Some things just don't translate very well...

Most of you know that our family is an international bunch. My husband's from a German-speaking country - that means we have easy access to some of the best chocolate in the world, and it also means that we have quite the collection of German-language kid's books.

Chocolate? Always good.

German children's books? depends.

Maybe Americans are raising a generation of wimps, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that I can pick up pretty much any American children's book and it'll be as bland as vanilla and full of positive lessons and happy endings. I don't mind. That is not the case with the books we get in Europe. To be fair, I don't speak German so I don't know if I'm taking the pictures out of context, but some things are just obvious.

For instance, take this book:


At first glance it looks like one of those busy illustrated books that toddlers love. I love them too, because they keep the kids busy - they love finding things in the illustrations and I can easily tell my kids what the things in the picture are. I do it in Spanish, because we like to keep the kids confused.

Anyways, my innocent three year old pointed at the picture of the group of kids in the school yard.

What are those kids doing?


I'm a little bit blind, so I just told him that the kids were playing. You know, like he does at preschool.

Then I took a closer look at the illustration, and I realized that maybe? Telling him that was probably not the best idea.


This illustration is the thing that school phobias and night terrors are made of.

Why are the little kids beating each other up?

Why is the "doggie" so angry?

Why is that lady just watching?


I don't like those German story books. You should see the old-fashioned ones.