Pioneer of children’s rights and famous author Astrid Lindgren


What comes to mind when you hear the name Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking? Endless pages of a children’s book that brought true magic and curiosity into our childhoods. Many of us remember eagerly turning page after page along with her monkey, Mr. Nilsson.

Do you remember which author stands behind the character of this nine-year-old girl with a unique appearance and unconventional behaviour? It was Astrid Lindgren herself who brought this beloved book into our libraries. At first glance, she may seem like just an ordinary writer, but the truth is quite the opposite.

Who was Astrid Lindgren?

She was born in 1907 on a farm in Sweden but spent nearly her entire life in the capital city of Stockholm. After an unfortunate romance that resulted in pregnancy, she gave birth to her first son in Copenhagen. Due to financial difficulties, she had to give him up for foster care. However, a few years later, when her life situation improved, she could finally take him back.

After this unsuccessful romance, she later on got married, and two years into her marriage, she and her husband had a child. Their daughter, Karin, became the main inspiration for Astrid’s work.

“I write to entertain children, and I want to amuse the child within me, too.”



Pippi Longstocking

In 1941, Astrid decided to write a book about a curious girl who thrives to discover our world. Astrid did it specifically for her daughter, who was ill at the time, to entertain her. While writing, she looked at the story through children’s eyes, and the character’s nature thus resonated with hundreds of thousands of young readers who got a chance to read the book.

Pippi wasn’t afraid to be different. She slept with her feet on the pillow and her head under the covers. Astrid showed that doing things differently, in one’s own way, doesn’t mean doing them wrong. Even though Pippi was just a nine-year-old girl, she had such strength that she could even lift a horse.

She was successful

The book was translated into more than 60 languages from its first edition and continues to enjoy immense popularity to this day. Astrid received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, considered the highest possible honor for authors of children’s books.



The stories of Pippi Longstocking have been adapted into numerous films, television series, and theatrical plays. The most famous is the Swedish television adaptation from 1969-1973, where the main character was played by Inger Nilsson.

“Life is something you have to take care of. Don’t you realize that?”

Astrid was a rebel

As she herself often stated, Astrid didn’t want to bend to rebellion. In her works, she broke societal standards, creating a new image of independence. Even Pippi herself was a feminist. Astrid hid everything that couldn’t be openly discussed between the lines.



Pioneer of rights

Astrid actively fought for children’s and minority rights. She respected diversity and  physical punishment of children, which was common at the time. She believed that every child has the right to feel loved, protected, and safe. For her efforts, she received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993.

Growing up on a farm gave Astrid a close connection to animals. Thanks to her efforts, she managed to change the farming system in Sweden, pushing the country to one of the most progressive positions in agriculture at that time. Because of her, animals suffered less and lived in more humane conditions.

What a throwback

Do you remember how did the famous story start?

“On the outskirts of a tiny little town was a neglected garden. In the garden stood an old house, and in that house lived Pippi Longstocking. She was nine years old, and she lived there all alone. She had no mother or father, which was actually quite nice, because it meant that no one could tell her that she had to go to bed just when she was having the most fun. And no one could make her take cod liver oil when she would rather eat sweets.”

“I am frecklier and more beautiful than ever. If it carries on like this I’ll be downright irresistible.” – Pippi Longstocking 

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