Little People, Big Dreams: Astrid Lindgren; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Linzie Hunter
From reading stories in the library, to telling stories to her parents and her own children, to writing stories for the world to hear. Astrid Lindgren’s journey is a wonderful story and her books featuring the ‘remarkable’ Pippi Longstocking are adored by readers around the world.
Astrid loved being a child, in fact she loved it so much that she wanted to stay a child forever. She would spend her days playing on the family farm exploring the forests and fields and simply enjoying life amongst the wildlife and nature. At aged four, Astrid was introduced to something life-changing… a book, and inside it was the most wonderful of things…a story. Astrid’s life would change dramatically as soon as the first page was turned and she was shown a world of witches, giants and fairies. Books to Astrid were magical and she had soon read every book in the library. It was this love for books and stories coupled with Astrid’s wonderful imagination that would soon see the birth of her most famous ‘child’.
Amazingly, it wasn’t Astrid that came up with the character Pippi Longstocking. Astrid’s daughter Karin had clearly inherited her mother’s creativity and imagination and one night she requested her mother to tell her a story about a character that she had made up…that character was Pippi Longstocking.
Astrid loved sharing the stories of Pippi - a quite remarkable girl - with Karin and her friends. Eventually the stories of Pippi Longstocking would be put down on paper and the world would be introduced to a heroine that would capture the hearts of readers both young and old. The stories of Pippi Longstocking are as popular today as they have ever been and are a part of many children’s childhoods
What I really like about this book is that it includes parts of Astrid’s life that I was unaware of. She became a single mother at nineteen and was a bit of a rebel growing-up - it is great that these aspects of her life are included and are simply told matter-of-factly with no judgement passed.
Astrid was one of the most important and influential figures in the writing of children’s books. Her work has been honoured with many important awards and a Russian astronomer thought that her writing was out of this world and named a planet after her!
Delightfully illustrated with bright and bold artwork and with a story told in short and simple sentences, Astrid’s story is a wonderful read about one little girl’s big imagination. The pages are filled with the wonder and joy that is found in creating stories. At the back of the the book there is a short overview of her life which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
Astrid was a female Peter Pan - she never wanted to grow-up. Childhood to her was a thing of beauty and she is a great lesson to all young readers to enjoy life whilst they are young and to never be in a rush to become an adult.
Recommended for 5+.