Pippi on the Run (Pa rymmen med Pippi Langstrump) is one of the original stories about Pippi – not a retelling, or a re-retelling or a re-re-retelling. It was published in 1971. No translator is listed in the version I read.
There are two versions of this book: illustrated and with photography. I grew up with the book on the left, a very thin novel. There is also a very thick picture book with photographs by Bo-Erik Gyberg. The photographs are from the 1970 Pippi on the Run movie starring Inger Nilsson. The photograph book is the one I got through inter-library loan – not that I meant to, it just happened. I have never seen the movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed this trio as Tommy, Pippi, and Annika. Aren’t they just obnoxiously perfect? Yeah.
Reading this book was particularly fun because I grew up with the movie The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, and a lot of those “new” adventures came from this book. Or was this book based on the 1970’s Pippi on the Run movie? Or were they created at the same time? It’s hard to find out.
Whatever its inspiration, I loved The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking movie when I was growing up, but one scene always bothered me: when Pippi convinces Tommy and Annika to float down the river towards a waterfall in a barrel. Pippi always kept the kids safe until that moment. She was wild, but she wasn’t dangerous. But in that movie scene, she almost gets all three of them killed and they are saved by grown-ups! Ugh. Well, it turns out that in the book, only Pippi floats down the river and she even regrets it: “I’m really silly. [. . .] Why did I have to go and float away in that old barrel?” I feel that Pippi’s character has been cleared of guilty charges. Of course she wouldn’t do that to Tommy and Annika. I always knew it! The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking movie got it wrong!
In fact, in this book Pippi saves a kid’s life. When offered a reward, she replies, “Oh, I do things like that for free.” Yes. Pippi would never hurt anyone – especially not Tommy and Annika.
I love this scene:
The farmer was even more annoyed.
“He doesn’t like us,” Annika whispered to Pippi.
“I just don’t understand how he can help it,” said Pippi.