As a child, All About the Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren, better known for her Pippi Longstockings books, was one of my favourite books. I had a battered copy from the library, which I had bought in a library clearance sale, and which I read and read and read.
I still have that copy, and I am still reading and reading and reading it over the years. I read it to my girls, and now I am reading it to my boy.
I would love All About the Bullerby Children to be reprinted. I believe it is also available as the book ‘The Children of Noisy Village’, but it is not a complete series of adventures like the one I have.
The stories in the book are told from the point of view of eight year old Lisa. Lisa lives on the middle farm of three farms that make up a village in rural Sweden. Anna lives with her two brothers, Lars and Pip who are both older than her. Next door live her friends, Anna and Britta, and on the other side, her friend Ollie. Lisa narrates the stories of a year in the life of the children at the farm. The stories are simple, often only a page or two long, and there are lots of colour illustrations.
The stories are very old fashioned, even when I was a child, but much like My Naughty Little Sister, or Milly Molly Mandy, this doesn’t seem to matter. The stories hold a universal appeal, even though life is no longer like that now. Lisa tells about how she and Anna decide to run away, how Lars plays tricks on the rest of them, how Pip is too frightened to have his wobbly tooth removed and other day to day events. I think the appeal is that all the adventures are possible for a child, even now, and that the simple pleasures that made life so much fun then, still makes life fun today.
All my children enjoyed these stories, and I hope to nurse the very fragile pages of this book long enough to one day enjoy them with grandchildren. It is a firm family favourite and I wish it were more widely available.
The stories are suitable for children aged six to ten, both boys and girls, although there is a more girl centric slant to some of the stories, given that Lisa is the narrator. There are plenty of boy friendly escapades throughout the book to keep a boy amused though.