5 Books Translated from Japanese That Every Parent and Child Should Have

averyAvery Udagawa Avery Fischer Udagawa grew up in Kansas and studied English and Asian Studies at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She holds an M.A. in Advanced Japanese Studies from The University of Sheffield. She has studied at Nanzan University, Nagoya, on a Fulbright Fellowship, and at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama. She writes, translates, and teaches north of Bangkok, where she lives with her bicultural family.

She also serves as International Translator Coordinator and Japan Translator Coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (www.scbwi.org).

Yesterday, she answered a few questions about book ecosystems, translation, and publishing for #WorldKidLit. Today, we post her list of 5 children’s books, translated from the Japanese, that every parent and child should have.

You wrote that if you could give every parent a book, it would be The Friends by Kazumi Yumoto, translated by Cathy Hirano. If you could name five, translated from the Japanese?

Avery Udagawa: Absolutely The Friends, deserving winner of not only a Batchelder but also the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction.

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness, by Andersen laureate Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano. Batchelder and Batchelder Honor.

The Secret of the Blue Glass by Tomiko Inui, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori.

The Girl with the White Flag by Tomika Higa, translated by Dorothy Britton.

Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories: thirty-six YA stories including ten in translation from Japanese, one originally from Ainu. Sales of the ebook benefit teen survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 2011.

Avery Fischer Udagawa serves as International Translator Coordinator and Japan Translator Coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (www.scbwi.org). Translator is now a member category in SCBWI, and member translators worldwide can join a listserv focused on translation of children’s literature. Details: itc [at] scbwi.org

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