Pippi Longstocking’s 75th Anniversary

Did you know that it’s 75 years since the publication of one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports?

Originally created for her daughter during the dark times of World War Two, Astrid Lindgren wanted to create a new kind of female character – one who was free-spirited and free-thinking. As thus was born an iconic red-headed role model.

To celebrate, Oxford University Press (OUP) have published some rather lovely first chapter versions of Pippi’s adventure with artwork by the original illustrator, Ingrid Vang Nyman. The perfect introduction to Pippi’s world for readers aged 5+

In the first two instalments, Pippi and her neighbours foil robbers, visit the circus and go searching for snirkles. They only problem is, as Pippi has only just invented the word ‘snirkle,’ she has no idea what it means. Time to go snirkle hunting!

The OUP have also reissued some of Pippi’s adventures with illustrations by one of my favourite illustrators – Mini Grey.

Meet Pippi and her monkey, Mr Nilsson as she makes friends with the children next door. With a suitcase full of gold and no adults to tell her what to do, Pippi has a way of making everything seem exciting! Join the trio of children as they sail the South Seas to the Island where Pippi is sure her father will be king, go to the circus and buy all the sweets in the sweet shop.

Emil’s adventures are another collection of stories written by Astrid Lindgren and re-illustrated by Mini Grey.

Emil is one of the world’s most mischievous children. Whether he’s running his sister up a flag pole, trying to catch a crafty rat or teaching his pet pig to skip! Emil doesn’t mean to get into trouble – he just can’t seem to help himself! A fun series of chapter books for readers developing in confidence.

Former Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child has been enchanted by the adventures of Pippi Longstocking since the age of eight or nine so was thrilled to bring her trademark illustrative style to a beautiful new edition of Pippi’s adventures.

In this tale, readers are introduced to a rather extraordinary little girl who lives entirely alone (apart from her monkey and horse) in an overgrown house names Villa Villekulla. And from there, the adventures begin…

It seems fitting to finish this blog post with a biography of the author herself, Astrid Lindgren. Written by Ma. Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Linzie Hunter (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.)

I love this series of books with their stunning illustrations and life stories of some of the world’s most inspirational people. Find out how discerning stories at the age of four changed a young Astrid’s life, and how later in life her own daughter’s demands for a story about a funny name she’d just made up led to the creation of the Pippi Longstocking stories we love today!

I hope that these wonderful stories will continue to encourage futures generations to use their imaginations and make their own rules.

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to the publishers for sending me these titles to review*

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