November 14 – Happy Birthday, Astrid Lindgren

Posted November 14, 2013

As so many good stories do, it all started with a sick child in bed begging her parent for a story. Nine-year-old Karin wanted a story to distract her—and, boy, did her mom come up with a great story!

I picture Karin Lindgren saying (in Swedish) something like, “Tell me a story.” That's what most sick kids would say. But Karin didn't say that; instead, she made up a super cool name and asked (in Swedish), “Tell me a story about Pippi Longstocking.”

And Karin's mom, author Astrid Lindgren, did not ask what so many parents would've asked: “Who's Pippi Longstocking? I've never heard of such a creature!” Instead, she allowed the name to inspire a quirky character and an exciting story.

Meet Pippi!

Pippi Longstocking is a super strong girl who can lift her horse over her head! She is assertive and adventurous, and since her father is a buccaneer captain, she has had a lot of adventures to tell! Pippi likes to pull tricks on any pompous grown up she has the misfortune to meet—and she always gets the best of them!

Meet Astrid!

Lindgren at age 20.
Born on this date in 1907, Astrid Lindgren is one of the most widely translated authors in the world. Lindgren appears on Swedish money, and her most famous character, Pippi, has appeared on postage stamps in Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland. Today there is an Astrid Lindgren prize awarded to a Swedish language children's author (as there is every year in honor of Lindgren's birthday). One of the coolest honors Lindgren has is “Asteroid Lindgren.” Because her first name is “Astrid,” which sounds a lot like “Asteroid,” a minor planet discovered by a Soviet astronomer in 1978 is called “Asteroid Lindgren.” The author joked that maybe she, too, should be called “Asteroid Lindgren” from then on.

By the way, the Pippi books are just a few of the many, many books that Lindgren wrote. And she wrote a lot of screenplays, too!

Lindgren a bit older (!) - and, yes, she IS
sticking her tongue out at us. Being silly...
There are lots of versions of Pippi's stories on videoin all sorts of languages, too! Here is one.

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