'The humour may be 50 years old, but the notion of the mischievous, confident little schoolboy is timeless. ... the British editions will deliberately be given a touch of class, as the volumes are brought out in cloth covers, on high-quality paper. ' Junior, July 2005 'with stories this charmingly innocent, funny and heart-warming, neither modern dark edginess nor literary special effects are required.' What's On In London, July 2005 'Nicholas ... is a much-needed reminder of the Entente Cordiale ...a chic and sturdily childproof new English edition, translated in ebullient vernacular by Anthea Bell ... Here is timeless, universal comedy of innocents overeating, smoking a purloined cigar, organising a football match but forgetting to bring a ball, worrying about a school report ('A rowdy and often inattentive pupil, given to fighting his friends. Could do better'), falling in love with a girl, better than merely pretty, who can kick a ball hard enough to break a window, playing truant and pretending to enjoy a boring day, and even running away from home for ever, until hungry for supper. Couldn't really do better.' Patrick Skene Catling, The Spectator, August 2005 'Nicholas didn't take me very long to get into. From the first few lines I decided this book would be enjoyable ... Each character has a strong personality, which makes the book simpler to understand. ... Nicholas comes across as humorous, energetic and loud, but kind at the same time. ... I enjoyed reading Nicholas because it is comical and witty. ... full of excitement and laughs too ... Nicholas is suitable for boys and girls and I think most 10-11-year-olds will enjoy it because I did.' Elinor Smith (aged 11), Tribune, September 2005 'Lovable, naive and very French, Nicholas is timeless.' The Guardian, August 2005 'these stories have the ability to delight both children and adults. From the moment you open the book you are in for a treat' County Times, August 2005 'The gentle humour and old-fashioned charm of the stories make for a nostalgic read which will win over young fans and have adult readers going all misty-eyed for the innocent days of childhood. This handsome, cloth-bound edition is printed on thick paper and extensively illustrated in black and white, so it has been build to last - perfect for repeated readings to small, destructive children.' Bristol Evening Post, August 2005 'Goscinny's stories about little Nicholas and his schoolfriends, first published in France in 1960, have delighted French schoolchildren in the past and will doubtless appeal to adults of a certain age. Nicholas and his friends belong to an altogether more innocent time when boys dressed up in cowboy suits or overflowing inkwells dirtied the hands of school inspectors. There is a gentle irony and nostalgic appeal, but it is the charm and wit of SempA 's drawings of tiny schoolboys and their escapades that are the real glory of the book: this benevolent satirist could capture every nuance of human behaviour.' School Librarian Journal - vol. 53 no. 4 Winter 2005 'Le petit Nicolas taught many of us French. Now the adventure of the irrepressible schoolboy are available in English. Goscinny's small boy is a flawless creation, and Sempe's illustrations are charming. What is particularly likeable about Nicholas is his cheerful inability to understand just how exasperating he can be.' London Review of Books, December 2005
Nicholas is the first of five books that bring to life the day to day adventures of a young school boy - amusing, endearing and always in trouble. An only child, Nicholas, appears older at school than he does as home and his touchingly naive reaction to situations, cut through the preconceptions of adults and result in a formidable sequence of escapades. This first book in the series contains a collection of nineteen individual stories where, in spite of trying to be good, Nicholas and his friends always seem to end up in some kind of mischief. Whether in the school room, at home, or in the playground, their exuberance often takes over and the results are calamitous - at least for their teachers and parents. Whether confusing the photographer hired to take the class picture, dealing with having to wear glasses for the first time, or trying desperately to help the teacher when the school inspector pays a visit, Nicholas always manages to make matters worse.
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