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Nine-year-old free spirit, Pippi, who lives with a complete lack of adult supervision, was the creation of Swedish feminist, Astrid Lindgren. Lindgren was born in 1907 and died in 2002, having written the first four of the eleven Pippi books in the 1940s. Her books have been translated into 91 languages and sold 145 million copies worldwide. Pippi’s appeal to young children is her very unconventional and assertive personality. She is rich and extraordinarily strong, being able to lift her horse one-handed with ease. She frequently makes fun of and tricks the adults she does encounter, especially the most pompous and patronising ones.
Pippi lives alone in Villa Villekulla, on the outskirts of a little Swedish country town, because her mother died when she was a baby and her father is away sailing a distant ocean. No need to feel sorry for Pippi though, since she can go to bed at what time she likes and can always sleep in her preferred way, feet on the pillow, head under the covers, and she can make pancakes whenever she chooses. To keep her company Pippi has a horse, and her monkey, Mr Nilsson. The children next door, Tommy and Annika, clearly find Pippi fascinating, but the town authorities are rather worried and alarmed about her behaviour. When two interfering policemen call on Pippi, she takes hold of them by their belts, frogmarches them out of the garden and deposits them, astounded, on the roadway, remaining free to do whatsoever she pleases. But being kind-hearted, she is always willing to help others.
Lauren Child, well-known creator of equally feisty Clarice Bean, is the perfect choice to illustrate this handsome, large format edition of Pippi in this, Lindgren’s centenary year. Her unmistakable illustrative style helps to bring a modern feel to the book and will enable another generation of readers to enjoy the exploits of this extraordinary little girl.