Title: Happy Times in Noisy Village
Author: Astrid Lindgren
Series: Sequel to The Children of Noisy Village
Major Themes: Childhood, Sweden, Farm Life
Synopsis: Six children who live in three houses next to each other have many adventures as they experience life together on their family’s farms in Norway.
Some books are just plain fun to read. When it was time for my seven-year-old daughter to choose a new read-aloud a few weeks ago, she chose Happy Times in Noisy Village. We had read Pippi Longstocking sometime before this, and she was happy to find another book by the same author. While Pippi is a fun but nonsensical book in a lot of ways, the Noisy Village books are very realistic. They just tell about life as it was really experienced by children in a small village in Sweden.
Three houses make up Noisy Village. There are six school-age children who live in these three houses, and their lives are full of fun and laughter. The children do everything together, from walking several miles to school each day during the school terms to picking strawberries and pulling out each other’s teeth. There is a lot of competition between the three boys and the three girls, each group trying to prove that they’re better than the others. The story about the Chest of the Wizards had us really laughing.
This book is narrated by one of the girls, Lisa. She tells about many adventures the children had. I think one of the funniest stories in this book was when she and one of the other girls decided to be baby nurses and care for their infant cousin for a day. The misadventures they had made for a very funny story.
Happy Times in Noisy Village is an absolutely delightful glimpse at the life of children on a small farm in Norway before the advent of modern technology. There were cars, but most of the farm work seemed to be done by hand still. Children had a lot of freedom to roam around and do what they wanted to. They behaved well, except for the occasional practical joke on each other or their teacher. That one backfired on them, though. For children who love simple, gentle stories, the Noisy Village books would be perfect. I think all of my children enjoyed these stories very much.
WARNING: In chapter 6, the boys pretend to be wizards. In chapter 11, on page 82 one boy says “Gee.”
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12