- Virginia Johnson
When Astrid Lindgren was a little girl, a friend read her stories about the giant, Bam-Bam, and the fairy, Viribunda. Astrid Lindgren loved these stories. Some part of the author never grew up and the result is the enchanting adventures of The Children of Noisy Village, Ronia, the Robber's Daughter, and, of course, Pippi Longstocking.
"I write books for the child I am myself. I write about things that are dear to me--trees and houses and nature--just to please myself."
Once when her daughter was quite ill, Astrid Lindgren told her stories about Pippi Longstocking, a most unusual child who lives all by herself in a house called Villa Villekulla. The red-headed girl with the freckled face is brave, funny, and very strong. Annika and Tommy are happy to have a new neighbor who is so different from everyone else. She does what she pleases and says what she thinks, whether she is in the center ring when the circus comes to town or trying to behave herself at a stuffy tea party. Life with Pippi is never dull! Bring on the robbers and pirates at sea!
Ronia, the robber's daughter, was born on a night when blazing lightning split the sky, smashing her robber father's fortress in two. When Ronia grew older she wanted to explore the forest beyond Matt's Fort. "Beware of the wild harpies, gray dwarfs, and Borka robbers!" Matt warns his daughter. Especially the Borka robbers-- those other thieves who take away trade from Matt's band. Ronia loves her father and believes everything he says until she meets Birk, the son of Borka. He was also born on that stormy night, and Ronia and Birk share an amazing friendship.
Astrid Lindgren lived in Sweden where she became a famous and beloved author. On her eightieth birthday, Sweden issued a series of stamps featuring characters from her books, and in 2007 another commemorative stamp sold out in two days! The West German school system declared 1987 as "official Astrid Lindgren Year." At her acceptance speech for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the author said:
"All great things that have happened in the world, happened first of all in someone's imagination, and the aspect of the world of tomorrow depends largely on the extent of the power of imagination of those who are just now learning to read. That is why children must have books, and why there must be people...who really care what kind of books are put into the children's hands."
The CRRL owns many of these enchanting adventures. Reserve one online today!
Quick facts about Astrid Lindgren:
- Born November 14, 1907
- The Astrid Lindgren Prize is given every year to a Swedish language children's author
- The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest monetary award for children's and youth literature, is given out by the Swedish government in her memory
- She has had a minor planet, 3204 Lindgren, named after her as well as a satellite.
- If you go to Sweden, you can visit her childhood home as well as an exhibit at a children's museum in Stockholm.
- In 1994, she received the Right Livelihood Award, an alternative to the Nobel Prize "...For her commitment to justice, non-violence and understanding of minorities as well as her love and caring for nature."
- Astrid Lindgren died January 28, 2002 in Stockholm, Sweden.