‘When some people think you are big and some think you are little then perhaps you are just exactly the right age.’
‘Jonathan told me how there are things you have to do, even if they are dangerous.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because if you don’t you are not a human being, you’re nothing but a little louse,” Jonathan replied.’
‘Please help us, before we perish! Without snuff for two days we wither away on this island.’
What’s so delightful, Tommy asked.
I am, said Pippi pleased with herself.’
‘There’s no order in nothing, and I can’t find everything.’
‘If you are very strong, you must also be very kind.’
‘Life is something you have to take care of - don't you realize that?’
‘Uncle Melker, you know what? If you can’t write so that I understand it, then you might as well stop.’
‘You can put things in a book that o n l y children are amused by. You can certainly also have in it things that both children and adults enjoy, but you must never put things in a children’s book that amuse only adults. That would be rude to the child – who is going to read the book.’
‘S’not something you plan, mischief, it just happens. And knowing it’s mischief, well you don’t until it’s happened.’
‘I’m frecklier and prettier than ever before. I’ll be frankly irresistible, if this continues.’
‘Oh, said Pippi. Today must be my lucky day again. I like policemen best of all. After rhubarb jam that is.’
‘Oh my dearest little squiggle. Don't let me grow any biggle.’
‘Oh yes, time flies and before you know it you’re old, said Pippi. Come autumn I’ll be ten, and I suppose I’ll be past my prime then.’
‘I pity all the people who don’t live in Noisy Village.’
‘Didn’t I say that wherever you went I was going too?” I asked. “Yes, that’s what you said,” said Jonathan, sounding quite pleased. “Because I want to be with you,” I said, “even in a bottomless pit in the underworld.’
‘No … yes, I am afraid! But I’m doing it anyway, Jonathan, I’m doing it now… now … and then I will never be afraid again. Never again afr…” “Oh, Nangilima! Yes, Jonathan, yes, I see the light!! I see the light!”’
‘There’s nothing in the Ten Commandments forbidding old ladies to climb trees, is there?’
‘I have never been a patriot. We are all human beings – that’s been my special pathos in life.’
‘And so I write the way I myself would like the book to be – if I were a child. I write for the child within me.’
‘Mankind is preoccupied with two great things: death and love; these catch the interest of all ages. You shouldn’t scare children to the point of anxiety, but just like adults they need to be moved by art.’
‘A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy’
‘If I have managed to brighten up even one gloomy childhood – then I’m satisfied.’
‘I know what the meaning of life isn’t. Collecting money and knicknacks and things, being famous and grinning from the pages of women's glossy magazines, being so afraid of loneliness and quiet that you never get a calm moment to think: What am I doing with my short time here on earth?’
‘And we played and played and played. It’s a wonder we didn’t play ourselves to death!’
‘Everything great that ever happened in this world happened first in somebody’s imagination.’
‘What should a good children’s book be like? If you ask me, I can tell you after thinking long and hard: It must be good.’
‘A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.’
‘Give the children love, more love and still more love – and the common sense will come by itself.’
‘I want to write for a readership that can create miracles. Children create miracles when they read.’
‘There were two things that made our childhood what it was - security and freedom.’
‘Then it dawned on Rasmus what it meant to be a tramp. In an instant, the wonderful aspects of his new life were revealed to him.You could do exactely what you pleased. You could eat or sleep or go exactely where you pleased. You were free, wonderfully freee, like a bird in the forest.’
‘An excellent laboratory you have here, Mr Blomkvist,’ he said. "Mr Blomkvist is a skilful chemist, I see."
"Well, I don’t know about skilful, but I have spent a large part of my long life studying chemistry," said the master detective. "Chemistry and forensics go hand in hand, you understand, my young friend!’
‘Mama, what would you like best of all?” “Two really good, sweet girls”, said Mama.
Mardie's eyes turned shiny and her voice trembled a little. “But what would you do with Lisbet and me?’
‘But I cannot kill anyone,” said Jonathan, “you know that, Orvar!”[…] “If everyone were like you,” said Orvar, “then evil would reign for all eternity!” But then I said that if everyone were like Jonathan, there wouldn’t be any evil.’
‘Yes, you really should go to school and learn to write better,’ said Annika.
‘No thanks very much,’ said Pippi. ‘I did that a whole day once and got so much learning stuffed into my head that it’s still sploshing around in there.’
‘Why I walked backwards?’ Pippi said. ‘We live in a free country, don’t we? Aren’t you allowed to walk any way you want? Let me tell you that in Egypt every single person walks like that and no-one thinks it’s strange in the slightest.’
‘‘Come in or stay where you are, it’s entirely up to you,’ called Pippi. ‘I never force anyone!’’
‘We all desire peace. So is there any possibility at all of our changing fundamentally, before it’s too late? Of our learning to distance ourselves from violence? Of our trying quite simply to become a new kind of human beings? But how could we go about that, and where should we start? I believe that we should start from the bottom. With the children.’
‘Birk looked around in the twilight woods, and a strange mood came upon him; he did not know why. He did not understand that what he was feeling, almost like pain, was only the beauty and peace of the summer evening, nothing more.
‘This summer,’ he said, looking at Ronja. ‘Yes, I shall carry this summer with me till the end of my life—I know that.’’
‘I know I can – secretly!’
‘It’s funny, how many things I can do.’
‘Mrs Berg, did you have Rosie with you on Noah’s Ark?’ /.../ ‘Lotta, my pet, I wasn’t there on Noah’s Ark, you know.’ ‘Why didn’t you drown, then?’ said Lotta.’
‘It’s got to go bang and it has to be fun, otherwise I won’t come!’
‘I’m a handsome, thoroughly clever, perfectly plump man in my prime.’
‘That’s a mere trifle.’
‘Let me tell you, it’s dangerous to keep quiet for too long. Your tongue shrivels up if you don’t use it. ’
‘I see, so you’ve been to Mrs Berg’s,’ Mummy said. ‘Was she pleased to see you?’ ‘Yes,’ said Joe. ‘She was pleased twice. She was pleased when we came, and she was pleased when we left.’
‘That old man’s got a wart on his chin . . .’ ‘Shush,’ Mummy whispered, ‘he can hear you.’ Lotta looked surprised and said, ‘Doesn’t he know he’s got a wart on his chin?’
‘Lotta, you mustn’t speak when grown-ups are talking, you should wait till they’ve finished.’ ‘Huh,’ said Lotta, ‘I’ve tried that, but it doesn’t work. They never stop.’’
‘How can I know that, when I’ve never tried?’