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To my mind, Pippi Longstocking is perhaps the world's first child superhero. Able to lift strong policemen with her bare hands! Capable of climbing tall houses and trees with virtually no effort at all! Rescuing children from burning buildings and adults from snobby talk! If, like myself, you were a child of the 1980s then your first exposure to Miss Longstocking probably came in the form of that gawdawful movie circa 1988. Words alone cannot express the damage that film did to the youth of America. After watching it I avoided the book "Pippi Longstocking" like it was the plague itself. Only recently have I recanted and decided to read Astrid Lindgren's classic tale. As charming as it is outright bizarre I charge all of you to take the time to find and devour this little Swedish gem. Pippi's a pip, no question.

Working at wish fulfillment on about ten different levels, Pippi is the ultimate kid's kid. She lives all alone in a large fantastic house. Her mother died while she was but a babe and her father has been lost at sea. As optimistic regarding her father's return as Primrose Squarp in "Everything On a Waffle", Pippi fills her days with dancing, pancakes, and games. She owns a whole suitcase of gold coins, which allow her the freedom to live alone and untended. On top of that, she has her own monkey (the drolly named Mr. Nilsson) and horse. The neighbor children Annika and Tommy think (rightly so) that Pippi's a wonder. She never attends school or bothers with all the problems other children suffer. Instead, she has her own unique perspective on life and the people around her. Though precocious she's never mean, even when dealing with bullies or criminals.

The book, originally published in American in 1950, is a wonder. Though I'm certain other illustrators have done a fair job, I highly recommend that you seek out an edition illustrated by the talented Louis S. Glanzman. His Pippi is just as fabulous as you might hope her to be. I've always minded those Pippi's that seem a little too lanky or tough. This Pippi is just mischief incarnate. While you're out seeking an edition of this book illustrated by Glanzman, also make certain that the translation has been done by Florence Lamborn. There were some moments of trans-atlantic interpretation that just blew me away. For example, when confronted by evil bullies numerous in number, the biggest and meanest of them eyes Pippi and says, "boys, let Willie alone and take a look at this girl. What a babe!". Obviously that phrase must've meant something entirely different in 1950, but I was incredibly amused by it just the same. Other funny moments caught my eye. For one thing, Pippi and her friends are forever drinking coffee. Not given the "adult drink" status it has in the states, coffee is definitely the drink of choice of Swedish youth. And there was also the difficulty the translator had with verbal puns. Some of these had to be worked around by explaining what a word means in English. Without these explanations the book's jokes would fall flat.

Finally, my favorite chapter of the book. It was the chapter in which Pippi is invited to a fancy coffee party (see what I meant about kids and coffee?). Pippi attempts desperately to mix and mingle appropriately with the middle-aged lady guests there. When the women start putting down their hired help, Pippi is more than eager to tell multiple increasingly bizarre stories of her grandmother's servant Malin. The ways in which Pippi tells Milan tales becomes more and more extreme until at the end she screams towards the women from the other end of the block, "SHE NEVER SWEPT UNDER THE BEDS". I think you'll have to read the chapter yourself to see just how increasingly hilarious it becomes. It's fabulous stuff.

Every country has its resident red headed heroine. Canada has Anne of Green Gables. America has Caddie Woodlawn. Sweden has Pippi Longstocking. She's the greatest thing since sliced bread and twice as perky. For a fabulous romp through the increasingly ridiculous, I more than recommend this quirky spunky fan-freakin'-tastic book. It hasn't aged a jot.
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on September 2, 2009
I bought this edition to read to my young daughters because I was enchanted by the pictures, and hey, it said "sparkling new translation". Unfortunately, it loses some of the charm of the older one. I showed it to some Swedish friends of ours, and they agreed -- specifically, the original book itself is a bit old and uses dated Swedish phrasing, so the older English translation seemed more fitting. (Imagine if, say, The Wind in the Willows were updated to sparkling new English!)

Worse, the words haven't been updated just to be more modern -- they're also sanitized. The glaring example throughout is that Pippi's father is no longer King of the Cannibals -- he's now king of the _natives_. That's not just a translation, it's an editorial change.

I recommend getting The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking instead. The translation is better, and it contains all of the stories, not just the first book.
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on June 17, 2000
I read my first Pippi Longstocking book in 1983 when I was eight years old, and although I'm now twenty five, she still makes me laugh. She is such a free spirit - she lives alone except for a horse and a monkey, says what she thinks, does whatever comes into her mind, no matter how ridiculous it is, she can laugh at herself, and she enjoys life. But the reason why I hold her in such regard now I'm an adult is that although she says and does whatever her heart desires, it's never done at the expense of anyone else's feelings.
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on January 6, 2008
Over sixty years ago, Astrid Lindgren wrote stories about Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump for her daughter. In 1945, the book Pippi Longstocking was published in Sweden. Five years later, it was published in the USA. In 2007, one hundred years after Lindgren was born, Viking released a new edition of Pippi Longstocking, with a new translation by Tiina Nunnally and new illustrations by Lauren Child.

I really enjoyed this edition. I liked the original novels by Astrid Lindgren when I was younger, and I haven't revisited them in decades, so this was a nice piece of escapism on a Sunday morning. I appreciate the work that went into this book.

I have read many of Lauren Child's books and have come to embrace her style. She uses pieces and patches to create her collages and pictures, an interesting combination of photography and illustration. I think the illustrations in this edition are adorable AND match the text.

This edition also gets kudos for its typesetting. Most of it is straightforward, but every so often - just often enough without being too often - there's a sentence or two that runs backwards or sideways, or there's a bold word or two. This too is Child's style. In this particular book, one of my favorite restructured lines is a sentence about Mr. Nilsson's tail that is actually shaped like a tail. That makes me happy because I like emblematic verse. (You can thank Charles Dodgson for that, because I was first exposed to emblematic verse in his book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.)

Translating is never easy, especially when it comes to artistic endeavors such as stories, lyrics, and poems, which are dependent upon language, word choices, and meter. I salute Tiina Nunnally for her translation, which truly preserves the original story.

Kudos again to Tiina Nunnally for translating the original text and to Viking for giving readers a new edition of Pippi to read, to share, and to treasure. If Viking/Nunnally/Child offer editions of the other Pippi books, I will certainly read those as well.
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on June 10, 2001
If you haven't introduced your kids to Pippi, they're missing out! I loved Pippi as a kid. She was so outrageously funny. She got away with all kinds of nonsense and had the most amazing adventures. So when I read it again, as a parent this time, I was happy to find that they were just as good as I remembered. My 8 year old laughs and laughs at Pippi. This is a great book to read aloud. My favorite part is Pippi's hilarious tall tales about people she has known. A Classic!
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on November 11, 2010
It really pains me to give this beautiful book only 2 stars. We are huge Pippi fans AND Charlie and Lola fans, so I really, really wanted to love this book. As other reviewers have mentioned though, the updated translation may conform with modern sensibilities, but it is a bore. We are usually laughing out loud as we read Pippi, but with this version, we went 3 chapters with barely a snicker. My apologies to the translator (I know it is a very hard job), but the humor has been completely translated out.
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on February 9, 2011
Do you like funny books with silly characters and many adventures? Pippi Longstocking is a girl who lives alone in a house called Villa Villekulla. Pippi has no mother or father. Pippi says her mother is an angel, and her father is a cannibal king. She is not all alone, though. She has a monkey and a horse to keep her company.
Pippi meets her next door neighbors, Tommy and Annika. They have lots of adventures together. One of the adventures they had was when Tommy and Annika convinced Pippi to go to school. Pippi decided school was not a good place for her.
The setting of this story helped the characters come to life. Pippi's home was a great place for the setting. Pippi's house is an old Swedish home. The author, Astrid Lindgren, showed all that in her writing.
Pippi is not what you would expect from a nine year-old-girl. She has fiery-red hair and tightly braided braids; it is so tight her braids stick out from her head! Pippi wears old dresses with patches where holes were. Pippi is brave, happy, and joyful.
Tommy and Annika are two very polite children. They both dress in very nice clothes. Tommy never fights with Annika, and Annika never fights with Tommy. They are very well behaved children.
Astrid Lindgren is the author of Pippi Longstocking. Astrid lived in Sweden. She was born in 1907 and died in 2002. She won the Hans Christian Andersen Medal which is the highest award in children's literature. A famous quote she once said was, "You must never put things in children's books that amuse only adults - that would be rude to the child who is going to read the book." Astrid Lindgren was Swede of the Year on her 90th birthday. She won many awards before she died.
Pippi Longstocking was one of the best books I've ever read. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read funny, silly books! What crazy adventure will Pippi go on next?
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on December 23, 1998
For years, I've enjoyed reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading Pippi Longstocking and the three other books that follow it. This is one of the very few children's books that are, very necessarily, a staple of any good childhood. Pippi allows every child, whether it be in age, or in heart, to live out fantasies of going to the ends of the earth and of having fun adventures from which they'll always come out on top, with Pippi leading the way. Though there were few books in the series, especially compared to most other children's series, the powerful words contained within their covers more than compensate for this, raising your imagination to new heights.
I have only one message for anyone reading this: BUY THIS BOOK. Whether or not you have children, this is an exciting, completely irreverent, and just plain fun story that will have you laughing and dreaming just like a kid--again. :)
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on July 27, 2008
0670062766 This edition is illustrated by Lauren Child. It has large type and exceptional illustrations. The attached file for the "look inside" feature is absolutely the wrong one as of this writing -- 7/27/2008. I can't find a place to tell Amazon that. The illustrations on this version are unique. The pages are designed around inserted motifs and there are many, many unique full page illustrations. No matter how many other editions of Pippi you have, buy this one too.
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on April 20, 2012
Pippi does all sorts of things that children wish that they could do - live on her own without anyone to tell her what to do, throw food, skip school, go to bed whenever she wants, make messes and never clean them up, drink coffee, stuff herself with cookies, have a pet horse and monkey, etc. etc.

However, I found it concerning how the book portrayed Pippi as a heroine for being disrespectful to authority, for bullying a little girl, and for constantly telling lies. There aren't any repercussions for these actions - on the contrary she gets out of trouble and becomes the most popular girl in school using these tactics. The book also makes all adults look incompetent. For these reasons, parents may want to read this book together with their children and discuss the difference between the real world and Pippi's fantasy world. Or they may want to skip it and choose from the many other fun and silly books that don't glorify bad behavior, like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle or McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm.
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