Ruth Krauss in German

How do you translate children’s colloquial speech – with its flexible syntax, unusual diction – into another language?  In celebration of Ruth Krauss’ 119th birthday (or what she would have called her 109th birthday), I’ll sketch two possible answers to that question by looking at A Hole Is to Dig in the language her grandmother spoke: German!

Ruth Krauss in 1951

In honor of Ruth Krauss’s 117th birthday (today, which she would have celebrated as her 107th birthday), here’s a photo you likely have not seen before.  It appeared in the May 12, 1951 issue of the Herald Tribune Book News, which described Krauss’s latest book (I Can Fly, illustrated by Mary Blair) as follows: “Very small girl

Happy Birthday, Ruth Krauss!

quotation from Ruth Krauss’s A Hole Is to Dig (1952), on the L.A. Public Library. If she were alive today, you would be wishing Ruth Krauss a very happy 106th birthday.  And yet Krauss was actually born 116 years ago, not 106 years ago. Look at the date in the upper-right-hand side of the document: