The book The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren is very popular in Germany, and in my case, it’s a very good example how the taste of a person can change with age. Normally, Astrid Lindgren is one of my favorite authors. I loved her stories of Emil from Lönneberga (who is called Michel in Germany), “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter”, “The Brothers Lionheart” and “Mio, My Son” and read them over and over again to this day.
About the book:
“The Children of Noisy Village” insists that there is no place as wonderful as Bullabü, the village where six extraordinary children live. It only consists of three farms, but the six children, Lisa, Bosse, Lasse, Inga, Britta, Ole and little Kerstin, enjoy playing in the freedom and peace of the Swedish countryside. The build huts, go searching for treasures or sleep in the barn. During summer, they catch crabs in the lake, and in winter, they skate over the ice.
When I was ten, I found these stories terribly boring. It didn’t (yet) see the lovely use of the language, and the kids’ adventures paled in comparison to what my brothers and I came up with every day. We became captains on the seven seas, robbers in the darkest forest, kobolds, elves, princesses, wild rider hordes, journalists and much more that our imagination handed to us. I can’t remember a singe day when we were truly bored – although we did pretend a couple of times to annoy our parents. 😉
Hey, and we didn’t even have computers (our first one was a C64 with a Datasette, very similar to a cassette but for storing data, we had to copy programs and games by typing the code), mobiles, game stations or MP3-players in my childhood. TV just began using color, and films for children were few and only available in the afternoons. We often missed them because we were too busy playing. If you think you can survive without your technical gadgets, try it for a few days. It takes some getting used to, to get the rusty imagination running again. But then, pine cones become humans, low hanging branches turn into roofs, empty plastic containers are bowls for food, and twigs the necessary cutlery. By the way, swings made of old car tires are wonderful for daydreaming.
I think the descriptions of my nearly perfect childhood (thank you, Mom, Dad) makes it clear, why I didn’t much care for “The Children of Noisy Village” as a child. Out of love for the author, I reread it when I was much older. Low and behold, I loved its ingenuity. I realized how wonderful and magical my own childhood has been. I understood that Astrid Lindgren had written this book for all those children who didn’t have a forest outside their bedroom window and who couldn’t flee into imaginary worlds on their own. Yes, I realized that the same ideals she depicts in this book are the main reason for my fascination with her other books. You could say that the book I liked least influenced my reading and writing the most. What about you? Have you been influenced by a book? Or is there a book that you like a lot better or a lot less than your favorites? Tell me about them in the comments.