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Pippi Longstocking (Raben & Sjogren, 1945)

Written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking appeared in three full-length children’s novels. In 1941, Lindgren told Pippi stories to her daughter Karin while she was sick with pneumonia. In 1944, while Lindgren was laid up during an injury, she put together a manuscript. Initially rejected, Lindgren went back to work further revising it and added more nonsensical aspects to the story. She then submitted to a contest sponsored by Raben & Sjogren where it won in August 1945 and was published in November of that year.

The debut Pippi novel tells of the 9-year-old, pigtailed, red-haired girl whose sea captain father has vanished at sea. Pippi moves to Villa Villekulla with a pet monkey, a suitcase full of gold and an unnamed pet horse. Pippi has superhuman strength and numerous other oddities and, until this point in her life, has lived her entire life at sea. As Pippi has to get used to life on land, the results are hilarious to read.

Pippi has also appeared in many picture books, a 1949 feature film, a 1969 Swedish TV series, a 1984 Soviet TV movie, an American “ABC Weekend Special” 2-part TV special, a 1988 American feature film and an animated American/Canadian TV series. In 1971, two Japanese anime animators met with Lindgren to discuss the possibility of an anime film, but Lindgren nixed the idea. Pippi’s books have been translated into 64 languages.

Trivia: The most popular children’s festival in Slovenia is Pika’s Festival, named after Pippi Longstocking.

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