Dot and Anton – Erich Kästner, 2 Excellent Characters

Dot and Anton is one of Erich Kastner’s most popular children’s books. Having met Dot and Anton and reading what happened to them, it is not difficult to understand why. Dot and Anton is a book that calls on people and primarily children, to be better individuals. I guess we all need books that will make us better people.


Dot and Anton - Erich Kästner

Dot and Anton is a delightful book about friendship, family, life’s difficulties, being a child and being good despite everything. Dot is already a great character in itself. With his dog, Dot lives in his own world in such a pleasant way that one wants to get lost in his imagination. Also, I loved that child-specific moral attitude, that he explains everything comfortably as it is. Such a character made me think this: when we were growing up, where do we go wrong so that we cannot be as natural as these children?

There is also Anton, of course, Dot’s best friend. The biggest difference between these two is that one is very rich and the other is poor. However, Dot’s father seems to eliminate this difference with the events that take place later in the book. Erich Kastner has created a great children’s book with his comments on the characters he creates and his own thoughts between the episodes.Dot and Anton is a must-read for all children and adults. Enjoy!

Dot and Anton - Erich Kästner

Dot and Anton

A new translation of Erich Kästner’s splendid novel for children

‘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.

Walter Trier s deceptively innocent drawings are as classic as Kästner’s words; I never tire of them Quentin Blake

Erich Kästner

Erich Kästner, (born Feb. 23, 1899, Dresden, Ger.—died July 29, 1974, Munich), German satirist, poet, and novelist who is especially known for his children’s books. He was the most durable practitioner of the style of witty, laconic writing associated with the highbrow cabaret, the Berlin weekly Die Weltbühne (“The World Stage”), and the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement of the mid-1920s.

Kästner studied at Rostock, Leipzig, and Berlin to become a teacher. Later, as a journalist, he became a free-lance writer (1927). Four volumes of light but fundamentally serious poetry appeared before 1933. He also wrote the remarkable tragic novel Fabian (1931). His children’s books are notable for their humour and respect for the child’s moral seriousness. The most famous of these, Emil und die Detektive (1929; Emil and the Detectives), was several times dramatized and filmed. Prevented by the Nazis from publishing in Germany (1933–45), he printed his works in Switzerland. After the war, Kästner became magazine editor of Die Neue Zeitung of Munich and subsequently founded a children’s paper.

From 1952 to 1962 he was president of the German branch of PEN, an international organization of writers. His post-World War II works are characterized by a greater emphasis on social philosophy but do not sacrifice their elegance and entertaining qualities. These include Das doppelte Lottchen (1950; “The Double Lottie”); Zu treuen Händen (1950; “Into Faithful Hands”); the play Die Schule der Diktatoren (1956; “The School of Dictators”); and Als ich ein kleiner Junge war (1957; “When I Was a Young Man”). Kästner’s collected works, Gesammelte Schriften, 7 vol., appeared in 1959.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Children’s Books for Life!

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