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January 25, 2011

The Joys of German Literature

One of my favorite things to do with Jacob is reading picture books in German.  For some reason I still haven’t figured out, I simply love the German language.  My vocabulary isn’t quite where it was in college—i.e. I was giving Jacob a bath in German the other night and couldn’t remember the word for “toes”—but I can pretty much handle children’s literature.

Thankfully, our local library has a small, but seemingly endless supply of German children’s books.  I keep expecting to walk up to the shelf and only see the books I’ve already read, but I’ve been four or five times now, and there’s always something new!  Yesterday, I found this, Max und der Schnuller by Barbro Lindgren, illustrated by Eva Erikson (and apparently translated from Swedish by Angelika Kutsch):

For full disclosure, initially I thought “Schnuller” meant “goose.”  Once I started reading I learned that 1) “Schnuller” means “pacifier” and 2) That’s a duck.

I know you’re not all German speakers out there, and I imagine very few of you have access to this book.  If I may, then, I’ll provide a quick translation/paraphrase of the book:

See Max.

See the pacifier.

The pacifier tastes good.

Max goes outside.

The dog wants the pacifier.  He doesn’t get it.

The cat wants the pacifier.  She doesn’t get it.

Max wants the pacifier.

Here comes the duck.

The duck snatches the pacifier.

Dumb duck.

Max clobbers the duck.

The duck drops the pacifier.

Max takes the pacifier.

The duck is angry.

Max is happy.


Seriously, it ends with “haha.”

Finally—this is what four years of college German were preparing me for.  It was soooo worth it.

  1. So great. I want to end a book with “ha ha!”

    Wonderful that you are giving Jacob the gift of another language, Lindsay.

  2. Mary Pierce says:

    Haha! I love it. What a great idea to teach your son a language this way. Wish I would have thought of that when my son was young (he’s 22 now). Also wish we would have had access to this book!!

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