Marshmallow reviews an old favorite: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.
Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about kids with extraordinary life styles, then this might be the book for you.
Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): Pippi Longstocking lives in a small house called Villa Villekulla with her horse and her monkey Mr. Nilsson. The town that Villa Villekulla is in has an extraordinary time with Pippi living there. Pippi has many adventures including going to the circus and saving two boys’ lives.
Soon after she moves in to her new home, Pippi makes two new friends, Tommy and Annika. They go to picnics and tea parties together (with Mr. Nilsson the monkey). While at a picnic, Pippi attempts to fly and fails miserably. At a circus, Pippi angers the people performing and beats the “strongest” man in the world. (Pippi is the strongest girl in the world and therefore beats him in a fight that the owner of the circus challenges the audience to. (The circus chapter is my favorite besides the one where Pippi goes to school.)
Pippi is not always welcomed with open arms. A boy named Bengt tries to taunt Pippi and pays the price. No one messes with Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking, Daughter of Captain Efraim Longstocking, formerly the Terror of the Sea (in Swedish, according to Wikipedia: Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump).
The people who live in the town think that a child should not be living alone, so they send two police men to go and escort Pippi to a Children’s Home. (If violence is necessary they will use it.) Later that afternoon the policemen come rushing out and tell the people that she is not fit for an orphanage.
Pippi is always happy and is almost never mad. She has a good sense of humor but desperately lacks an education. She does not know what the letter “i” is. She also lies a lot and makes up a lot of stories.
Marshmallow’s Review: I think that if you read this book then you will soon like Pippi. She is a very likable character but is not always very smart. She also lies a lot so she is probably not a very good role model. But she is strong and independent and always sees the good side of things.
The first Pippi book was written in 1945, and there were quite a few times I noticed it was an old book. But I could move beyond these reminders of past times and expectations and still enjoy the book. Pippi can be really silly and very entertaining. She always means well but she is pretty wild. So her adventures are really fun to read. But do not copy what she does! (Her pancake making, for instance, is very unusual.)
The author Astrid Lindgren wrote several other books about Pippi. (And I have seen a movie version, but I was a baby bunny back then, and I was quite scared by all the action. But that was a long time ago and I don’t remember much, so maybe I should just watch it again.)
Overall Pippi Longstocking is a very good book. I know I will read it again.
Marshmallow’s rating: 100%