In France and Germany practically every child of seven and upwards knows the adventures of Nicholas. Written by the author of Asterix, René Goscinny, and with illustrations by New Yorkerillustrator, Jean-Jacques Sempé, the five Nicholasbooks tell of the endearing exploits of the young French school boy and his chums. Available in twenty six languages and established as a literary cult figure, the sublimely innocent Nicholas has seduced millions of readers all over the world. Considered a classic and regularly used by primary and junior school teachers, these stories have the ability to delight both children and adults. Nicholasis the first of five titles to become available to English speaking children all over the world
In some way similar to the cheekiness of Calvin and Hobbes and the innocence and naiveté of characters created by the Italian film maker Roberto Benigni, Goscinny and Sempé have created a world of confusion that makes you chuckle out load. Written between 1959 and 1965 these classic books are continually reprinted around the globe and offer, not only an entertaining read, but a vivid description of French life and culture
Rene 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 Sempe 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 Cesars repeatedly for his numerous animated cartoons. Jean-Jacques Sempe (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 Litteraire 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 Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo.