LoveReading4Kids

Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

Erich Kastner - Author

About the Author

Erich Kästner began his career as a journalist and, later, a freelance theatre critic. In 1929 he published his first book for children, Emil and the Detectives, which has since been translated into nearly 60 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. He then went on to publish Dot and Anton in 1931 and The Flying Classroom in 1933, both illustrated by Walter Trier, whose elegant, perceptive illustrations grace numerous Kästner books.

After the Nazis took power in Germany, Kästner’s books – thinly veiled critiques of society’s fall to fascism – were denounced and burnt. He faced repeated arrest and interrogation by the Gestapo, resulting in his blacklisting and exclusion from the writers’ guild. As such, his stories celebrate democracy, kindness, independent thinking and courage, and denounce unfairness, bullying, assumed authority and tyranny of any kind.

After the end of World War II, Kästner moved to Munich and published The Parent Trap, later adapted into a hit film by Walt Disney. In 1957 he received the Georg Büchner Prize and, later, the Order of Merit and the Hans Christian Andersen Award for his contribution to children’s literature. One of the best loved and most read children’s authors around the world, Kästner died in Munich in 1974.

Erich Kästner is the only writer known to have been present at the burning of his own books (‘Against decadence and the decline of morals!’ they yelled), on Berlin’s Opernplatz on 10 May 1933:

    ‘… And then Goebbels appeared. He stood in front of a balustrade besieged by microphones and gesticulated before the light of the fire like a little devil before Hell. He vociferated and spouted, called writers by their names and committed their books to the flames and oblivion. This was no Grand Inquisitor, but a little molesting pyrotechnician… Our intention to attend this apocalyptic public festival, as thorough chroniclers, to the end was thwarted by an unforeseen episode. ‘There’s Kästner!’ a young woman called out suddenly, as she passed by with her boyfriend. Her surprise at seeing me, so to speak, among the mourners at my own funeral, was so great that she even pointed at me. I must admit that I didn’t feel exactly comfortable. Shortly before, someone else had already called my name, loudly – that student of Gundolf’s, on his microphone-besieged balustrade…’ (from ‘Can Books Be Burnt? On the Anniversary of an Outrage’, 1947; published in On the Burning of Books, Atrium Verlag, 2013)

Featured books by Erich Kastner

Other books by Erich Kastner

Emil and the Detectives

Emil and the Detectives

Author: Erich Kastner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2015

EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES by Erich Kastner has been in print ever since it was first published in 1928. Young Emil is robbed on his first real railway journey of money entrusted to him by his hard-working mother for the relatives he is to stay with in Berlin. A gang of boys about his own age come to his aid, and a thrilling adventure full of surprises ensues as they use their wits to devise a wonderfully simple but practical trick to capture the thief. With every detail clearly drawn - from the tiresome business of getting into best clothes for the journey, down to the final anxiety as to what shall be done with a gloriously unexpected reward - this is a story all young readers will enjoy. Reissued in the 'A Puffin Book' series of children's modern classics.

Dot and Anton

Dot and Anton

Author: Erich Kastner, Walter Trier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/04/2015

'Gadzooks!' said Dot ... 'The things that boy can do!' Dot loves play-acting, dressing up her pet dachshund Piefke and making up words like 'splentastic'. Her best friend is Anton, who lives in a little apartment and looks after his mother. They share a secret - every night, when their parents think they are asleep, they sell matches and shoelaces on the streets of Berlin with Dot's grumpy governess. But why? The answers involve a villain called 'Robert the Devil', a club-wielding maid, a wobbly tooth, a pair of silver shoes and a policeman dancing the tango, as Dot and Anton get into all sorts of scrapes and even solve a crime in this delightful, touching and hilarious adventure story.

The Flying Classroom

The Flying Classroom

Author: Erich Kastner, Walter Trier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/11/2014

'Walter Trier's deceptively innocent drawings are as classic as Kastner's words; I never tire of them' Quentin Blake Martin's school is no ordinary school. There are snowball fights, kidnappings, cakes, a parachute jump, a mysterious man called 'No-Smoking' who lives in a railway carriage and a play about a flying classroom. As the Christmas holidays draw near, Martin and his friends - nervous Uli, cynical Sebastian, Johnny, who was rescued by a sea captain, and Matthias, who is always hungry (particularly after a meal) - are preparing for the end-of-term festivities. But there are surprises, sadness and trouble on the way - and a secret that changes everything. The Flying Classroom is a magical, thrilling and bittersweet story about friendship, fun and being brave when you are at your most scared. (It also features a calf called Eduard, but you will have to read it to find out why.) Erich Kastner, writer, poet and journalist, was born in Dresden in 1899. His first children's book, Emil and the Detectives, was published in 1929 and has since sold millions of copies around the world and been translated into around 60 languages. After the Nazis took power in Germany, Kastner's books were burnt and he was excluded from the writers' guild. He won many awards, including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1960. He died in 1974. Walter Trier was born in Prague in 1880. In 1910 he moved to Berlin, where he would later be introduced to Kastner, and began his career drawing cartoons for the Berliner Illustrated. He also contributed to the satirical weekly Simplicissimus, where during the 1920s, despite great personal risk, he ridiculed Hitler and the Nazi Party in a series of cartoons. In 1936 he fled to London, where he was involved in producing anti-Nazi leaflets and political propaganda drawings. He would go on to have a rich career, producing around 150 covers for the humorous magazine Lilliput. He died in 1951 in Ontario, Canada. Anthea Bell is an award-winning translator. Having studied English at Oxford University, she has had a long and successful career, translating works from French, German and Danish. She is best known for her translations of the much-loved Asterix books, Stefan Zweig and W.G. Sebald.

The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap

Author: Erich Kastner, Walter Trier Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/11/2014

'Walter Trier's deceptively innocent drawings are as classic as Kastner's words; I never tire of them' Quentin Blake Luise has ringlets. Lottie has braids. Apart from that they look exactly the same. But they are sure that they have never set eyes on each other in their lives. When the two girls meet at a summer camp and discover the secret behind their similarity, they decide to switch places. Everyone is fooled (apart from the dog) and, despite a few mistakes and misadventures, everything goes to plan for Luise as Lottie and Lottie as Luise - until their father meets a young, beautiful woman and things start to unravel... Funny, moving, affectionate and improbable, The Parent Trap has twice been adapted for film - but the book remains one of the great classics of German children's literature. Erich Kastner, writer, poet and journalist, was born in Dresden in 1899. His first children's book, Emil and the Detectives, was published in 1929 and has since sold millions of copies around the world and been translated into around 60 languages. After the Nazis took power in Germany, Kastner's books were burnt and he was excluded from the writers' guild. He won many awards, including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1960. He died in 1974. Walter Trier was born in Prague in 1880. In 1910 he moved to Berlin, where he would later be introduced to Kastner, and began his career drawing cartoons for the Berliner Illustrated. He also contributed to the satirical weekly Simplicissimus, where during the 1920s, despite great personal risk, he ridiculed Hitler and the Nazi Party in a series of cartoons. In 1936 he fled to London, where he was involved in producing anti-Nazi leaflets and political propaganda drawings. He would go on to have a rich career, producing around 150 covers for the humorous magazine Lilliput. He died in 1951 in Ontario, Canada. Anthea Bell is an award-winning translator. Having studied English at Oxford University, she has had a long and successful career, translating works from French, German and Danish. She is best known for her translations of the much-loved Asterix books, Stefan Zweig and W.G. Sebald.

Emil and the Detectives

Emil and the Detectives

Author: Erich Kastner, Carl Miller Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/11/2013

'Password Emil!' If Mrs Tischbein had known the amazing adventures her son Emil would have in Berlin, she'd never have let him go. Emil is excited to be taking the train on his own for the first time. He doesn't like the look of his fellow passenger, the man in the bowler hat. Emil will just have to keep his wits about him and his money in his pocket. But Emil falls asleep and when he wakes up the man in the bowler hat is gone - and so is the money! Emil is determined to get it back. He teams upwith a gang of young detectives and so begins a hair-raising chase across Berlin to catch the dirty rotten thief...

Emil and the Three Twins

Emil and the Three Twins

Author: Erich Kastner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2012

'Password Emil!' Emil and the detectives are on holiday by the seaside when they meet the three Byrons. One Byron is the father and the other two are the sons, Mackie and Jackie. Jackie is bigger than Mackie and Byron Senior is very annoyed about it. But what is Jackie to do? When Emil and the detectives discover that the father is planning to desert poor Jackie they are determined to come to the rescue but not before they've been cast away on a desert island... BACKSTORY: Test your knowledge of Emil and his friends and discover some fun seaside activities!

Emil and the Detectives

Emil and the Detectives

Author: Erich Kastner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2012

'Password Emil!' Emil is excited to be taking the train on his own for the first time. He doesn't like the look of his fellow passenger, the man in the bowler hat. Emil will just have to keep his wits about him and his money in his pocket. But Emil falls asleep and when he wakes up the man in the bowler hat is gone - and so is the money! Emil is determined to get it back. He teams up with a gang of young detectives and so begins a hair-raising chase across Berlin to catch the dirty rotten thief... BACKSTORY: Learn all about the book's brave author and find out just how good a sleuth you would be.

Emil And The Three Twins

Emil And The Three Twins

Author: Erich Kastner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2002

Emil and the three twins? Three Twins? Yes, you read that correctly. Emil Tischbein has another adventure with his old friends the Professor, Gustav and Little Tuesday - this time by the sea. Of course, the detectives couldn't have an ordinary seaside holiday like other people - and when they become entangled with the mystery of the three acrobat twins and the wicked Herr Anders, it looks as if it's going to turn into a most extraordinary time for them all!

Author Info

Twitter Updates

If this is your author page then you can share your Twitter updates with your readers right here on LoveReading

Find out more

Facebook Updates

If this is your author page then you can share your Facebook updates with your readers right here on LoveReading

Find out more
LoveReading
LoveWriting
LoveReading4Schools
NEW INDIE AND SELF PUBLISHED BOOK REVIEW AND PROMOTION SERVICE LAUNCHED!    Read More
×