First sentence: Way out at the end of a tiny little town was an old overgrown garden, and in the garden was an old house, and in the house lived Pippi Longstocking.
Premise/plot: Pippi Longstocking is a hoot of a book. This orphaned nine year old has enough adventures for the whole town. So Pippi, our heroine, lives on her own and by her own rules. Sometimes—okay most of the time—she tells taradiddles. Her two best friends, Tommy and Annika, can tell the difference, mostly.
My thoughts: I can’t believe it took me so long to reread this one. I just loved, loved, loved it. Pippi is like the exact opposite of Anne Shirley. Both are charming and delightful characters. But Pippi needs no one and can’t be bested. She’s way over the top. The two can’t really be compared though; it’s like comparing chocolate and roller coasters.
My favorite scene? Would it be Pippi attending school or playing tag with the police officers? Probably the school incident.
“You ought to know about the schools in Argentina,” said Pippi, looking down at the children. “That’s where you should go. Easter vacation begins three days after Christmas vacation ends, and when Easter vacation is over there are three days and then it’s summer vacation. Summer vacation ends on the first of November, and then you have a tough time until Christmas vacation begins on November 11. But you can stand that because there are at least no lessons.” (59-60)
Other favorite quotes:
“I am a Thing-Finder, and when you’re a Thing-Finder you don’t have a minute to spare.” (26)
“Why do you have a horse on the porch?” asked Tommy. All horses he knew lived in stables. “Well,” said Pippi thoughtfully, “he’d be in the way in the kitchen and he doesn’t like the parlor.” (19)
“I have got along fine without any pluttifikation tables for nine years,” said Pippi “and I guess I’ll get along without it from now on, too.” (41)
“He says that anybody who can lick that big man will get a hundred dollars,” answered Tommy. “I can,” said Pippi, “But I think it would be too bad to, because he looks nice.” “Oh, no, you couldn’t,” said Annika, “he’s the strongest man in the world.” “Man, yes,” said Pippi, “But I am the strongest girl in the world, remember that.” (99)
© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers