Astrid Lindgren, creator of Pippi Longstocking
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The best-selling author of How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell, explains her love for the Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren. Born in 1907, Lindgren invented the Pippi Longstocking stories to tell to her children during the war years, only writing them down for a publisher years later. Following the immense success of Pippi, Astrid Lindgren went on to write Emil of Lonneberga, Children of Noisy Village and the fantasy novels Mio, my son; Ronia the Robber's Daughter; and The Brother's Lionheart. But it was Pippi who brought her fame and fortune. She was a particular hit in post-war Germany, where it is claimed the stories helped de-nazify the Hitler youth. In the 70s and 80s Lindgren began campaigning on child, environmental and animal rights, influencing Swedish government policy and becoming known as the 'Grandmother of all Sweden'. She is still very much adored there today. Cressida Cowell is a recent children's laureate. Also joining the discussion is Johan Palmberg, Lindgren's great grandson, who recalls. "She had this understanding of what a child might be interested in ... she would be the first one to climb the trees and have the children follow her up" Produced in Bristol by Ellie Richold Image courtesy of Jacob Forsell
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