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The wild world of Pippi Longstocking

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"No normal child would ever eat an entire cake at a coffee party!" complained a grown-up reader to Mrs. Lindgren, who agreed that was true. "No normal child would lift a horse with one arm either: but if you can do one, you can probably do the other as well," she wrote later.

The original Pippi stories appeared as a set of three chapter books. "Pippi Goes on Board" came out in 1946 and "Pippi in the South Seas" followed in 1948.

The same year that Rabén & Sjögren published the second Pippi book, Mrs. Lindgren went to work for them as an editor who helped to discover other up-and-coming children's writers.

Pippi around the world

Soon, "Pippi" spread to Norway, Finland, and Denmark. Then she arrived in Germany. The first five German publishers who were offered "Pippi Longstocking" turned it down, but the sixth wanted to take it. And what a smart decision – Germany loved Pippi!

Germans became such fans of Mrs. Lindgren's books that many schools have been named for her. And last November, Germany released an Astrid Lindgren stamp in honor of what would have been her 100th birthday. The Unity Frankfurt soccer fans' cheering song is sung to the tune of the theme for the Swedish "Pippi Longstocking" TV series.

In the United States, the first book about Pippi was printed in 1950. In time, American children, too, fell in love with this fun, unforgettable girl. She continues to be adored by children in every generation.

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