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Stocking up

The Diary has a soft spot for Pippi Longstocking, the carrot-topped children's book character who has been subverting conventional ideas of childhood for half a century. Sadly, her creator, Swedish author Astrid Lindgren died in January, aged 94.

But there is good news. Publishers Raben and Sjogren confirms that a lost story "Pippi Longstocking Celebrates Christmas" has been found in Sweden's Royal Library and could be on sale next Christmas. "It is very, very short. Pippi is with three children sitting at home with no parents at Christmas. Then Pippi brings in her pet horse and monkey, a Christmas tree, presents and sweets!"

Nice - but the Diary prefers her response to the policemen who tried to get her to school. "I have got along fine without any pluttification tables for nine years," she says after picking the men off their feet using her super strength, "And I guess I'll get along without them from now on too."

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