Meet Pippi Longstocking
Pippi Longstocking and the Snirkle Hunt
Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Ingrid Vang Nyman
Oxford University Press
2020 sees the 75th anniversary of the publication of the first Pippi Longstocking book and as part of the celebrations OUP is releasing six new early reader, illustrated editions with Ingrid Vang Nymans’s illustrations rendered in two colours in each book, using adaptations of the original text by Astrid Lindgren.
The first two are Meet Pippi Longstocking, which introduces youngsters to the inimitable Pippi and her world and that in which Pippi invents the wonderful-sounding word “snirkle’ the meaning of which she tells her friends Tommy and Annika, she has no idea except that it’s not dustbin lid. Thus we have the second title, Pippi Longstocking and the Snirkle Hunt.
Clearly Pippi needs to discover what this brand new word of hers means and that’s exactly what, after a few moments of contemplation she sets out to do.
It proves not to be the sound made when you trample in mud making it come up between your toes: that she decides is SHBLURP and heads off, gold coin in hand, riding her horse Mr Nillson, to the shops with her friends, to see if it’s something that can be bought.
Several unsuccessful shop visits later,
she heads to the doctor’s but that yields nothing helpful.
Nor does the intrusion she makes upon two ladies sitting chatting over a cuppa up in a flat.
Will the determined young miss ever solve her snirkle conundrum? Perhaps it’s closer to home than she thinks …
For the adult me, nine year old Pippi, with her mismatched stockings, carroty-coloured hair and freckles, has lost none of the allure she had in my childhood – an unstoppable self-belief, determination, resilience and kindness and lots of terrific adventures.
I can’t wait to introduce her, through these smashing little books to a new generation of young readers. Long live Pippi!