4.11.12

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING by Astrid Lindgren


Pippi Longstocking Cover
I suppose that many of us watched Pippi's adventures on TV when we were children and, maybe, some of her brilliant unconventional ideas are still stored in our subconscious. In my personal experience I still dust my parquet - floor skating on a pair of dust cloths, a technique she invented first, I suppose, and, oh yes! it's fun! 

So, for those who have never heard about her, Pippi has been labelled as the naughtiest girl ever, a little 'savage' whose mother died and whose father was washed overboard in a storm at sea. She lives on the outskirt of a Swedish town with a monkey and a horse parked on the porch of Villa Villekulla.

She is the strongest girl on earth and also the most brave of all. She tells lots of lies, although I'm sure Gianni Rodari would have called them creative stories.

Her character was created when Sweden was being transformed, from a poor agricultural country, into a rich and wealthy nation, and the Swedish culture of conformity, moderation, constraint and contentment was definitively modeling the stereotype of "calm, clean, quiet, industrious and modern" Swedish society.

Can you imagine the expression of horror on the editor's face during the reading of Pippi's book? Actually Astrid Lindgren didn't get published on her first try.
The character of Pippi was so outrageous that the publisher rejected her!

What would you think about a kid who dramatically messes up the kitchen, exactly like The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss, to cook pancakes and rolls shortbread on the floor?

And what about school? She's never gone and even when she tries, she really doesn't fit in! She doesn't treat her teacher respectfully, she is noisy, she lies, she draws on the floor and she doesn't participate when she is required to.
Her one-day teacher was actually really lucky when Pippi decided to drop school out after just a few hours.

But on the other hand, she is the best at inventing games to play with her young next-door  neighbors Tommy and Annika. Every afternoon they can be 'thing searchers' or can have coffee and cookies sitting on the branches of a tree, they can go walking in the wood and have any sort of adventures or ghost-hunting in the attic of Villa Villekulla. 

No matter how uneducated she is, she will always be children's favorite heroine!

Take a look at these classroom activities here: 
Pippi - Study Guide


    


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