Books by Gerda Wagener

THE GHOST IN THE CLASSROOM by Gerda Wagener
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

From Wagener (A Mouse in the House!, 1995, etc.), a comic and unusual easy-to-read from Switzerland, about a girl who longs for a cat, and the supernatural creature that helps her get her wish. Tina's parents are adamant about the cat: ``Subject closed.'' A rude, ``rodent-sized'' ghost, Otto, in her lunchbox, who disrupts the classroom with his pranks, gains acceptance with Tina's good-natured teacher, but at home, the girl is blamed for the spirit's bad behavior. When Tina's father discovers in a book that cats chase away ghosts, her dream of a pet is realized at the animal shelter. The surprise is that Otto had planned exactly that result when he first showed up. Clever and fast-paced, the story is a nice change from most pet stories. Waas's illustrations are agreeably cartoonish when portraying the ghost in its incarnations; the more realistic scenes are filled with warmth and humor. (Fiction. 7-11) Read full book review >
A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE! by Gerda Wagener
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 15, 1995

From the author of Leo the Lion (1991), a high-spirited addition to the Easy-to-Read series, accompanied by expressive watercolors. Socks the cat brings a mouse in from the garden with the clear intention to eat it, but drops it when Mother throws a cushion at him. Suddenly, the mouse has the run of the house, and narrator, Julia, and her siblings are delighted. The youngest, Katie, names it Lisa; while Mother sets up a trap, the children secretly leave salami and chocolate snacks for the mouse in every room. Lisa's nibbling and droppings become a nuisance; in the end they trap her safely and let her go in the woods. The story races along, slightly more difficult than most entries in the series and providing novice readers with a real sense of accomplishment when they've turned the last page. The details of dialogue and action bring each character to life, including Socks and Lisa. The scenes have a domestic warmth, juxtaposing the children's exuberance with Mother's exasperation in a way that is both authentic and gently humorous. (Fiction. 7-9) Read full book review >
LEO THE LION by Gerda Wagener
by Gerda Wagener, translated by Nina Ignatowicz, illustrated by Reinhard Michl
ANIMALS
Released: March 29, 1991

A German story about a lonely lion who longs to be petted like a cat. Alas! most people are terrified of him, while the zoo-keeper wants him to line up for a daily pat: ``One lion more or less won't make much difference.'' Leo finally gets the affection he craves from a lioness. This doesn't have quite the delicious, whimsical irony of Fatio's The Happy Lion (1954), but it's smoothly told, warmly depicts a childlike need for attention, and is satisfyingly comic—especially its lively, expressive illustrations.~(Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >