A Snake Swallowed the Elephant, 1985

This is the first title in a phenomenal series of 20 books named “I Can Read It by Myself.” Phenomenal, not only with the sale figures of over 400.000 copies so far, but also with the unique style of the use of language with rhymes and humour (which is difficult to translate) that became very popular with children of ages up to 7. 

He first started these books as 2-3 page comic strip stories for a children’s magazine and after receiving very positive reactions, he decided to publish them as books. 

78 stories were published in various magazines but only 20 of them were printed as books. Publishing the rest is within his future plans, waiting in line…

Five White Spotted Owls are Staring at Me! 1985

He does not really reveal it to anyone who these five white spotted owls stand for but there were some speculation, which may not be true. The time when he has written and made this story as a two-page comic strip story was right after the military coup in Turkey. The country was ruled by five generals who were on television everyday to tell us people what to do and what not to do, staring under their caps. Well, it doesn’t fit because the owls in the book, though strange, are kind of cute and you would be willing to be friends with them, unlike with the others… 

My Shoelace is Untied, 1985

“I learned to tie my shoe very late…” he said once in an interview about this book. “Of course the purpose of the book is definitely not to teach how to tie a shoe; it is one of the many little difficulties you are faced with as you grow up.” 

La Fontaine’s “the fox and the crow” is a leitmotif behind the story. 

I was Late for School, 1985

“Being late for school may not be the end of the world, and it is not, unless you are very shy,” he explains the idea behind this story. “In my childhood, we were going to school by walking through wide fields full of flowers, tortoises, bugs, butterflies and occasionally snakes and rarely rabbits. Today it’s a pity that children are delivered to their school sandwiched in school buses, without any close contact to nature. 

“When one is shy, it is a problem to be late because when you finally reach school, classes have started and everybody is inside. That means you will go to your classroom, knock on the door, hear the “come in!” and there you are: Everybody in the classroom is looking at you! That is a horrible experience if you are a shy person like me. So this book probably cured this fear embedded in my childhood memories.” 

Grandpa Made Me a Whistle, 1986

“I had a chance to spend time with my grandpa not more than a year. He was sick when my father brought him from the village to live with us. He was a hunter who knew how to deal with nature, equipped with a small pocketknife, an insight to smell the air and estimate the weather, and a big heart. Yes, he did make me a whistle by carving a piece of fresh branch of a tree. I wish I kept it until today…” he says as he is trying to explain what grandpa is doing (on the cover). 

“Whistling is a skill that you must somehow learn especially if you are a boy. I was not very good at it…” 

The Little Red Riding Hood appears to play a role in the story. 

I was Passing By, 1986

The story is based on a very common daily usage of the words: “I was just passing by…”

The boy hears it and experiences many situations where it is used. 

My Sister Stuck Her Tongue At Me, 1987

 

The relationships between kids at home may sometimes pose problems to solve, whether by themselves or by a clever touch of the parents. Stucking tongue at someone, especially at children may generally be a sign of sympathy, but among themselves it may be taken as an offense. 

I Failed School, 1987

“In my childhood, whenever one holds his bag holding the opening lid facing reverse side out, he would face the mocking ‘Look he failed school!’ Well, we were kids and the sense of humor was so different 50 years ago…” said once as he was talking about

 this book where the leitmotif, The Pied Piper of Hamelin can be clearly seen on the cover. 

The Return of the Five White Spotted Owls, 1988

One day a mother called Fatih Erdoğan and said: “Did the five white spotted owls die?”

 “No,” he said, but the mother was very upset. She said: “My son is crying because he thinks they died at the end of the story. Please bring them back.” 

So, this is the story of “The Return of the White Spotted Owls.” 

Who Shooed My Bird Away? 1988

“Catching birds was a challenge in my childhood years. Groups of kids (gangs) would arrange clumsy traps out in the fields and catch birds to carry around in cages and sell them. I happened to catch one bird and took in home in a cage. That night, mom woke me up and said: ‘Your bird is out of your cage and the cat has some bad intentions!’ I took the cat out of the room to save my bird, but in the morning, I set it free…”

The Scare of the Scary Scarecrow, 1997

This is another story with the grandpa. The very short period of time with his grandpa obviously left so many traces in the author’s childhood mind. The field that is seen on the cover picture is now full of ugly concrete buildings, which means “learning life through nature” from the ‘grands’ is becoming less common every day. 

What Made Grandpa Laugh? 2003

I was a kid 

I was small 

First, I was thirsty 

Then, I was hungry 

I said:

Grandpa, tell me a story

Grandpa said:

No, you tell me a story

I told a story to grandpa 

Grandpa laughed 

Though I don’t know why, 

my grandpa laughed.

Groarrr! 2001

The monster loves to scare people.

One day he realizes that he it cannot scare them anymore. 

The mother, after seeing its teeth, says: “With such dirty teeth, it is not possible to scare anyone. They must be bright and sharp.” 

So she helps the monster to go into the bathroom and brush its teeth. 

Now, it can scare everyone with its bright teeth! 

It was a Beautiful Morning, 2006

Another story to break the ‘routine’ and question every little detail in life. We always do things as we have learned, but why? What happens if we make it differently? What does it cause? What does it bring to our lives? 

The Night Visitors, 2006

The figures, the monster, the ghost and the bogey and the doctor (with his injection) are symbols of fear for children. In this book the author gives them different roles than expected. 

Dang Ding Dong… 2006

It’s a book of sounds.

The idea is to break the ‘routine’ of life with ordinary tools, to set an example for a boring monotonous Sunday… 

Why did Mom Get Fat? 2005

All of a sudden my mom started to get fat… 

I asked my sister: “Why did mom get fat?” My sister said: “You would not understand…” 

I asked the crow: “Why did mom get fat?”

“Too much cheese…” she said. “Bring me the cheese so she will stop eating it.” 

I gave all the cheese to her. 

I asked the cat: “Why did mom get fat?”

“Too much liver…” he said. “Bring me the liver so she will stop eating it.” 

I gave all the liver to him. 

The Old Lamp in the Attic, 2005

I found an old lamp in the attic.

A genie came out of it.

Though I was hoping that he would make my wishes come true, instead he demanded us to serve him.

My mom cooked for him, made him coffee.

He then wanted to sleep in our couch.

Well, I had to put him back to his lamp, until later…

My Dear Friend, 2013

A new kid moved into our neighbor. 

I said “Welcome to our neighbourhood. Shall we be friends?” 

He said “Certainly, I was bored all alone. Let’s play together.” 

We swang together… 

We climbed to trees and talked about everything… 

We rode together… 

We were hungry. I said “Let’s go home and have some bread with butter and honey on it.” 

My friend said “Definitely not! I never can have honey on my bread with butter, but only some salt.” 

I Love You, 2013

My brother wanted me to play with him. 

But I didn’t want to play with him. 

I went to the park.

A boy said “I love you!” to a girl. 

I went to mom and said: “I love you!” 

Mom said:

 “I love you too!” 

“And do you love my brother too?” 

I asked. “Yes” said mom. “I love him too.”