Pippi Longstocking and Ronia the Robber’s Daughter

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pippi Longstocking
By Astrid Lindgren
I grew up loving the 1988 film version of Pippi Longstocking, but I never read the book until this year. I was glad to discover the two are very similar. The fun-loving, feisty Pippi that I was a fan of in the movie is there in full effect in the book. Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim's Daughter Longstocking lives by herself with only her horse and her monkey to keep her company. Pippi is separate from her father during a storm at sea and moves into her house, Villa Villekulla. She has superhuman strength and doesn’t follow the regular rules of society.

One of the things I always loved about Pippi when I was growing up is her freedom. There are no parents. She doesn’t have to go to school if she doesn’t want to. Of course that would appeal to a kid! As much as I loved my parents, I think half of the pretend games I played with my brother and sister started off with us being orphaned somehow. It’s like your imagination has so much more freedom when you remove any form of supervision from the equation.

BOTTOM LINE: Read it with a child-like heart and you’ll enjoy it. It’s fun and playful, but obviously as a parent you’re going to be worried about the orphaned girl.

Ronia the Robber’s Daughter 
By Astrid Lindgren

This one was given to me by the person with the best taste in children’s literature of anyone I’ve met. Obviously I had to read it! I actually enjoyed it even more than Pippi Longstocking. Where Pippi is all about an unusual girl dropped into the midst of regular society, Ronia is all about a girl living in the wild.

She is the only daughter of the leader of a band of robbers. They live in the forest and her boisterous father and strong-willed mother give Ronia plenty of freedom to explore her surroundings as she grows up. When she makes friends with a young boy in the forest she has no idea that it’s the son of her father’s nemesis.

BOTTOM LINE: Another adventurous female protagonist from Lindgren. I can’t wait to share her books with my daughter. Ronia is a wonderful example of being brave, kind, and generous of spirit.

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