Here, almost at the end of the Children of the World series, I am presented with a (relative) gem of a story. Noy Lives in Thailand is listed on Astrid Lindgren’s website (and also Wikipedia) as Noby Lives in Thailand, but the original Swedish version of 1966 was titled Noy bor i Thailand and the English version is about Noy as well, so an online typographical error seems like the most likely situation. I doubt a book about Noby ever existed – if it did, Google can’t find it.
Noy lives in rural Thailand. Finally her father lets her go with him to Bangkok to sell fruits and vegetables there. While in Bangkok, Noy wanders off and tours the city before eventually being found. It’s a simple story, but interesting and sweet. There seems to be less jumping around on the storyline. Maybe it’s just that wandering the streets of Bangkok is an easier plot to weave bits of whimsy into rather than forcing it onto the more serene landscapes of other books in this series.
Of the books in this series, this one has aged the best, perhaps. Black and white pictures are still a setback to enthralling children, but overall the story is good, the translation seems decent, and Noy as a character is fun and unobjectionable. For the Children of the World series, this is high praise.
Although he only appears on a couple of pages, Noy’s brother Tavi sums up the world in this sentence: “I like to bathe too, even though I’m not a buffalo.”