Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
|Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A true classic of children's literature, made all the more wonderful by Lauren Child's sublime illustrations. If the children in your life don't already have a copy of Pippi Longstocking, there's something very very wrong. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 208||Date: September 2010|
|Publisher: OUP Oxford|
|External links: Author's website|
A true classic of children's literature? Check. Illustrations from a modern star with her own unique and delightful style? Check. If you're not already gurgling with delight at the prospect of a Lauren Child-illustrated version of Pippi Longstocking, then, quite frankly, what are you doing at a book review website? Buy it. Buy it now. Buy it for yourself and everyone you know.
I love Pippi Longstocking, the cheeky girl who lives by herself in Villa Villekula - her mother is an angel, and her father was a sea captain and is now king of the natives, you see. The girl who's strong enough to lift a horse, and frequently does. The girl who doesn't go to school, because she's lasted nine years without needing to know her pluttification tables. And the girl who's a dear, dear friend to her neighbours Tommy and Annika. I love her chapter by chapter shenanigans, where she gets into all sorts of scrapes and japes, with politeness and a kind heart at every turn, but with her own way of living life, the world wisdom woven with cheeky lies, and the strong sense of right and wrong.
You have read Pippi Longstocking before, haven't you? Please say you have. I'd hate to think of anyone getting to <insert your age here> without having experienced this absolute classic. You can stick her up there with the best of Roald Dahl as the sort of writing that is at once both universally popular and completely uncompromising in its world view. It's anarchic, it's hilarious, it's eminently readable, it's wide-eyed and magical, it's evocative, it's inspiring, it's fun, fun and more fun. And it's got a monkey in it.
It'd be a five-star must-read with text alone. Add to the mix illustrations from Lauren Child, best known for the Charlie and Lola stories, and it becomes a drooling, gurgling, must-own, must-share, must-get-for-everyone-you-know. The characters are packed with life, but better than that, Lauren Child plays with design, with layout, with the typesetting, and makes it just a beautiful, beautiful book to treasure. It's a perfect birthday or Christmas gift for any child. It's great for those book addicts reading under the covers themselves with a torch, magnificent for reluctant readers who struggle to click with books, and brilliant for those who are just progressing to having a chapter a night read to them. In fact, the very second they're able to sit still long enough for at least half a chapter, bombard them with Pippi Longstocking whether they want to hear it or not. They'll thank you for it eventually, trust me.
The children's books I review for Bookbag are passed on to kids to enjoy. I'm bally well keeping this copy of Pippi Longstocking for myself. Sure, I'll read it to anyone and everyone who wants to hear it, however young or old they are, but this copy is mine, all mine. You can't have it. You'll have to fight me if you want to get it from me - I have pacifist leanings, particularly when it comes to men in their 30s fighting kids, but you'll have to fight me for it. That's how much I love it. Get your own ruddy copy.
Big gurgling drooling thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
For more classics, check out Top Ten Classics of Children's Literature - whilst we figure out what we can bump from that list to fit in Pippi Longstocking. There's something of Pippi in Jenny Valentine's Iggy, with the latest set of stories being Iggy and Me On Holiday.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren at Amazon.com.
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