The Children of Noisy Village

Authored by Astrid Lindgren
Illustrated by Mini Grey
Published by Oxford University Press

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The Children of Noisy Village is a collection of stories written by Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi Longstocking.

The stories in the book are all about the children who live in Noisy Village and the narrator is one of the children, Lisa who is seven years old. Noisy is a very small village, only containing three houses: North Farmhouse, Middle Farmhouse and South Farmhouse. Although there are only six children in the village this doesn’t stop them getting up to lots of adventures. Each adventure is told as a separate story and through the book the readers share a year in the village starting with Lisa’s birthday and ending with sledging at Christmas time.

Although these stories are set in Sweden, the themes and relationships explored in them are universal. Cleverly, the author has created the characters so that the families in the village include Lisa and her two brothers, Olle who is an only child and a family with two sisters, Britta and Anna. This means that any child reading the stories will instantly recognise some of the family situations and can identify with some of the things that happen, whatever their own family structure. Although written in 1947, there is a timeless quality to the stories, which reminded me of the Milly, Molly, Mandy stories that I read as a child myself. The illustrations by Mini Grey also bring this version up to date and really help with the visualisation of the characters and their escapades.

I would recommend this book as a read aloud in class or on the bookshelf as children begin to read independently. Children will really enjoy getting to know the children of the village and sharing their adventures which include searching for a treasure map and getting a dog. There are also further books in The World of Astrid Lindgren series to explore if children want to read more about Noisy Village.

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