This time around, we just happened upon the edition illustrated by Lauren Child (at right). While the book didn't thrill the adult me - its absurdist sense of humor and child's eye view of the world just aren't my style - my daughter was enthralled. And I was captivated by the... well, the word "illustrations" doesn't do Child's work justice. She doesn't just illustrate the book but, as in her Charlie and Lola books, plays with fonts and text placement. This whimsical style works perfectly here, as when the sentence describing the ringmaster cracking his whip curves just like a whip and a birthday invitation is printed on what looks like a postcard:
Out of curiosity, I also checked out the edition illustrated by Louis S. Glanzman:
My daughter pronounced both sets of illustrations (Child's in full color and Glanzman's in black-and-white) equally good, which surprised me, as I assumed that children would prefer the color illustrations. I liked both, but I'd have to give Child the edge. Of course, it's ultimately a matter of personal taste. (The translations are different too, but I didn't have the time or patience to compare those!)
Finally, my younger daughter, who occasionally would listen to our reading, spied the illustrations and exclaimed, "This is the sister book to Charlie and Lola!" What a lovely way to put it, don't you think?
Do you or your kids like Pippi? Do you have a favorite edition? And have you read the sequels, which I vaguely remember as disappointing?