In honor of Pippi: who were your kid’s-book role models growing up? Who made you feel like you could do anything? Do you remember fat or unconventional-looking protagonists whose non-beautiful looks were portrayed in a positive (or at least neutral) light?
On the flip side, who disappointed or hurt you? There’s some discussion on Manolo for the Big Girl right now about the book Me and Fat Glenda, in which the protagonist apparently loses weight and suddenly becomes attractive. Personally I remember feeling bitterly let down by Meg Murry, who suddenly became stunningly gorgeous and shed all her endearing and identifiable teenage awkwardness. (Mad love to Madeleine L’Engle, of course, but that always struck a sour note with me.)