Music & Arts
Pippi Longstocking: The Bedtime Story Behind Astrid Lindgren’s Classic CharacterMarch 1, 2019
She’s freckled. Spunky. Terrible at cleaning (but maybe amazing). Owns a monkey. Is fiercely loyal and independent. Is a bit of a boss (in the best way possible). And is the brainchild of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren… and her daughter.
She’s Pippi Longstocking or Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking if you want to get technical.
“Pippi Longstocking” (Pippi Långstrump) is the world-renowned Swedish children’s novel by writer Astrid Lindgren, published by Rabén & Sjögren in 1945. The novel shares the adventures of a brazen, orphaned redhead named Pippi Longstocking.
How did the idea for Pippi come about?
In a 2016 interview with The Guardian, Lindgren’s daughter, Karin Nyman, fondly recalled the moment Pippi Longstocking was born: “I was ill in bed for a long period in 1941, my first school year. I was bored, and kept begging my mother to tell me stories. One evening she said, exhausted: ‘But what more can I tell you?’ An answer came bursting forth, in an attempt to keep her by me: ‘Tell me about Pippi Longstocking!’ It was a name out of the blue, only a child’s play on words. But it did the trick. She started to tell me a completely new story.”
So, thank you Karin for sparking the bedtime story that inspired a novel that has since been translated into more than 90 languages – and into movies, animated TV series, Halloween costumes and more.