Literary heroines are important to our family and Brian had been reading the Pippi books out loud to the girls at the time. Kellie adored Pippi and identified with her on many levels. Pippi loved animals. She was strong, independent, and brave.
Since Brian was in graduate school and I was a stay-at-home-mom, we really needed to power up the creativity and frugality. A dress Grandma had made for Kellie worked out perfectly. I added patches from scrap fabric, found two different colored stockings and added my 90's style ankle boots-- oversized just like Pippi's. Kellie's most memorable part of the ensemble was her orange dyed and braided hair that stuck straight out of her head (with wire cut from hangers) just like Pippi's.
That smile lasted all day and night.
For MONTHS afterwards Kellie insisted HER name was Pippi and even signed it as such.
Yes, we hold a special place in our collective family heart for red-headed literary characters. Anne (with an "e") eventually topped the list, but that is another story, altogether.