Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

French classic about misbehaving schoolboys.

Book Rene Goscinny Humor 2005
Nicholas Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 7+

very funny

Nicholas is a funny book that is entertaining to all ages. Its a book about a naughty french school boy who gets in trouble with all of his friends. It has been one of my favorites for a very long time. Nicholas gets in trouble but always ends up in a good place.Nicholas takes place in 1950s france not infrance today .There is lots of love, laughter and fun in this book.

This title has:

Great messages
age 8+

Very funny in context

My 8 year-old daughter was given Nicholas for a Christmas present. What a treat! Nicholas is a French, male version of Junie B. Jones, one of our favorite characters. The book is written from Nicholas' point of view so you get to hear him describe the adults reactions and what they say. This child's vantage point provides much of the humor. Yes, Nicholas' main occupation is getting into trouble, i.e. smoking a cigar and then getting sick. But hearing his comments on the chaos he and his classmates create is what will bring on the smiles and make you and your child laugh out loud. I suggest you read this out loud to the whole family.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

A bestseller in France since 1959, this uproarious translation is a time warp to a kind of children's book you don't see much anymore. Rene Goscinny, author of the Asterix series, imbues his short, funny stories with no deeper meaning, no character development, and above all, no life lessons. All of the characters are badly behaved but oddly charming. These manage to amuse without resorting to the vulgarity relied upon by so many modern authors.

Filled with tiny cartoons by New Yorker artist Jean-Jacques Sempe that perfectly match the text, this will keep many children amused for hours, though the more worldly may find it tepid. It is tepid, but that can be a virtue. If you're looking for a bedtime read-aloud that will get your kids giggling without getting them too riled up, you could hardly do better.

Book Details

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