Pippi Longstocking

From TheAlmightyGuru
Jump to: navigation, search
Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking - Hardcover - Sweden - 1st Edition.jpg

Hardcover - Sweden - First edition.

Author Astrid Lindgren
Published 1945-11-??
Type Fiction
Genre Comedy, Adventure
Themes Childhood
Age Group Children

Pippi Longstocking, or Pippi Långstrump in its native Swedish, is a children's novel written by Astrid Lindgren in 1945 and the first title in the Pippi Longstocking series. The book was written based on stories Lindgren told her daughter a few years prior to the book being written.

The story revolves around an extremely eccentric orphan girl named Pippi Longstocking who possesses super human strength and lives alone in her rich late parent's house. She befriends two neighborhood children and they play with her as she explores and causes mischief around the town.


Read?Audiobook read by Esther Benson.

When I became the father of two daughters, I decided I should read more fiction targeted towards girls so I could suggest books for them to read as they got older. I knew this one was very popular, so I read it, but didn't find it very enjoyable. I suppose I would have liked the book more if I read it as a child.




— This section contains spoilers! —


  • Pippi's inability to comprehend basic cultural norms and eccentric behavior is sometimes charming and/or funny like when she forces the robbers who intended to steal from her to dance with her all night long.
  • From a certain standpoint, the book teaches the importance of being an individual and not conforming to culture's expectations. I could also see it being useful for children who have a hard time identifying emotions in others.


  • Pippi is a compulsive liar and is extremely ill-behaved, to the annoyance of nearly everyone around her. While this can be useful for teaching, Pippi never has to come to terms with the consequences of her lies or disruptions. In one scene at a party she "accidentally" sticks her face in a cream pie, then quickly eats the entire thing before anyone else has a chance to taste it, then can't understand why everyone is angry with her. Rather than make amends, she just further annoys everyone until she's told to leave. Throughout the book, she never rights her wrongs, instead, she gives out valuable treasures to her friends or people who don't deserve them.
  • Giving Pippi super human strength hurts the story. Pippi bullies everyone who tries to make her do anything she doesn't want to do, and almost never needs to resort to her wits. To make a story with super heroes interesting, you need super villains.
  • Giving Pippi extreme wealth hurts the story. Pippi buys everything she wants and never has to work to obtain anything, and she doesn't have to be responsible for anything so she doesn't think twice about destroying things that others might want. To make a story about rich people interesting, they need to become paupers, at least temporarily.
  • There is no cohesive narrative. The story is just a series of unrelated vignettes.
  • The inclusion of "cannibals," though it was acceptable at the time, is racist.


  • For the most part, I didn't find the book very enjoyable. From a literary perspective, Pippi uses the motif of a trickster goddess, which typically makes for some interesting tales, but, that's because a trickster usually has a foil to make the trickster learn a lesson. Since there isn't a foil, Pippi is never challenged and never learns anything, so it's just a series of tricks played by a trickster, always causing mischief and chaos with little regard for those around her.


Strong female character?PassPippi never lets people take advantage of her.
Bechdel test?PassThere are multiple named women who almost never talk about men.
Strong person of color character?FailAlthough race isn't mentioned much, it can be assumed everyone in the book is white.
Queer character?FailNone of the characters appear to be queer.


Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-GoodReads.png  Link-TVTropes.png