Frequently Asked Questions

Using texts, images and photos

Can quotes of Astrid Lindgren or by characters in her books be used in relation to other products?

No, that is not allowed. To use quotes in news articles or reports is normally okay. Public works may be quoted according to good practice (fair use), and in amounts that are motivated by the purpose. Good practice means, amongst other things, that the author is mentioned and that the quote itself is never so extensive that it will become the main part of the new work. Quotation rights only apply to limited parts of a material – for example, for educational purposes or for a scientific analysis of the text. The use of a quote must take place with a loyal purpose and must never violate the author. To place someone’s quote on a product is never considered okay according to quotation rights.

Popular quotes

We have collected the most well known, the best, the funniest, the quirkiest and the most appreciated of all of Astrid Lindgren’s quotes here together with their correct source references.

If you use a quote according to fair use (see above) it is advisable to disclose the source of the quote too.

Popular misquotes

The Internet is full of quotes attributed to Astrid Lindgren, but without a source to confirm them. Here are some of the most common incorrect quotes:

"I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that."

This quote is widely available and is often assumed to be said by Pippi Longstocking, but Astrid Lindgren did not write it and there is no known source reference to it.

“Be crazy, wild and wonderful” / “Sei frech, wild und wunderbar”

This quote is of German origin and refers to a postcard picturing a small child dressed as Pippi. The postcard states that the author is Jochen Mariss. Many people believe that this is something Astrid Lindgren has said, but this is not the case.

“I am the sea and nobody owns me”

The quote comes from the Canadian animated TV series about Pippi Longstocking and is not an original quote by Astrid Lindgren.

The Astrid Lindgren Company receives many questions regarding the use of these quotes, but always reject any proposition to employ them in connection with Astrid Lindgren or Pippi Longstocking.

Is it Pippi who says, “If you are very strong you must also be very kind”?

It isn’t precisely Pippi who utters these words but rather the narrator describing Pippi. It is included as the explanation for Pippi’s conduct towards the burglars in the picture book Do you know Pippi Longstocking? from 1947.

"Then both burglars became so frightened that they started crying. Pippi felt sorry for them and gave them a gold coin each to buy some food with. Because Pippi is kind. If you are very strong you must also be very kind.”

Where do you get hold of photos of Astrid Lindgren?

See our Press room for further information. The photographs may only be used together with editorial copy in connection with Astrid Lindgren’s person or work. When you download a picture with the intention of publishing it, we request that you apply for permission and inform us as to where and for what purpose you wish to use the picture. Send your email to info@astridlindgren.se. For other pictures the easiest way is to contact an image bank.

Are you allowed to use an image of Pippi Longstocking in a school composition?

For school compositions or presentations related to Astrid Lindgren or any of her works, we have a set of special rules and may permit image use to a limited extent. Contact info@astridlindgren.se for more information.

May I use one of your press images of Astrid Lindgren in a book?

No, the press images are by Jacob Forsell and need special permission in order to be used in a book. Contact TT News Agency: sales@tt.se.

May I use an illustration from Astrid Lindgren’s books in a book?

To use one of Ingrid Vang Nyman’s illustrations you will need permission from The Astrid Lindgren Company. For other illustrators you will need permission from the illustrator in question.

Products

Are you allowed to bake a cake with Pippi on it?

You are of course allowed to do it at home, however you are not permitted to sell or market cakes or such things using Pippi Longstocking or any other of Astrid Lindgren’s characters.

There is a rather high demand for products with images of Pippi, Emil, Ronja and the others. Pippi is the most popular. In order to meet this demand a number of products are licensed. But edible goods are never allowed because Astrid Lindgren herself was opposed to it.

Are you allowed to make clothes inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s characters and sell them?

You are allowed to make clothes inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s characters, but you are not allowed to sell or market them by, for example, stating that you’re selling an "Emil in Lönneberga"- cap or a "Pippi"-dress. Names such as Pippi Longstocking, Ronja, the Robber's Daughter and Emil in Lönneberga etc. are trademark protected and in order to use them for commercial purposes you will need a license from The Astrid Lindgren Company.

Are you allowed to name a nursery school "Villa Villekulla" or something similar?

Yes, provided that Astrid Lindgren’s work, characters, or related images are not used in its marketing. We also require that the nursery school or its equivalent has a non-political and non-religious agenda. Please contact us for a license agreement.

I have created a work of art based on Astrid Lindgren or one of her characters, what are the rules?

What is possible to do within the framework of so-called artistic license is generally quite generous. It is therefore ok to create artworks relating to Astrid Lindgren and her work, however it is not allowed to sell or market reproductions of them using Astrid Lindgren or any of her characters without permission.

 

Schools and research

What does the Astrid Lindgren Archives at the Royal Library of Stockholm hold, and who can access it?

The Astrid Lindgren Archives are the library’s most extensive. UNESCO named it Memory of the world in 2005. The archive holds 75 000 letters, 100 000 press clippings and a catalogue of the author’s 4 000 books. It also holds notepads of shorthand writings, scripts, postcards, drawings and other related belongings. Most of the material can be accessed through Libris or Regina (the library’s database). To access research from parts of the archive with limited access, you need consent from The Astrid Lindgren Company. Please email us at info@astridlindgren.se. If you are interested in a particular correspondence you may contact the National Library’s Manuscript Division for more information.

Is Astrid Lindgren’s home open to the public?

Yes. Astrid Lindgrens home at Dalagatan 46 in Stockholm is where the world famous author lived and worked from 1941 to her death in 2002. This is where timeless classics such as Pippi Longstocking, countless letters and articles were written.

Guided tours of the home are open to the public. The tours are conducted in Swedish and occasionally in English, German and Russian. Reservation in advance is necessary. Please check the homepage of The Astrid Lindgren Society for details.

Who’s behind the information on your website?

The Astrid Lindgren Company, which owns and manages Astrid Lindgren’s rights, is behind this website and all the information you can find on here. The texts are written by a number of different writers and fact-checked by The Astrid Lindgren Company.

School theatre productions

In order to put on a theatre performance in school you will need permission if the play is to be performed in front of a public audience. Read more about theatrical rights below.

Visits by Pippi in schools

It is not permitted to play the role of Pippi Longstocking, or anyone else of the characters, for child entertainment purposes in a public context, except within the scope of a theatre production with an approved script. If a public audience is invited then it is counted as a public event. Read more about theatrical rights below.

Theatrical rights

Can you portray Pippi Longstocking at a children’s party or as part of some fun activity for children?

As a private person you are obviously free to perform in any way you want, but publicly it is not allowed to perform or entertain as Pippi Longstocking or any other of Astrid Lindgren’s characters. The characters she has written about do not exist in reality, apart from in theatre plays.

Event companies and others do not have the right to borrow Astrid Lindgren’s characters without The Astrid Lindgren Company’s consent. Out of respect for the author and her strong wishes to let the characters remain exactly just as she imagined them, we are very restrictive about the contexts in which they may be used.

Why do you say no to things that would make children and adults happy?

To explain how we think, let’s take Pippi as an example: if it was free for everyone to use Pippi however they liked, then the real Pippi would eventually disappear. Even if it perhaps feels as if Pippi belongs to everybody, she is Astrid’s creation. It is The Astrid Lindgren Company’s job to try and think and act as Astrid did. What that means is that Pippi isn’t just a fun figure amongst others but first and foremost Pippi from the books, the films and the approved theatre scripts. So when we say no to something it is because we want to protect Pippi. When a child meets Pippi it should be the real Pippi, the way Astrid Lindgren described her.

We also don’t want Pippi to appear on products that we haven’t had a chance to control or agree to. Ultimately we are responsible if something happens or if someone feels misled. Because Astrid created such a strong character, with such a strong personality and distinctive way of dressing, it is easy to dress up as Pippi. Which is why so many children love to play Pippi. This is a great joy to us and to everybody else who loves Astrid Lindgren. Play as much as you like - but if Pippi turns up at the supermarket offering crisps or pretends to be a pirate at a holiday resort then it is not Astrid’s Pippi, and that we say no to.

Can you set up a play based on Astrid Lindgren’s books if all involved are amateurs and the tickets are free?

It is neither the ticket price nor who the performers are that determines what is permitted or not. Anyone wishing to perform a play before a public audience needs to have an approved script and a contract. Even the parents of school children are counted as a public audience.

What to do if you want to put on an Astrid Lindgren play?

Find out more about how theatre rights work here.

Books

How many books has Astrid Lindgren written?

That question is not as easy to answer as you might think – it depends on what and how you count. There are 34 original books and 41 picture-books. She has also written innumerable scripts for TV, theatre, radio theatre and film. These have given rise to the need for songs and music, and Astrid has written more than 40 song texts.

How many Astrid Lindgren books have been sold?

It’s impossible to give an exact figure, but the official estimate is in the vicinity of 165 million copies worldwide.

Which of Astrid Lindgren’s books is the most popular?

The books about Pippi Longstocking are the most popular of all. In Germany, for example, they represent a quarter of all Astrid Lindgren sales. The Pippi books have been translated into 70 languages and have been sold in around 60 million copies.

When did Astrid Lindgren start writing?

At school, Astrid was already good at writing. In an exercise book from 2nd grade, there is a composition about a man and a bear, for which Astrid was awarded AB (mark: Very Good). Later on, her compositions were read out in front of the class, and at the age of 13 Astrid had her composition, På vår gård (On our Property) published by Wimmerby Tidning (the Vimmerby Times). According to the editor of the paper, her composition was “a sample of stylistic flair seldom seen among our youth”.

In the autumn of 1924 she began as a voluntary worker at Wimmerby Tidning where she was given the task of writing small notices and articles. The subject of one of the articles was the opening of the new railway line between Vimmerby and Ydrefors. In that paper she also had published a series of travelogue articles – one of which is the account of her visit with the author Ellen Key at her property, “Strand” on the shores of Lake Vättern.

From 1933-1944 (the year of her debut as a novelist) Astrid Lindgren also had many fairytales published in various magazines, including Mors hyllning (A Tribute to Mother) and Landsbygdens Jul (A Country Christmas). One of the pieces is about Olle and the aggressive dog, Svipp – a story which turns up again in the Noisy Village books.

How did it come about that Astrid Lindgren started writing books?

Astrid liked both reading and writing and came from a family where stories were always told. When she became a mother herself she told stories for her own children at bedtime. Once when her daughter Karin was ill and begged her to tell a story, Astrid asked about what. “Pippi Longstocking”, replied Karin, and in that moment the name was invented. A few years later when Astrid fell, hurt her foot and was forced to stay in bed, she decided to pass the time by writing down her stories about Pippi and give them to Karin for her tenth birthday. Perhaps it was then that it began and then that Astrid truly realised how much she enjoyed writing. And when she had finally started she didn’t want to stop.

What was the title of Astrid Lindgren’s debut book?

Britt-Mari lättar sitt hjärta (Confidences of Britt-Mari) – a teenage novel. It was published in 1944 after having won 2nd Prize in Rabén & Sjögren’s girls’ book competition in September that same year.

Which was Astrid Lindgren’s last book?

The very last book Astrid Lindgren created is a picture-book called Sagoresan (In Sagoresan we get to hear the same story as on the Storybook Train at Junibacken) – 2006. Her last big story is Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter (1981).

Into how many languages have Astrid Lindgren’s books been translated?

No other Swedish author has had their books translated into as many languages as Astrid Lindgren. But it is difficult to be precise as to how many, partly because of how one differentiates between languages, dialects and language variants.

Counting the total number of translations of Astrid Lindgren’s texts into other languages or language variants, there are as many as 104 different translations (2018). Here is a list of them.

Where can I access Astrid Lindgren’s books in other languages?

The best thing to do is to try with online booksellers. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for please feel free to contact info@astridlindgren.se, to find out if the text has been translated into the language you desire.

I want to translate one of Astrid Lindgren’s books, what’s next?

When a book is to be translated into a new language we ask that there is a publisher or equivalent organisation involved that we can write a contract with for the publication of the book. This is because we want to make sure of the quality of the translation, the print, the distribution and the sales strategy.

I have a publishing company and want to publish Astrid Lindgren’s work in another language, what are the requirements?

In most cases there are usually already one or more active publishers for the larger languages. However, the copyrights might still be available for smaller languages, and occasionally with certain titles in larger languages. Write to The Astrid Lindgren Company and tell us about your publishing company and your current list of publications, as well as which or which ones of Astrid Lindgren’s books you are interested in publishing. We prefer Astrid Lindgren’s books to be translated directly from the original Swedish.

Films

Where can I get hold of Astrid Lindgren’s films in different languages?

The distribution and sales rights for the Astrid Lindgren films are not coordinated worldwide. The rights vary from film to film and from market to market. The best way to find films is through e-commerce sites on the Internet or simply turn to SF via international@sf.se.

How many films exist based on Astrid Lindgren’s books?

A complete list of all film adaptations can be found here on the Swedish version of this webpage.

When will the new film about The Brothers Lionheart be released?

In 2013 the plans for an international film adaptation of The Brothers Lionheart, directed by Tomas Alfredson, were publicised. After going back and forth from the drawing board the movie project has now had a fresh start. There are no financial worries; several strong players are ready to get involved in the project. It continues to be an international movie production and the film will be in English.

Music

I would like to perform Astrid Lindgren songs, how do I apply for permission?

If you want to perform the songs in public, live or in a recorded version, then you will have to notify STIM, the Swedish copyright organisation for music creators and publishers, or the equivalent foreign organisation. It is the person in charge of the venue or the event where the songs will be performed that is responsible for reporting to STIM.

It is, however, not permitted to use so-called synchronisations, i.e. when the music is used together with moving images or in the context of advertising.

Please bear in mind that a theatrical element within a concert also requires permission. The Astrid Lindgren Company will not give permission for Pippi Longstocking, or any other character, to conduct public sing-alongs or other such events. If you are unsure of what the rules are for the type of event you want to create, contact us.

I want to record covers of Astrid Lindgren songs, how do I apply for permission?

Contact the publisher that holds the music rights. If you don't know which publisher, please contact The Astrid Lindgren Company.