“No, I don’t suffer from freckles”, said Pippi. The lady finally understood. Then she happened to glance at Pippi and exclaimed: “But, dear child, your whole face is covered in freckles!” “That’s right”, said Pippi. “But they don’t bother me. I like them! Good morning to you!”
With her mismatched stockings, carrot-coloured hair and freckly face, not to mention super-human strength and resilience, Pippi Longstocking has become a cultural icon.
Pippi is regularly voted as one of the world’s favourite children’s characters; self-sufficient, quick-witted, generous and never letting anything – or anyone – shake her self-belief or take advantage.
Her fans range from astronauts and politicians to Madonna, Lady Gaga, CocoRosie, Caitlin Moran, Amy Poelher, Maggie O’Farrell and Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. Her rebellious nature also inspired the character of Lisbeth Salander in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy.
No stranger to counter-culture, Pippi can be seen around the world in tattoos, celebrity photographs, works of graffiti and on catwalks as a symbol of female strength, resilience, kindness, fairness and acceptance.
‘One of the things that helps me tell a story through music is to create a character. I have to have a muse, whether it's Frida Kahlo, Martha Graham, Marlene Dietrich, or Pippi Longstocking.’
Pippi Longstocking is the most famous of all of Astrid Lindgren’s characters throughout the world, except in Russia where Karlsson on the Roof wins out, and in Poland and the Czech Republic where the books about the children of Noisy Village are the most read.
Pippi Longstocking has been translated into more than 70 different languages. In Mandarin she’s called 长袜子皮皮 and in many countries she doesn’t quite look the same way as in Sweden.
‘Oh my dearest little squiggle. Don't let me grow any biggle.’
Pippilotta Victoriaria Rolling-Pin Catnip Ephraim’s-daughter Longstocking
In Astrid Lindgren’s World you and your family become part of the classic children’s stories, and the line between story and reality, and between theatre and play, becomes blurred. The park is full of imaginative play areas, and music and singing can be heard from our many stages throughout the day.
An early spring day in March 1944, Astrid fell and sprained her ankle. To pass the time, while she was resting it, she put the Pippi stories down on paper. It was going to be a present for Karin’s 10th birthday.