Peppy Longstocking

(book review)

More than anything else, Astrid Lindgren loved to read and climb trees. About seventy years old, climbing onto another tree, she assured others that there was no law prohibiting old women from doing this. But she never became an old woman and always remained a very mischievous girl, the same as her heroine, whom she, of course, deducted from herself.

That is why Peppy in the book deals with completely unimaginable things –  for example, she raises a horse. But this is a fairy tale, you say, this does not happen in life. Well, in life, everything is much more interesting. Once the tax of Lindgren accrued to102% of her profit. The writer did not go to court in an attempt to prove the mistake of the authorities, but simply wrote a fairy tale about Pomperipossa from Monismania and sent it to the newspaper. The issue of the newspaper scattered like hotcakes, and the Social Democratic Party of Sweden, which had been in power for 40 years, lost in the next parliamentary elections, which happened shortly after the publication of the newspaper. Do you still believe that fairy tales are children’s fun? But if the Swedish Social Democrats had carefully read this book, they would have known that one should not get involved with stinging girls.

The next Prime Minister of Sweden was smarter, and when Lindgren joined the animal protection company, he immediately came to her home. “What kind of young people are there,” the writer asked him. “These are my bodyguards,” the Prime Minister replied. “Pretty reasonable of you,” Lindgren, 78, told him, “you never know what to expect from me when I’m in such a mood!”

For a long time Peppy became the same headache for parents as her author for the Swedish government. After all, she did not want to recognize the generally accepted rules of behavior. She did not really want to study, and at the same time, it was impossible to resist her charm. For thirty-five years of her life – that is how much Lindgren wrote books about her heroine, Peppy did not change at all, did not become a respectable adult woman and remained a mischievous girl who knew how to be friends and to stand her ground against injustice. It is not for nothing that the Swedish commission for children’s literature for a very long time considered the book incorrect and non-pedagogical — well, what children could learn from such a heroine, but Peppy certainly won — because she always paid as little attention to adult troubles as her author. Once, one of the minor planets was named after Lindgren. “Call me Asteroid Lindgren now,” the grateful writer commented on this event.

In fact, you can learn a lot from the heroine – at least the ability to never remain indifferent to someone else’s misfortune. And as for the age for which this book is intended, if you are still looking at the trees with interest, thinking about the most convenient way of their climbing, then you are entering its readership. Indeed, since the book was first printed, her character has not changed at all –  it is still unknown what to expect from her at the next moment.

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