mother initially disapproves of Pippi and her apparent anarchy, but she quickly comes to admire the nine-year-old’s unswerving loyalty to her friends, her kindness towards others, her general resilience, and her fierce sense of fairness.
The first books in the Pippi series were originally illustrated by the Danish artist Ingrid Vang Nyman (1916–1959) and are still reproduced today.