Pippi Longstocking is a lot of things. She plays with sparklers, she plays with guns, she resists arrest, flaunts her supernatural power, manhandles bothersome adults, insults them and disregards them as silly. She's self-important, arrogant, callous, rude, undignified, and absolutely perfect.
Maybe the former LEADS to the latter, because I can't think of any other way she could be all of those things so perfectly. Pippi is the kind of character who, although she seems so terribly foolish, is somehow always right. Pippi is, in that respect, to elementary school children what Superman is to the people of metropolis. She so totally represents everything they hold dear that she can't help but become their champion, despite, or perhaps because of the fact that she's a universal "bad girl."
This book contains every one of her "popularly-recognized" adventures, with new illustrations by some fellow who's really good at drawing pictures of Pippi and her friends. The pictures are slick and cartoon-like in keeping with the sometimes-wacky-but-always-credible-somehow escapades of the girl wonder. Pippi owns an old, run-down villa and a horse and monkey. She keeps her horse on the porch, and her monkey on her shoulder when she goes for a walk. But the strangest thing in the house is Pippi herself, whose resources consist of a seemingly endless supply of gold, a vast collection of rare trinkets, and an endless supply of youthful energy and superhuman strength, probably equal to the task of lifting a small steamroller. She also possesses great durability and the seeming ability to leap great distances with enormous speed. Her skills in seemingly all tests of acrobatics and hand-eye coordination are top-knotch. In short, she was a self-insertion character before there was such a thing.
However, with Pippi, it works, because rather than pretend that she's up against some terrible foe or trying to add tension to the story, Pippi lives her life almost strictly for the humor and fun of it. Anything that keeps people from having fun is something Pippi will generally try to plow right through.
Pippi has the ultimate secret. She knows how to have fun, and if wisdom comes from the mouths of babes, than Pippi is indeed, faults and all, the wisest person who has ever lived.
As a closing note, I'm probably not the only person who hopes that Pippi's "Chililug" pills are real immortality medication, because that would mean that she is still around, and still having fun somewhere.