Jean-Jacques Sempe (b.1932) is one of the world's most successful illustrators and cartoonists. He is the illustrator of the classic children's-book character, Nicholas, and author of a collection of some thirty albums of his cartoons and graphic novels, all published or to be published by Phaidon. His world-renowned illustrations and cartoons are featured on the cover of the New Yorker and in Paris Match. Rene Goscinny (1926 - 1977) is the world-famous writer and creator, along with Albert Uderzo, of the adventures of Asterix the Gaul. Born in Paris, Goscinny lived in Buenos Aires and New York before returning to France in the 1950s where he met Jean-Jacques Sempe. They collaborated on picture strips and then stories about Nicholas, the popular French schoolboy. An internationally successful children's author who also won awards for his animated cartoons, Goscinny died in 1977. Anthea Bell was 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.
'The humour may be 50 years old, but the notion of the mischievous, confident little schoolboy is timeless. ... the British editions will deliberately be given a touch of class, as the volumes are brought out in cloth covers, on high-quality paper. ' Junior, July 2005 'with stories this charmingly innocent, funny and heart-warming, neither modern dark edginess nor literary special effects are required.' What's On In London, July 2005 'Nicholas - is a much-needed reminder of the Entente Cordiale - a chic and sturdily childproof new English edition, translated in ebullient vernacular by Anthea Bell - Here is timeless, universal comedy of innocents overeating, smoking a purloined cigar, organising a football match but forgetting to bring a ball, worrying about a school report ('A rowdy and often inattentive pupil, given to fighting his friends. Could do better'), falling in love with a girl, better than merely pretty, who can kick a ball hard enough to break a window, playing truant and pretending to enjoy a boring day, and even running away from home for ever, until hungry for supper. Couldn't really do better.' Patrick Skene Catling, The Spectator, August 2005 'Nicholas didn't take me very long to get into. From the first few lines I decided this book would be enjoyable ... Each character has a strong personality, which makes the book simpler to understand. ... Nicholas comes across as humorous, energetic and loud, but kind at the same time. ... I enjoyed reading Nicholas because it is comical and witty. ... full of excitement and laughs too ... Nicholas is suitable for boys and girls and I think most 10-11-year-olds will enjoy it because I did.' Elinor Smith (aged 11), Tribune, September 2005 'Lovable, naive and very French, Nicholas is timeless.' The Guardian, August 2005 'these stories have the ability to delight both children and adults. From the moment you open the book you are in for a treat' County Times, August 2005