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Nicholas Hardcover – 23 May 2005
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'Lovable, naïve and very French, Nicholas is timeless.'
'illustrated with diabolic humour by Jean Jacques Sempé … a series of subversive stories about a little French boy which has captivated readers since the Sixties.'
'a chic and sturdily childproof new English edition, translated in ebullient vernacular by Anthea Bell'
'hilarious and timeless anecdotes that will have readers giggling.'
School Library Journal
'...Liberally endowed with Sempe's tiny, comic cartoon figures, these whimsical mini-adventures will captivate readers...'
About the Author
René Goscinny (1926-77), born in Paris, lived most of his early years in Buenos Aires and New York. He returned to France in the 1950s where he met Jean-Jacques Sempé and together they created the character of Nicholas, the famous schoolboy. He later worked with Albert Uderzo on making the adventures of Asterix the Gaul. A prolific and internationally successful children's author, he is also the creator of Lucky Luke and Dingodossiers, among others. He received Césars repeatedly for his numerous animated cartoons.
Jean-Jacques Sempé (b.1932), expelled from school for bad behaviour, enjoyed a vast range of jobs including winebroker and supervisor at children's holiday camps. His world-renowned illustrations and cartoons are featured on the covers of the New Yorker magazine and amuse the readers of Paris Match and the Figaro Littéraire on a weekly basis.
Anthea Bellwas awarded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize (USA) in 2002 for her translation of W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz. Her many works of translation from French and German (for which she has received several other awards) include the Nicholas books and, with Derek Hockridge, the entire Asterix the Gaul saga by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo.
Top customer reviews
The stories each follow a similar formula - the children cause mayhem, have a great time, and are then baffled by the despair of the adults - but never become repetitive, and they show deep understandning of childrens' (and adults') behaviour.
We are promised more, and I can't wait (it'll be "Jocky" for us here every bedtime until then!)
I think part of this comes from the fact that the stories are narrated by Nicholas, and he is often unaware of the implications of his observations. So, you actually get a very subtle deadpan view of the events through the author's tinkering with Nicholas's versions of events, (sort of like in the Kinney "Diary..." books).
It helps that this book is actually a collection of short stories. Instead of his trying to sustain a single story arc for the length of a book, what we get from the author is short pieces, that allow for a great deal of variety and change in tone, even though patterns and connections do begin to appear.
But this is all starting to sound way too complicated and over-analyzed. Suffice to say that Nicholas is a great character, and your kids will likely enjoy reading about his calamitous escapades.
My daughter is already asking for more of the books in the series.
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Most recent customer reviews
I seldom laugh aloud reading books - this one I certainly did!Read more
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