Seventy years after her first appearance on the pages of Astrid Lindgren's beloved books, the strong girl is about 'to arrive' in the U.S.. When a strong-minded, red-haired, horse-lifting, 9-year-old girl exuberantly jumped from the pages of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking in 1945 she quickly made her way into the hearts of children and adults throughout Sweden. Today, almost 70 years later, Pippi is highly appreciated by people from all over the world, and Lindgren's books are translated into more than 90 languages—from Afrikaans to Yiddish. Astrid Lindgren, All-time Honorary Certified Swede

It's about time she gets her own special display here in the U.S. On Sunday March 23, the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia opens the playful, interactive exhibition "Do you Know Pippi Longstocking?"—an exhibition sure to be a lot of fun for the whole family! The opening at 2-4 p.m. will also offer a lot of fun extra activities for kids, such as craft making and storytelling.

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Life-sized tableaus of Ingrid Vang Nyman’s lively and timeless illustrations of Pippi’s world set the scene for creative play. Kids can play in Pippi’s home, Villa Villekulla, and experiment with one of Pippi’s favorite activities: cooking in her kitchen. Or kids can try their strength by lifting Pippi’s horse, explore “thing-finding” in Pippi’s cabinet of treasures, or scrub-a-dub-dub the floor with sponges on their shoes.
Visitors will also discover how Astrid Lindgren influenced Swedish attitudes toward childhood, what childhood in Sweden looks like today and how Pippi may, or may not, embody Swedishness. (Does she?)

Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) once said she wrote for her own inner child when she invented Pippi, which probably speaks to her success. Come let your own inner child out at the opening on March 23!
Astrid Lindgren spent her childhood on Näs Farm near Vimmerby, a town in southern Sweden. As a child, she was a master of inventing wonderful games to keep her and her siblings entertained, many of which made their way into her books.
But what makes Pippi so special? In 1945, virtually no one had read a children’s book like this one. With Pippi, Lindgren departs from other authors’ depictions of the “ideal” child. Pippi is a smart and capable girl who acts out a fantastical freedom that every child dreams of, following no one’s rule but her own. Pippi decides how many cookies to bake, what adventures to embark on and what time to go to bed. She can braid her hair while buttoning her shirt, lift a horse above her head with one hand and find treasure everywhere she looks.
With her special brand of exuberance, it was not long before Pippi Longstocking was captivating readers of all ages with her adventurous nature, generous spirit and self-assured independence. Pippi became a symbol of freedom, especially in post-WWII Europe, which was then emerging from the crushing influence of authoritarian Germany.
Another aspect of Pippi’s success can undeniably be attributed to Ingrid Vang Nyman, the talented artist whose whimsical and lively illustrations perfectly captured the essence of Lindgren’s stories.

By Carrie Hogan/Lotta Nordin

The "Do you know Pippi Longstocking?" exhibition (and opening on March 23) is included in the museum's general admission: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for ages 5-11, and free for children under 5. The exhibition is also FREE for members of the American Swedish Historical Museum. Read more at www.americanswedish.org or at www.facebook.com/americanswedish.

(If you also want to attend Waffle Day, which is occuring at the museum on the same date at 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the cost is $10 for adults, $6 for ages 2-12, and free for kids under 2; general admission and the opening is included—as are waffles).

This exhibition is made possible by generous gifts from Ulla Dagert and Paul Muther, SWEA Philadelphia, Kuehlthau Family Foundation, SWEA New Jersey, Swedish Council of America, Marianne Baeckstrom, and IKEA Conshohocken.

The American Swedish Historical Museum is also grateful to the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, George C. and Esther Ann McFarland Foundation, Auxiliary, Midsommarklubben, Philadelphia Cultural Fund and an anonymous foundation for their generous support.