Heidi, the Swiss dialect diminutive of Adelheid, is in itself an attractive name for a book; but each of the two parts into which the German story is divided bears a rather long and cumbrous explanatory title besides the subtitle.1
Judged from a critical standpoint, the literary style of the original is far from perfect; the sentences are frequently prolix, carelessly constructed, and full of repetitions. Nevertheless, in spite of technical flaws, it is a classic for children. It is true to life, sprightly and at the same time serious, sincere and yet overflowing with healthful, innocent mirth, often tempered with a tender pathos which is akin to poetic sentiment, and yet perfectly free from"! any trace of sentimentality. It is permeated with the'deepest love for nature, but the descriptions are never wearisome, and it breathes a beautiful religious spirit, but it is the simple religion of childhood unwitting of denominational differences.
1 I. " Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre: eine Geschichte fiir Kinder und anch fur Solche welche die Kinder lieb haben " ; 2. " Heidi kann brauchen was esgelernt Aa(." " Heidi's Years of Learning and Travel "; "Heidi makes Use of what she has learned." Both have the same subtitle : "A Story for Children and for such as love Children."