the translator Rachel Ward does a marvellous job. The jokes sing and we had to stop several times during the story so my giggling six-year-old boy could wipe his eyes dry. It can be read in the head, but is best heard out loud. One tiny, ghostly moan: the mum is a disaster in the kitchen, overcooking the spaghetti and leaving fillings out of sandwiches. As Zippel might put it: Are mums always really that bad? Why is it never the dad? But don’t let that put you off what is the most exciting book for this age that I have read in yonks.