It's the oddest of all odd things, when two girls who have never met before suddenly stand before each other at summer camp - and discover that they're the spitting image of each other. Louise is from Vienna and has long, curly locks; Lottie is from Munich and wears her hair in two severe plaits - but that's truly the only difference between them. Louise and Lottie decide to discover the secret behind their similarity: when the holiday is over, Louise returns to Munich as Lottie, and Lottie to Vienna as Louise.
There are so many books where it's the combination of author and illustrator that makes you love them. In the case of The Flying Classroom and The Parent Trap... it's the combo of author, illustrator and translator. The bold line drawings by Walter Trier are the work of genius... As for the stories, if you're a fan of Emil and the Detectives, then you'll find these just as spirited -- Melanie McDonagh, 'Children's Books of the Year' Spectator The classic story... is famous as a film. Here, in this beautifully produced edition, Erich Kastner's original is incomparably more subtle and touching while still being very funny... A wonderful story brilliantly translated by Anthea Bell -- Julia Eccleshare, Books of the Year Lovereading4kids Walter Trier's deceptively innocent drawings are as classic as Kastner's words; I never tire of them -- Quentin Blake A treasure-trove of childhood reading Huffington Post Gorgeous Books Are My Bag (On both The Parent Trap and The Flying Classroom) I enjoyed every word of both, before reluctantly passing them onto my grandson. They explore childhood with wit and invention while spinning magical yarns interwoven with the erratic and bizarre actions of adults and the independent-mindedness of children -- Amanda Hopkinson PEN Atlas Books of the Year
Erich Kastner, writer, poet and journalist, was born in Dresden in 1899. His first children's book, Emil and the Detectives, was published in 1929 and has since sold millions of copies around the world and been translated into around 60 languages. After the Nazis took power in Germany, Kastner's books were burnt and he was excluded from the writers' guild. He won many awards, including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1960. He died in 1974.