Thursday, 3 May 2012


Paula Rawsthorne wonders what childhood character was for you?

I wonder what attracts us to certain fictional characters when we are kids?  Is it something about them that we identify with?  Is it because their lives seem so much more exciting than our own?    Did we want to be them or, at least, be friends with them?

As a child, the character that left me wide eyed with admiration and joy was the magnificently anarchic Pippi Longstocking.  How I loved (and still love) this super strong girl who lived with a horse, monkey and suitcase full of gold in Villekulla Cottage.  In my eyes, Pippi had it all.  She was a nine year old free spirit, outside the control of adults and society (she did try school once but was asked not to come back).  She could eat what she wanted, go where she wanted and, very importantly, go to bed when she wanted.  She never seemed damaged or upset that her father was absent and may now be a Cannibal King.  She wasn’t lonely as she had Tommy, Annika and Mr Nilsson. She wasn’t self-conscious about her unique appearance or the way she dressed and she revelled in telling the most outrageous stories with utter conviction. 

Pippi Longstocking was radical, confident, fearless, quick-witted, generous and loyal.  She loved life and made each day an adventure.  As a kid (and still now, as an adult) Pippi felt like the girl for me and I hope that Astrid Lindgren’s magnificent creation continues to entertain and inspire readers for generations to come.

So, which fictional character made the biggest impression on you during your childhood and why?


  1. Anne of Green Gables for me! I wanted to live in Green Gables and be like her.

  2. I'm attending a talk by Paula today at Derbyshire Literature Festival. I know nothing about her - except now I know that she loves Pippi Longstocking, and therefore clearly has exceptional taste and discernment. Looking forward to it :-)