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German baby books- your recommendations please

(26 Posts)
wobbegong Fri 12-Sep-08 19:33:07

We're trying to bring DD up speaking English and German. We haven't been able to find German baby books for sale over here, so I'm about to order some from Amazon. Only problem is, as we can't flick through them, what to get.

I want to get some classics which all German babies have (you know, like English babies all have 'Where's Spot?' and 'That's Not My Monster/ Cat/ Whatever'). Do you have favourites which you would you recommend for a baby/ small toddler? Thanks.

captainmummy Fri 12-Sep-08 20:04:45

Bumping for you - but only becuase I love your name. You are a carpet shark, right?

wobbegong Fri 12-Sep-08 20:17:14

Yes, in my spare time. grin

noramum Sat 13-Sep-08 21:17:41

We have a couple of the mini-steps range from Ravensburger from 12 months onwards. The flaps are smaller compared to the Spot-books and my DD already destroyer some flaps. But the pictures are very nicely done.

I am not to keen on the "Fingerspielbuecher".

You could also try the forum at www.eltern.de, they have quite lively discussions and should be able to put you in the right direction.

wobbegong Sun 14-Sep-08 12:22:02

Thanks Noramum that is very helpful, I'll give them a go.

MmeLindt Mon 15-Sep-08 23:41:52

I am not that keen on the German books, tbh but I will have a think about the ones that the DCs liked. I found the German books to be heavily reliant on either situations (Schlafen bei Oma, Julchen geht auf Töpfchen) or vehicles (Bagger, Traktor und Laster). More educational and less fun to read that the English books available.

DS had one, Mein kleiner roter Flitzer, that he loved. I liked the rhyme. I think I can still recite it off by heart and it has been years since we read it. Ich bin stolzer Besitzer, von einem rotem Flitzer...

You could cheat and get Julia Donaldson's Gruffallo in German. Grüffello, I think it is.

Our two loved loved loved this CD althought that one is a Bayerisch one, the other Rolf Zuckowski CDs are good too. We have the Easter one and the Christmas one (In der Weihnachtsbäckerei). If you have relatives in Germany you can often get them in Tchibo just before Xmas.

emkana Mon 15-Sep-08 23:44:58

I agree with Mme Lindt, German baby books aren't as good as English ones.

One book series that my children loved, even though I didn't like them that much, was Bobo Siebenschlaefer (from 18 months onwards).

trockodile Tue 16-Sep-08 17:39:07

kleine ente nelli is nice.

hungry caterpillar is a cheat, but works well in German.

Maisy is another cheat but good in any language!smile

Alexa808 Wed 17-Sep-08 11:58:24

Anything with DIE MAUS. I loved it when I was a kid.

How can you be so ignorant to say one nation has baby books which are less good than others? Surely it's a cultural thing that you are just missing. hmm

What about all the Grimm fairytales such as 'Der gestiefelte Kater' (also known as Puss in Boots)...

MmeLindt Wed 17-Sep-08 12:07:01

I am not ignorant. It si a observation that I have made, that German children's books rely more on situations and teaching children something. I have yet to find a good poetry book in German, for children similar to the Puffins Book of First Poetry.

German books are about starting kindergarten, going on the potty, going to school...

Compare them to Julia Donaldson's Gruffallo books or Muffin McLay.

Grimms Fairytales are completely different, they are old stories that are sometimes a bit scary.

It is not "German bashing", I have lived in Germany for 16 years and love it here, I have a German DH and 2 German DCs. It is merely a feststellung.

See, can't even remember my English

emkana Wed 17-Sep-08 20:02:28

Alexa, I am German myself and I totally agree with Mme Lindt's observations. There are no children's books in German that compare to the works of eg Julia Donaldson or Alan Ahlberg. Which is why you will find in German bookshops many translations of English picture books. German children's books (for small children) are mainly factual.

Die Maus is a TV programme and while there are a few picture books based on the programme they are disappointing IMO. And the Grimm fairytales are in some cases too dark and complex for very small children IMO.

Califrau Wed 17-Sep-08 20:08:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

domesticslattern Wed 17-Sep-08 20:12:04

Thanks everyone.

It's interesting what you say Emkana and MmeLindt about German children's books. I asked a German friend with a baby what she recommended and she looked completely blank before recommending a translation of the Hungry Caterpillar! And my MIL went to Germany and brought back the dullest baby book on the planet. Hence my MN request!

We have ordered Kleine Ente Nelli, thank you Trockodile. And a Ministeps too, thank you Noramum. I think we'll enjoy those- and of course the brothers Grimm for when she's older...

domesticslattern Wed 17-Sep-08 20:12:23

Thanks everyone.

It's interesting what you say Emkana and MmeLindt about German children's books. I asked a German friend with a baby what she recommended and she looked completely blank before recommending a translation of the Hungry Caterpillar! And my MIL went to Germany and brought back the dullest baby book on the planet. Hence my MN request!

We have ordered Kleine Ente Nelli, thank you Trockodile. And a Ministeps too, thank you Noramum. I think we'll enjoy those- and of course the brothers Grimm for when she's older...

domesticslattern Wed 17-Sep-08 20:13:04

oops blush

emkana Wed 17-Sep-08 20:17:52

Don't forget Bobo Siebenschlaefer mind! My children loved him to bits, and it's a cheap book, and you get about 10 stories in one small volume!

TheRedQueen Wed 17-Sep-08 20:22:19

Der Hase mit der roten Nase by Helme Heine.

taipo Wed 17-Sep-08 20:32:16

Ours loved Bobo Siebenschlaefer too. I got sick of listening to the CD!

This was a huge hit when they were very small - brilliant for learning colours. I have just noticed though that it's not actually German but a translation from Swedish(?).

There are always the Conni books which I think are pretty dull (sort of German equivalent to Topsy and Tim) but dd likes them.

emkana Wed 17-Sep-08 20:37:45

If you know people in Germany maybe ask them to go to a bookshop and buy some Pixie books - they only cost 95 cents each and some of them are really nice stories, often better than the big books you can get. But I don't think you can buy them on amazon.

MmeLindt Wed 17-Sep-08 20:51:13

I was reading Der kleine Drache Kokosnuss to the DCs this evening, I forgot about this one. It is for older DCs, mine are 4yo and 6yo though.

They are lovely funny stories with nice illustrations. The author, Ingo Siegner has written a lot of stories about the little dragon.

My MIL sends the most dire books that have ever been published, especially the Gott liebt Dich books that she finds somewhere.

Just remembered another good one, Ich wär so gern ein wildes Schaf Very funny.

taipo Wed 17-Sep-08 21:33:38

Ours read 'der Hase mit der roten Nase' too.

Also by the same auther: der Katzentatzentanz

TheUNITUBER Wed 17-Sep-08 21:44:34

We are sadly lacking in German baby books (my PILs keep buying ones that look like primary school textbooks), and being English and in London I can't tell you what books German babies have! But I would like to suggest 2 books that my daughter enjoys. She often looks at a German picture dictionary published by Usborne in which the pictures are great - it's called something imaginative like "Children's Picture Dictionary" and has been great for teaching her more German vocabulary. She also liked "Meine ersten kinderreime" by the unfortunately-named Costanza Droop. The nursery rhymes are a bit...creepy, but the pictures are good.

geekgirl Wed 17-Sep-08 21:49:03

mine liked Kinderliederbuch when they were babies/toddlers. Erste Fingerspiele was also a firm favourite.

Other than that I can only agree with what has been said - Germany is pretty dire for books for younger children.

noramum Thu 18-Sep-08 14:02:08

This is an interesting conversation. We are going over to see the in-laws next week and wanted to buy some more German books.

Maybe going back to Spot :-)

Leoloopydoo Thu 18-Sep-08 14:16:28

I like the 'Wieso? weshalb? warum? Wissen books. you don't have to read them but can talk about the subjects in any languages and at any level. they have little flap to open. The books come in 3 different levels. ds1 really loves them. (have just checked on Amazon.de and they do them).

IMHO the Alex Schaffer/Julia Donaldson books are terrible in German.

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