…by Wilhelm Gruber. A great first chapter book for beginning readers, it’s the story of Tim, who learns to read by looking at his sister’s school books across the table. Of course this means that he can only read if the book is upside down. Because they think he’s too little, his family don’t believe that he can read until Grandma comes to stay. Then he surprises everybody by reading the station signs perfectly, but he has to stand on his head first!
Published by NorthSouth Books, the illustrations by Marlies Rieper-Bastian show a German family and a German Bahnhof with the S for the S-Bahn, yet the station names have been changed to Bristol, Salem and Hartford. (From my experience of NorthSouth Books, that might have been an editorial decision rather than one taken by the translator.) The translation by J. Alison James is slightly odd in that it refers to “Mother” and “Dad” – presumably so did the German, but personally I’d have changed it. Otherwise though, it’s fine and pitched at just the right level for the target readership. Sadly, once again the author and illustrator gets biogs at the back but not the translator.Again I had to track down a second-hand copy, but it’s worth looking out for if you get a chance. Fils aîné found it very funny and instantly wanted to turn the book upside down to see if he could read it that way too.