Pippi Goes on Board (Pippi Lanstrump gar ombord, 1946) takes us deeper into the adventures of Pippilotta Delicatessa Windshade Mackrelmint Efraim’s Daughter Longstocking.
Pippi passes her time by doing incredible things like buying seventy-two pounds of candy and distributing it to the children of town, writing herself a letter, crashing the school picnic, causing all kinds of trouble at the fair, and meeting up with her long-lost father who is now a cannibal king. But my favorite story is when Pippi arranges for Tommy and Annika to get shipwrecked with her after they jealously heard about her experiences being shipwrecked. The shipwrecked chapter may just be my favorite Pippi story of all so far. Who wouldn’t want to be shipwrecked Pippi-style? The description of Annika falling asleep with her mouth full of chocolate, Tommy almost caring that they didn’t brush their teeth, sums it all up.
Throughout the book, Pippi expresses her love through food – the tree that grows soda (and chocolate on Thursdays), keeping Tommy and Annika well-fed while shipwrecked, the feast before she goes on board . . . She loves Tommy, Annika, and Villa Villekulla very much. And she has been the excitement they have needed for so long. When faced with the possibility of losing their friend forever, Tommy and Annika’s world is turned upside down. Lindgren perfectly captures the feelings that they are going through: happiness that Pippi is about to become a princess and be reunited with her father, but utter devastation to their summer plans and future happiness.
My favorite scene takes place when Pippi is watching a play at the fair starring Countess Aurora: “Is there anyone as unhappy as I? My children taken away from me, my husband disappeared, and I myself surrounded by villains and bandits who want to kill me.”
“Oh how terrible it is to hear this,” said Pippi, whose eyes were getting red.
“I wish I were dead already,” said the Countess Aurora.
Pippi burst out crying. “Please don’t talk like that!” she sniffed. “Things will be brighter for you. The children will find their way home, and you can always get another husband. There are so many me-e-en,” she gasped between her sobs.