The joke's on them

26th January 2001 at 00:00
Till Eulenspiegel is a popular figure in German folklore, a clever prankster who likes nothing better than to make others look foolish. Anthea Bell has skilfully translated 11 of his adventures in Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger (North South Books pound;8.99). Zwerger's playful watercolours have the clarity and luminosity of a Dutch interior; her wit and finesse of line is reminiscent of Bruegel. This successful comination is clever, inspired and very entertaining.

Inside Mary Elizabeth's House by Pamela Allen (Viking pound;10.99) is a glorious picture book - graphic, richly coloured and funny - about a girl with a monster and the boys who won't believe her. This is Allen at her best. Although aimed at the very young, this book will undoubtedly also appeal to primary-aged children who can appreciate the predicament of these doubting Thomases.

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