Created in the 1950s by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren, the Pippi Longstocking books have seen several generations of readers through their formative years. The first book in the series introduces Pippi as a spunky 9-year-old carrot-top with flyaway braids and shoes exactly twice the size of her feet. Fun-loving Pippi is a fierce individualist, and her adventures are endearingly ridiculous and enormously humorous.
With a mother in heaven and a father lost at sea, Pippi is left to her own devices in a ramshackle house on the edges of a little Swedish village called Villa Villekulla. For company, Pippi has a monkey named Mr. Nilsson, a horse on the porch, and two little playmates (Tommy and Annika) from the house next door. Together, Pippi, Tommy and Annika go on a neighborhood expedition as “thing-finders” and Pippi rescues a little boy from a gang of bullies. When the local policemen learn that a 9-year-old girl is living alone in Villa Villekulla, they arrange a place for Pippi in an orphanage. But to the strongest little girl in the world, there's nothing in life that isn't a game---and before the cops can wise up to Pippi's antics, she's got the lot of them ladderless-ly stranded atop her roof. Tommy and Annika trick Pippi into going to school, but after a day of disrupting all lessons and wearing out the teacher's patience, Pippi decides that school isn't for her.
When autumn arrives, Pippi, Tommy, and Annika have a coffee-party in a tree. Then, Mr. Nilsson accompanies them into the woods for a picnic, where they have a run-in with a wild bull. When the circus comes to Villa Villekulla, Pippi, Tommy, and Annika buy tickets to sit in the grandstand. However, Pippi is not content just to sit and watch: she leaps into the ring to challenge “The Strongest Man In the World” and wins an easy victory. Upon returning home, two burglars attempt to steal Pippi's suitcase of gold coins and end up dancing the schottische with Pippi. Tommy, Annika, and their mother invite Pippi to a grown-up coffee-party at which Pippi horrifies the grown-up guests with her laughable manners.
One wintry day, Pippi and Mr. Nilsson take a walk through the town-square where they rescue two small boys from a burning building. In the 11th and final chapter, Pippi celebrates her birthday with Tommy, Annika, Mr. Nilsson and the horse.
This report prepared by Tracie Amirante