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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Pippi Goes Abroad
by Astrid Lindgren
Age Range: 9-11
Pippi Longstocking returns with best friends Tommy and Annika in this collection of exciting everyday adventures. Pippi is an unusual girl, she’s very strong, she’s very brave, she is generous and she lives all on her own and never goes to school. Pippi and her friends create fun, laughter and happiness wherever they go, as Pippi can’t resist an adventure, even in the most seemingly innocent of pursuits.
I have very fond memories of the Pippi books, and I was delighted to be able to review them and read them again. They have definitely stood the test of time and - for the main part, the test of age. Lindgren’s enchanting world charmed me as an adult just as it had when I was smaller, and as it has and will do for years to come.
Lindgren’s characters are wonderful. Pippi is so special; she’s a hero, but she’s naughty too, her manners are imperfect, but she has a kind heart, good values and courage, so for all she is extraordinary and she is also refreshingly normal. Tommy and Annika are perfect examples of a little girl and a little boy, too. They also have normal adventures, turning the everyday into something special. This is surely why the books endure, as children see Tommy, Annika and Pippi do the same things as they themselves do- but with that extra magical twist that makes it special and exciting to read.
Lindgren is a fabulous storyteller, as all of Pippi’s adventures are ingenious and narrated in clear prose that tells a simple story and moves at a good pace. Lindgren gives fun details to add to the scenes she narrates, but I think everyone has their own images of the Pippi stories, as they are tales that can be imagined, and the characters just come alive so easily in these great fun, beautifully written stories, that can be read and re-read.
Abby Phillips (2011)