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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Nicholas and the Gang
by René Goscinny
Age Range: 9-11
Nicholas, the naďve, lovable French school boy created in 1959 by René Goscinny (author of Asterix) and illustrated by world-renowned illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé is known throughout the world. The ‘Nicholas’ stories are now regarded as classics but are still as appealing today as when they were first written.
Nicholas and the Gang is the fourth book in the series. Nicholas and his friends never mean to get into trouble, but somehow they always end up in some kind of scrape. This book includes a further 16 hilarious stories about their hilarious escapades. Nicholas and his friends always find exciting things to do. Whether its Max performing conjuring tricks, Geoffrey inventing a secret code, or the gang taking part in a radio programme, they just seem to attract mayhem wherever they go.
The unique story-telling style of Goscinny, together with the charm and wit of Sempé 's wonderful pen and ink drawings that capture every nuance, is what makes them so comical and heart-warming. The ‘Nicholas’ books have been expertly translated from the original French by Anthea Bell who also translated the entire Asterix saga into English.
Constant best-sellers in France and across Europe they are regularly used as teaching materials by primary and junior school teachers in France, Germany and Spain. They provide a vivid description of French life and culture and although the humour may be fifty years old with Nicholas and his friends belonging to a more innocent and bygone era, nevertheless these stories have the ability to delight both children and adults audiences.
The other titles in the series published by Phaidon are: Nicholas Nicholas Again, Nicholas on Holiday, and Nicholas in Trouble .