Rasmus and the Vagabond

Our rating: ****

Rasmus is tired of living at the orphanage. Everybody who comes to adopt an orphan always picks a girl with curly hair. Nobody wants a boy with straight hair. One day, Rasmus decides to take matters into his own hands and sets out to find a family who wants him. The very next morning, Rasmus meets up with a tramp named Oscar who seems very friendly. Oscar says that he will help Rasmus find a home, but the two new friends run into trouble when Oscar is suspected for a crime he did not commit.

Probably the biggest thing I didn’t like about this book was Oscar’s disrespect for policemen because he is tired of them assuming that “tramp” equals “badguy.” That’s all well and good, but Oscar doesn’t even try to be nice to the policemen, which would help to clear the “tramps are bad” mindset. Another interesting item to note is that, unlike other books by Lindgren, Rasmus and the Vagabond is not a humorous story. The ending is somewhat predictable, but this is still a good quick read for days when you don’t have time for a long story.

Pippi Longstocking

Our rating: ***½

Pippi Longstocking lives all alone in Villa Villekulla in a little village in Sweden. When the neighbor children, Tommy and Annika, come over to play, they discover that Pippi is no ordinary little girl. Pippi has a different, crazy way of doing many common things, making every chapter a laughter-filled delight as Pippi becomes a thing-finder, goes to school, and has other adventures.

I really can’t say much about Pippi Longstocking that hasn’t been said. The book, originally written in Swedish, has been around for longer than I have and is a favorite of children everywhere. This book serves as an introduction to the mischievous, big-hearted Pippi, paving the way for the, in my opinion, better sequels. But the first volume is still fun and worth reading.