Among the many children's books that I've read aloud to the brood, there's one that hasn't yet been mentioned here and definitely deserves to be saluted: Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld (1956), translated from the German by Richard and Clara Winston. As the author notes:

During the 1936 excavations in Pompeii a temple wall came to light on which had been scribbled, in a childish hand, the words:


That scrawl from the days of Ancient Rome was the inspiration for this book.

A polite translation of the graffiti: "Caius is a dumbbell", or in the book's original title, Caius ist ein Dummkopf.

Detectives in Togas is a mystery set in Imperial Rome and told from the viewpoint of seven young schoolboys. They're forced to solve a series of enigmatic crimes in order to rescue one of their number who has been framed and thrown in prison, and who possibly faces death. Besides fast-paced fun the book offers insight into Roman culture and daily life --- without ever lapsing into the ponderous-pedantic mold of many juvenile novels. And it has given me another of those catchphrases that I so delight in repeating, much to the annoyance of my family: Ho lukos --- the wolf!

Good entertainment for all ages ...

TopicLiterature - TopicPersonalHistory - 2003-08-06

But I don't remember ever hearing Ho lukos --- the wolf out of you! - RadRob

(correlates: PeasantWishes, DangerousLiterature, StrangeLoops, ...)