It's not actually Pippi's birthday today (November 14), it's Astrid Lindgren's. It would have been her 100th. In honor of her centennial, the House of Sweden in Washington, DC is hosting a series of events and exhibits with the theme Children First! I took the kids (Leo, age 7, and Milly, age 3) last weekend, and we spent an hour or so in the Reading Room alone, looking at all the Swedish children's books (from Elsa Beskow and Sybille von Olfers to Lindgren and new favorites Lena and Olof Landstrom, as well as many others: I'll be writing about some of them here). The Reading Room is a cheerful, colorful place to spend a rainy afternoon: besides the books, which are reason enough to visit, there are toys, games, and lots of bright red cushions to curl up on. Or jump in. I'm sure Pippi (and Astrid) would approve.