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Pippi Longstocking - Florence Lamborn, Nancy Seligsohn, Astrid Lindgren

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I am so torn in how to rate this book. While there were aspects that I absolutely loved, others things haven't aged well.

One thing I loved about this short, fun, whimsical book is that each chapter reads like a short story. There isn't necessarily a plot that goes all the way through and instead it chronicles some of Pippi's strange adventures. I enjoyed this aspect and it made for a nice reading experience. I could see this working well as a bedtime story, reading a chapter each night. The book doesn't have any sort of moral or lesson. It is just a fun read.

It was also refreshing to see a character like Pippi. She does whatever she wants and is heavily flawed, but in general tries her best. Yes, she lies, is "impolite" to others, and can be quite grating at times, but she is also brave, strong, and isn't afraid to go after what she wants even if it means offending people. She doesn't let bullies get in her way and show no fear when she has to step in and save the day. It's nice to see a female character who isn't so caught up in being nice all the time.

However, some things haven't aged well. With the various translations and versions removing certain racist words/scenes, it's difficult to determine what version contains what. In the version I read (which from what I understand had been updated to remove some obvious racism), there were still a lot of odd assertions about various cultures. It can be argued that at least most of these are lies and Pippi trying to tell interesting stories, but given that this is a children's book it can be very confusing. Some such assertions are how people in Egypt walk backwards and everyone in the Belgian Congo tells lies all day. The stories have the feel of much of old literature that talks about far away places, but these odd inclusions are just kind of cringey read in a modern context.

Also, the inclusion of the children playing around with and firing guns in the final chapter is certainly problematic.

So while I loved the book, there were still instances that made me pause. Overall, I thought it was good, but there are still some rather outdated things. Because of that I settled for 3 stars. Parts of the book were great, but there were still some areas that may not be a good fit for modern readers.