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75 years since the first Pippi book was published

At the end of November 1945, just in time for the Christmas shopping, it came out in the Swedish bookstores – Astrid Lindgren’s story about Pippi Longstocking that led to a revolution in the nursery. In the ruins after the Second World War, the meeting with Pippi became for many a redemptive experience, a fresh breath. The view of children and upbringing was already about to change and Pippi was well in tune with the spirit of the times. The book sold 21,000 copies in just two weeks and before the end of the 1940s, the number was up to 300,000 Pippi books sold.

Digital 75th anniversary celebration

Pippi’s birthday is usually celebrated on May 21, as it is Astrid Lindgren’s daughter Karin’s birthday. Karin was the one who invented the name Pippi Longstocking and for several years Astrid invented stories about Pippi for Karin and her friends. For her tenth birthday, Karin received the written down stories about Pippi as a gift.

This year, the celebration was mostly digital. The new Villa Villekulla at Astrid Lindgren’s World was only allowed to be open for ten days, the big party at Skansen was canceled and theater performances such as Björn Ulvaeus’ production Pippi at Cirkus and countless other events around the world have been postponed or canceled. But there is a great deal of commitment around the anniversary and Astrid Lindgren Aktiebolag receives daily inquiries about alternative celebrations.

Pippi of Today

Now around the anniversary of the actual release day, Astrid Lindgren Aktiebolag would like to remind you of our campaign in favor of Save the Children’s work for girls on the run, Pippi of Today. Today, millions of girls are forced to leave their homes. Their already uncertain existence has now been greatly exacerbated by the corona crisis. The risks have increased, as have the girls’ need for support. The campaign period has been extended to include 2021 as well.

FACTS

Pippi in numbers

  • About 70 million books sold worldwide
  • Translated into 77 languages
  • The three original books are Pippi Longstocking (1945), Pippi Longstocking goes on board (1946) and Pippi Longstocking in the South Seas (1948)

What date did the book come out?

Astrid Lindgren writes in her diary on November 20, 1945: “And so I have received the first prize for” Pippi Longstocking “, which will come out any day.”

On November 25, she writes: “And yesterday I went into a bookstore and bought myself a copy of” Pippi Longstocking “, the damn funny book, which probably would never have come about, if I had not twisted my foot in the spring and winter of 1944. It might have not done that much of course! ”

The book should therefore have arrived at the bookstore on November 24, possibly one or a couple of days earlier.

The story and sources of inspiration behind Pippi's creation

One evening, Astrid’s daughter Karin said “Tell me about Pippi Longstocking” and at the same time invented what would become one of the world’s most well – known children’s book characters.

Pippi on film

The books about Pippi have become feature films, TV series and animated series. The most popular are Olle Hellbom’s film adaptations from 1969-70 with Inger Nilsson as Pippi. In 2019 it was announced that there will be a new international production, producer is David Heyman (Paddington and Harry Potter films).

Tribute book

Pippiperspektiv (Pippi perspective) is an anniversary book (2020) where famous writers and cartoonists in word and picture present their picture of Pippi Longstocking. Even photos and a lot of curiosities about Pippi can be found in this lavish anniversary book.

Among the participants are Susanna Alakoski, Jens Andersen, Kitty Crowther, Jan Eliasson, Tarja Halonen, Agnes Lidbeck, Inger Nilsson, Suzanne Osten, Roland Paulsen, Pipilotti Rist, Meg Rosoff, Alicia Vikander, Björn Ulvaeus and many more!

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