pippi longstocking

January 27, 2011

Nap times for the older girl has dissipated in this house. I must admit I think it is bit more difficult now that I have lost my quiet times (craft/work times). I am left with trying to figure ways to do “quieter” activities during this time when we can just relax a bit and not run a muck about the house playing and making a mess. My solution is to start reading chapter books to True (and Brave if she decides not to nap).
I bought a few Pippi Longstocking books off ebay because my girls have seen the movie and love her, so I figured this would be a fun, free spirited story to start with. I would read, then stop here and there to see if they can do any retelling, they couldn’t do too much, but you have to start somewhere right?
I am excited to be reading this book with them and it is already conjuring some activities that we can do based on the book. Pippi is such a great character, how can you not have fun reading about a girl like that?!!
Do any of you have any experience reading chapter books to pre-school age children? Is it too early? Do you have any fun reading tips? Please share as I would love to learn what you do!

45 comments on “pippi longstocking”

  • No advice for you, as I am in the same situation… My five year old and four year old really have abandoned the naps, although I do still make them stay in their room for “quiet time”-Mommy's quiet time, too!
    But I've been considering starting chapter books as well- Phantom Tollbooth, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh…
    I'll be interested to hear what others say about it!

  • I think we read Charlotte's Web together but that always makes me cry! Little House on the Prairie is good for when they are a little older. I think I read more poetry…”A Child's Calendar” by John Updike (and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman!) is one we read over and over again… just by the month. The images for each month conjured up by his words and then her illustrations gave us a lot to talk about! My parents always read Aesop's Fables to us and then we'd talk about the morals afterwards… I loved that!

  • Yes! the English teacher in me is so excited to read this! They truly do benefit from this soooo greatly! Even if they skipping over that precious nap time that is so beneficial for momma's πŸ™‚


  • liezl says:

    Yay, Pippi πŸ™‚ And yay for reading at every age! Sounds like an excellent opportunity for mommy-daughter time and conversation about the stories.

    The books that will always stay with me (and I'm convinced helped me develop my moral compass) are the ones in the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty MacDonald. Maybe most appropriate for 5-6 yrs.+ and chock full of life lessons!

  • Bethany says:

    I think the best chapter books to begin with are the ones in which each chapter has a separate story of the main characters… where it's not neccessary to remember what happened in the previous chapter in order to follow the entire story. Plus, chapter books with lots of pictures are neccessary at this point. Some to begin with are Little Bear books by Elsa Holmelund Minarik, Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel, Henry and Mudge books by Cynthia Rylant, and (my son's favorite so far) Little Pear by Eleanor Frances Lattimore. Have fun!

  • Melissa Jade says:

    I agree with Bethany. You may want to start with something like the series she mentioned- If they can walk away from each chapter having wrapped up the story- they are walking away with more and you can ask “should we read another adventure?!” It's like watching TV.

  • Renee says:

    That is so much fun when you can read to them…I miss those days…when my girls were little,they loved the shorter book The Gingerbread Man…we'd read it so much that they wanted to learn to read so they wouldn't have to wait till bed time for me to read so they learned to read at 4,so you are definitely on the right track reading to them,but you may want to point to each word as you read it,but with a chapter book your finger may get awfuly tired! πŸ˜‰

    You are so crafty,I'm expecting you to plan a pippi longstocking party now. πŸ™‚ I can see you making a doll,maybe you could make some of the foods mentioned in the book (if any).I think the girls would love to dress up as her complete with freckles. πŸ™‚ That would be too cute!I know a while back the girls put on a play,so you can have them do that to help them with comprehension b/c you can talk about what happened in the book and make them act it out with little puppets…there's so many things to do.I'm sure you can do a google search and find many ideas.Another thought,maybe you can build a fort with blankets & bring in a lamp and you all can read the book under there…I think there's a pippi story where she's at sea so you could pretend you are on a boat.

    Also,we have just learned about a cartoon character from finland called the Moomins…you can watch the cartoons on youtube…they are so cute and remind me of the cartoons from the 80's.I think your girls would like seeing it…I love it,too. πŸ™‚ Whatever you do,don't stop reading to them,you'll be amazed at what they learn and how fast so keep up the great job!Don't feel like you can only read baby books to them.


  • Renee says:

    oh,I almost forgot…don't forget to read the Amelia bedelia books…those are too funny!My girls loved those. πŸ™‚

  • julia says:

    I love Pippi! I used to watch the series when I was a kid (the Swedish “original” version, it's from the 70s I believe)… I also really like all other Astrid Lindgren characters, but Pippi is one of my favourite. And I don't have any advice since Jav is only 3 months now, but I'm reading to him already and I think being read to is always good!

  • margot says:

    pippi is perfection! also look into miss piggle wiggle! i think your little ladies will love it!

  • Jillian says:

    aw fun! i loved books as a child. i really liked 'heres pippa!' and miss piggy gets a lovenote… something like that. also a big fan of “where the sidewalk ends” and his other books. SO happy my mom saved some of my old books. xoxo jcd

  • melindakimbo says:

    too young! They probably understood the whole story but don't have the language to retell! I'm so over work…. it's 7:32 and i don't even have my make up on. boo.

  • neilandnikki says:

    hi! i have read several chapter books to my preschooler, starting when he was 3 1/2 or so. he loves them! we have read a couple of the chronicles of narnia, stuart little, a few roald dahl books…
    we usually polish off a novel in a week- he can sit and read forever!
    i bet your girls will love it!

  • Kara Faith says:

    I love this.. my little boy is getting over napping.. and this is a wonderful idea!!! Now what to read to a almost 4 year old little boy?

  • jeny says:

    This was one of my favorite books! My mom read “with me” Charlotte's Web and the Shel Silverstein books. I actually still read Shel Silverstein when I need a little pick me up! Also, I saw someone mention Roald Dahl…we read those too!

  • Meghan says:

    Hi! I'm a Kindergarten teacher, and we don't typically introduce chapter books until (maybe–depending on the group of kids, if its a young group (lots of 5 year olds), I'll wait, if there are a lot of 6 year olds I'll try it out) the very end of the year, and of course, they are read alouds (the first one I do is Ramona by Beverly Cleary). Chapter books in preschool aren't really developmentally appropriate, and usually end up being frustrating for both the reader and the child, as its hard for them to follow along (too much language, not many pictures). I would suggest various picture book on tape that *dings* when they have to turn the page. You could have a “quiet listening corner” with lots of pillows, where they would put their headphones on and read, and you could get some quiet!!!!

    When I taught second grade, Pippi was my FAVORITE read aloud!!!!!

  • UNICORN says:

    Oh i'm so jealouse! these books looks so nice! We are big Pippi fans here! Billie's father is swedish! Let me know if the girls get over them and you want to get rid of them!


  • Michele says:

    Beverly Cleary! I've read a couple of the Ramona books as well as The Mouse and the Motorcycle to my little boy–we started when he was 5. We also check out some chapter books on CD to listen to in the car.

  • jessicajane says:

    My husband called me Pippi the other day when I had my hair in pigtails, haha. Sorry, no advice from me! πŸ™‚

  • Every summer we I read “The Chocolate Touch” by Patrick Skene Catling to my kids. We eat chocolate pieces during the parts of the book where the boy does and it is SOOOooooo much fun. My kids look forward to it every year!

  • “Island of the Blue Dolphins” and “Where the Red Fern Grows” are excellent, too.

  • Erika says:

    I bought that exactly Pippi copy at a flea market this past summer, and Madeleine gobbled it up. In fact, I read it, as well, it was SO entertaining. Now we own the movie.

    A chapter book I did read to M when she was a pre-schooler is “Betsy, Tacy, and Tib.” Some of the “Betsy, Tacy” books were way over her head, but the one with Tib was just right! Enjoy!

  • Alicion says:

    I am a Pre-K teacher and I have read Pippi to my kids and they loved it and could recall their favorite details when we discussed it. We also read Charolette's Web, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Cricket in Times Square and many more. When we don't get playground breaks in the winter these are great to wind down to. We start reading chapter books with the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne, they are shorter and very entertaining.

  • Laura says:

    My daughter just turned 5, but we started reading chapter books around 4. The Milly Molly Mandy books were great for that age! Also, we have enjoyed Mr. Popper's Penguins. She LOVED Alice in Wonderland. We have read all the Pippi books. Racketty-Packetty House by the author of Secret Garden was fun. And we are just embarking on Little House on the Praire books. (The first 4 of this series are great for little ones…Big Woods, Prairie, Farmer Boy, and Plum Creek, but the rest can get sad and deal with older kid issues.) Happy reading. Can't wait to see what you discover that we can read too!

  • Well I don`t have any children so I am not so sure about my qualfication. But I do know this: I adored Pippi when I was 3 years old (and I still do). My Mum had to read me a chapter (or two) every night.

  • Miriam says:

    As already mentioned above, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle! I love that one. And Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic is so fun. And Ramona! All of these already said, but now I'm feeling like I'd like to sit down and read them myself!

  • Amy says:

    Pippi is so much fun! I am reading that to my three girls now, they are a liitle older than your girls (10, 8, and 6) and they love it, in every chapter there is something we all have to stop and giggle at.
    I think we will read some roald dahl next, and amelia bedelia.

  • suzanne says:

    Growing up, my dad (known as dado in our house) starting reading the Chronicles of Narnia to us when I was 3 or 4. The memories of these nights squished up in the recliner or snuggling in bed are some of my most valuable. I cherish the fact that my parents valued my creative mind at such a young age. Your girls will love this now, and even more as they grow. πŸ™‚

  • jane says:

    I love Mrs. Piggle Wiggle! πŸ™‚

    And you know that it is never too early to read books, even chapter books, to your kids. πŸ™‚

    Love ya!

  • megan lane says:

    i used to love pippi longstocking as a little girl! what a fun activity for you and True!

  • I love Pippi Longstockings! I read all the books when I was little!

  • CarleeKajsa says:

    i love pippi! natch…i am swedish…and went to the pippi playground in sweden – she is somewhat of a national treasure πŸ˜‰

  • tm says:

    this is either the most horrible advice i can give you or the absolute best: at some point have them watch the original 1975 version of the films. i absolutely loved them and still do! http://www.amazon.com/Pippi-Longstocking-Collection-Board-South/dp/B000A0GYC8/ref=pd_cp_d_2

    as for the books, i never saw the book on a shelf (bookstore or library) until sometime in my teens. i think they might be making a comeback.

  • Sara says:

    Hi Ruby πŸ™‚
    Could you find it on a tape so they could listen in their rooms, while you are doing “your stuff”?

    Or any other books on tape, it would definitely solicit some quiet time.

  • Laura says:

    I love Pippi SO much! Especially Pippi in the South Seas. πŸ™‚
    And you don't have to stop when they get older.
    My parents read aloud to us after dinner all the way through high school. We didn't do it as frequently (we were busy) and the level of the books changed, but we still enjoyed it.

  • Rubyellen says:

    wow! wow! you all are such a wealth of information!!! i am loving all the suggestions and ideas here! i am going to be looking back to these comments from time and time again to pick out new books and try new tricks! But I think the overall consensus is to… read, read, read!!!

  • Rubyellen says:

    renee- we love moomins! we have the books, but i didn't know they were a cartoon! we will definitely look that up on you tube! thanks a million!!!

    unicorn- there are tons on ebay for cheapity cheap! if i came across some at the thrift, i will send them your way!!!

  • My oldest is 4.5 and we've recently started reading chapter books together too. We did the first Little House book, and now we are reading the very sweet Betsy series:

    We love the the Flicka,Ricka, Dicka books too:

    We read in the evenings before I tuck her in, and she plays with my hair as I read. It makes me want to go to sleep afterwards! It's so relaxing and such a treasured time. πŸ™‚

  • I still remember my first chapter books were The Boxcar Children. those were really great for me cause I had grown up having my dad tell us stories of great adventures.

    I think it might be for when they're a little older – at least according to wikipedia: “The series is aimed at readers in grades 2-6”

    happy reading!

  • kathryn says:

    My kids share a room and are 2, 4 and 5. They remind me every night to read a chapter or two to them from the current book we're reading. I'm sure they don't understand everything but I try to explain a little as I go (and I've been surprised sometimes by what they can relate back to me). We've read Stuart Little, Farmer Boy, Little House in the Big Woods, and are now reading Little House on the Prairie. I think even just hearing the words, and the intonation and articulation must be teaching them something.

    I'm going to have to write down the books others have suggested- it's a great list!

  • oh! i think 'milly molly mandy' stories would be perfect for your girls. really sweet and old fashioned and easy to read/listen to πŸ™‚

  • Bridget says:

    looove pippi longstocking. the scene where she cleaned the house with brushes on her feet was my favorite.

  • kakikopi says:

    oooh pippi! she's a lovable character πŸ™‚

    enid blyton is good too.

  • Judit says:

    We started reading chapter books to our (now) 4 1/2 year old daughter about 3 months ago. She has become increasingly more interested in the books and now we are reading her the Moomin books. I find them to be hilarious and sweet and she doesn't seem to mind that she doesn't understand some of it. I think she just loves to hear us read to her!
    Another recommendation is Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner. Even though it's a story about a boy who makes trouble, my daughter has no trouble relating to him. He also wrote Lisa and Lottie which is a really fun book as well, but I have not been able to find it in English.
    And naturally, she loves Pippi as well!

  • Marlo says:

    I know some say preschoolers are too young for real chapter books, but I think it depends on each child. My daughter just turned four and we have been reading chapter books for a long time. Stuart Little is a great one, and it isn't really necessary for them to remember the other chapters. same with Little House books. We have been reading On the Banks of Plum Creek and my daughter LOVES it. Sometimes after snuggling on the couch to read, she will take a nap. Yea!!

    There is also a free website called librivox.com where you can listen to books read a loud. You can down load them to an ipod as well. We often do this during quiet time, then I can knit or do whatever, while she listens and does her crafting. Sometimes we listen to Anne of Green Gables, but I usually save that for after they are in bed. Betsy Tacy is good as well. I love the book Honey for a Child's Heart. The author gives a lot of info about reading a loud to children and lists of good books. Love it. Good luck with Pippi.

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