Friday, August 13, 2010

Kinder Buch Laden

The title is German for children's book shop.

Children's books fascinate me. They make me happy. So, when I travel it is probably no great surprise that I like to stop in children's book stores to check out my favorite titles written in languages other than English.

But sometimes my proclivities can cause my traveling companions some embarrassment.

For instance this exchange in a book store in Rome.

Gary: Parlate inglese?

Guy at Counter: A little.

Gary: Do you have Curious George?

Guy at Counter: (stares blankly, clearly confused)

Gary: (attempting to clarify) The monkey.

Guy at Counter: Mon-key?

Gary: (deciding that I will give sign language a go as the sign for monkey must be universal especially if I add in some sound effects, which I do).

Guy at Counter: (steps back in fright as I scratch under my arms and jump around noisily. He is clearly appalled and closes the shop shortly thereafter).

I never found Curious George in Italian.

I had better luck in Switzerland.

German speaking Zurich is very kinder-friendly! At every turn there are postings for some kinder related activity. The drum playing teddy bear directed us to the Kinder Musik Laden (children's music shop) and we stumbled upon an outdoor performance by Kinderzirkus Robinson (children's circus with Robinson the clown!).

At the Zurich bookstore I was shown the Curious George books without my theatrics. Although in German he is called Coco, as in Coco Fahrt Rad (which seems to literally translate to Coco drive wheel but better known here as Curious George Rides a Bike).

They had many of my favorite titles;
  1. Der Kleine Prinz - The Little Prince
  2. Wo Die Wilden Kerle Wohnen - Where the Wild Things Are (or directly translated as Where the Wild Guys Living).
  3. Wo Ist Walter Jetzt? - Where is Walter (Waldo) Now?
This last one is especially meaningful (and funny) because my dad's name is Walter and he is 100% German.

I purchased Coco Der Neugierige Affe (Coco the Curious Monkey) and have attempted to read it but I think my German comes across as too angry and intense for children. Some things are best enjoyed privately I suppose.


Sebastien Millon said...

Gary!!! just got your message about your being in Phoenix, lets definitely grab lunch or something. Send me an email at, I'll give you my # and we can try and set something up! sorry I haven't been around the blogosphere much of late, had a lot of random things going on. Not bad things, just random :)

Barbara said...

This post made me laugh outloud.
Thanks, it has been a rough start to my new year, so I needed to laugh. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

lettuce said...

ha! those italians, eh?

Salty Miss Jill said...


In Turkish, he's called Merakli Maymunu (Curious Monkey).
Next time I go, I'll bring you back a book. Promise!

Gary said...

Jill - You are so thoughtful. I would LOVE to see one of my favorties in Turkish. Are you expecting to visit NYC any time soon?

Letty - I Know!

Barbara - rough start? Oh boy, that does not sound good at all. I hope it is getting worked out (or is worked out) and glad I gave you a chuckle. It cracked me up too.

Sebastien - I am looking forward to it.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I used to collect Tin-Tin shirts during my travels. I should post the really amazing ones I got in Vietnam.

Gary said...

Gregg -I am popping over to your blog now to see if you have done this.


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