Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pippi Longstocking

Titles:  Pippi Longstocking; Pippi Goes on Board; Pippi In the South Seas

Author:  Astrid Lindgren

Rating:  ***  (3 stars out of 3 possible, "A")
             Highly Recommended

Audience:  1st-3rd Grades

I want to briefly cover these childhood classics, just in case they've been overlooked by someone else, or criticized by modern pharisees.  Also to prove I really do have a sense of humor.

I'm reading these with my kids for the second time and they are randomly delightful.  Pippi is one of those kids we wish we all could be:  irreverent, creative, resourceful, a fast friend with super-human strength, and "rich as a troll."  Her hijinks with Tommy and Annika are adventures every child would wish for:  trips to town and the circus, an island campout, finding treasures in a hollow oak tree, flipping pancakes in an unsupervised kitchen, befuddling adults all over town.  Don't forget Pippi's front porch horse, or her monkey, Mr. Nilsson.

Fortunately, Tommy and Annika are committed students, and when Pippi occasionally visits the school house to learn a little "pluttification," someone always receives a lesson, although it might not be who you expected:

      "That is why we are here, " said the teacher, "to be good and kind to other people."
      Pippi stood on her head on the horse's back and waved her legs in the air.  "Heigh ho," said she, "then why are the other people here?"