There are some people who give joy not only during their time on this earth but who continue to spread it after they have moved on. One of them is Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002), whose birthday is today, and whose fruitful 94 years brought forth so many literary offspring. Her best-known heroine, Pippi Longstocking, was an icon of my childhood, and then of my children’s, and she will undoubtedly bring smiles to the faces of my grandchildren, if I am someday fortunate enough to have them. But we also love Lindgren’s other books, including stories of the rambunctious Emil and Lotta, and Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, and especially the lively, funny and cozy Children of Noisy Village, which lets us pretend for a while that we are living in small-town Sweden.
I post this sketch of my own active little “Pippi” in honor of the day. Happy, happy birthday, and many thanks, Astrid Lindgren. I hope the afterlife resembles Noisy Village.