Pippi Longstocking was first published in Sweden in 1945 and its original title is Pippi Langstrump. It has been translated into many editions and languages, even after decades have passed.
Pippi is an orphan who lost her mother when she was very young, long before Pippi could remember and recognize who her mother was. Her dad, who was a sailor, also had passed away when he was in the sea. Pippi always thought (or pretended, I couldn’t tell) that her father was kidnapped and became the head of cannibal tribe in the remote island, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Thus, Pippi was all alone at a very young age. Before he passed away, Pippi’s father had bought a house named Villa Villekula, next to Tommy’s and Annika’s. Pippi decided to move to Villa Villekula along with her monkey friend, Mr. Nilsson, and her pet horse.
After Pippi had moved, Tommy’s and Annika’s lives turned upside down. They encountered great adventures with Pippi and never wanted to get apart with her. Something inside Pippi always led to great curiosity and interest in them. Tommy and Annika found joy, honest, and real friendship with her. Even though Pippi had no one in her family, Pippi always managed to be happy and be positive with every single thing she had.
I always like children’s stories. Whether it’s classic, fantasy, family, coming-of-age, or any kinds of sub-genre. There’s always this feeling. This nostalgic feeling when I am absorbed into childhood life, with its own joy and pleasure. Not that I do not enjoy other kinds of genre, but children’s books are, for me, the best remedy.
Pippi Longstocking itself is kind of a magical realism story. Not that I am an expert in literary works. But with Pippi’s strength and ability at a very young age, it is kind of breaking our “normal” lives’ rules. For example, when Pippi was able to lift her horse or did that kind of circus thing. It seems that Pippi could do everything effortlessly.
What I like the most about Pippi is, she was always trying to be honest and be positive to everyone. Like, when there were two burglars breaking into her house, she didn’t mind giving her possessions to them. She even treated them like guests; she served them free sandwiches! It is something that we sometimes, as adults, forget. We are too busy minding our own businesses and forget other people’s lives. And we sometimes finger-pointing other people as the “bad” ones without introspecting our own selves, have we been good enough?
Pippi Longstocking is also a feminist children novel, in my opinion. As a girl, Pippi was far from being feminine or shy or likes pink color and Barbie. She “broke” the stereotypes of being a “good girl”. Pippi was a very strong, independent, and brave girl. She was not afraid of anything and she gave inspirations and courage to her friends.
Long story short, Pippi brings back children’s innocence into us, and reminds us that we can always find joy in the ordinary, no matter how bad the situation is 🙂
I rate the book ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Author: Astrid Lindgren
Pages: 160 pages
Featured image from here.