Kids should always have access to a diverse range of writers and stories that reflect the reality of our globalised, multi-ethnic and multicultural world. But especially in September we want to celebrate children’s books in translation and highlight the amazing authors, illustrators, publishers and translators who help bring global stories to readers of English.
Here’s a list of children’s titles published in English translation from January 2017 (books published before then are reviewed in this excellent publication by the UK’s School Library Association).
We’ve included the names of illustrators and translators wherever we’ve been able to locate them!
This is an absorbing and thought-provoking story that takes its readers on an enchanting journey through the park to explore the meaning of friendship, change and happiness.
Nadine’s brilliantly imaginative drawings tread a careful line: they help children imagine how war might affect a little boy like Yazan without overwhelming them. Best of all, the book manages to give Yazan an honest happy ending. It reminds us that, even in terrible times, art still creates joy.” – M. Lynx Qualey, ArabLit & Book Riot
Contrasting sets of very simply drawn cartoons on opposite sides of each spread offer amusing—if usually calamitous—changes by named but never-seen agencies. After a storm, for instance, a towel-clad boy on a ship becomes a naked (discreetly posed) boy in the nip. Droll, imagination-stretching ways to get from here to there, from this to that, from now to later. (Picture book. 5-8) – Kirkus Reviews
Who’s taking so long, and why? Bear can’t hold out much longer, he’s desperate, but the door is locked and the toilet is occupied. He is soon joined by Pig, Elephant, Tiger, Penguin, Monkey and Giraffe who are all needing to go too! Beautiful watercolour illustrations add fun and humour to this amusing story about going to the toilet.
Everyone is waking up to start the day.The old man must wake up, too. He’s sleeping rough on the streets and must leave before he’s shooed away. This is an extraordinary book, one that can make the needed connection for young children to see human beings as more than their circumstances. – Kirkus Review
Mello’s artwork offers countless delights: the plumage of the birds, contrasting backdrops that make the colors blaze, and liberal use of empty space. Cao’s story has the timeless quality of a traditional folk tale (and the brutality of one, with its offstage murder), and it speaks to the way that desires have consequences that can’t be calculated. It’s not comfort Feather’s search offers, but truth and beauty. Ages 3–7 – Publishers Weekly
Experience opera on a cruise ship, toast marshmallows over a volcano, whizz through the air in a hot air balloon, and so much more in this irresistible picture book, the sequel to HERE COMES MR POSTMOUSE.
Fantastical characters have an autumn adventure in this picture book, the first book in the Tales from the Hidden Valley series. Original, whimsical illustrations match a buoyant text to create good fun. (Picture book. 3-7) – Kirkus Reviews
Tiger is a cat with simple pleasures. He likes to spend his days wandering about, chatting with friends and having a little snack. But at night his secret life is revealed – and its very surprising! – Read It, Daddy
Ponti leads us on a journey through the enchanted world of the Twims – tiny, extremely lovable, monkey-like creatures.
When Tan Hou is born with three dragon marks on his body, his parents know he is special. But the dragon is the emperor’s symbol. The emperor’s men come looking for Tan Hou, but he is determined to honour his parents and stand up for his people. This is the story behind the Double Sixth Festival, a day of celebration among the Tujia people of China.
A classic book from the golden age of children’s book illustration, reissued to bring its timeless images and poetic stories to a new audience
Takes the typical toddler behavioural issue of sharing and puts a slightly different spin on it, creating a fun and unexpected tale about what it really is to share with one another.
With simple, uncluttered and boldly coloured illustrations, minimal text and lots of white space, this would be a fabulous book to read aloud to a group, as the illustrations can be seen clearly even at a bit of a distance and the story is short but filled with fun, and a humorous ending. – Kids’ Book Review
Loosely inspired by the experiences of real families fleeing dictatorship only to find continued oppression under Communism, this modern fable presents a hopeful twist by showing how art can inspire hope and change. The first person narration is direct, balancing a child’s understanding with the heavy topic. . . . [The illustrations] create lovely cohesion between plot and art. — School Library Journal
A sumptuous picture book with a deceptively simple storyline that draws attention to the value of enduring friendships, the importance of considering one’s own needs and the needs of others, and the ability to accommodate individual differences. – Planet Picture Book
After many hikes together, an aging badger is no longer able to make it up the mountain; and so her cat mentee, Lulu, becomes the mentor, helping another up the hill in this cyclical story of intergenerational relationships. A quiet, lovely story (Picture book. 3-7) – Kirkus Reviews
When a mysterious crown falls into a pond, the little frog who finds it is instantly pronounced the queen. But when her royal subjects start to question her authority, she must prove she’s fit to rule — if she can.
THERE’S ROOM FOR EVERYONE – Anahita Teymorian, tr. by Delaram Ghanimifard (Tiny Owl) [Iran]
The first book in publisher Tiny Owl’s Hope in A Scary World series, this story spreads an uplifting message of sharing, acceptance and peace!
Renata must find the answers to the questions about herself in order to overcome her past mistakes. This is a magical modern-day fable, beautifully translated by Elīna Brasliņa, with expressive and comic pen and ink drawings that will make you smile. – Outside in World
What to do when your little one won’t go to sleep? Based on sleep science and written by an internationally-renowned pediatric clinical psychologist, this soothing bedtime story models deep breathing, visualization, progressive relaxation, and more. Includes expert sleep tips to create a healthy bedtime routine that’s good for the whole family.
LITTLE ELI – Laura Bellini, wordless picture book (Tiny Owl) [Italy]
This unusual and beautiful set of three tall, thin hardbacks in their slipcase chronicle Eli’s simple story of perseverance without any words. Yet it’s Bellini’s stunning pencil drawing, sense of the dreamlike and surreal illustration that will make children and adults gaze at the books time and time again. Though they’re wordless, the style of the books are best suited to older readers that can appreciate the artwork. – BookTrust
VALDEMAR’S PEAS – Maria Jönsson, tr. Julia Marshall (Gecko, 2018) [Sweden]
A tale about an all too familiar dinner time dilemma that I’m sure many young children and their parents have experienced. The back and forth between Valdemar and his Papa is all too relatable and both children and parents will find humour in Valdemar’s determination and trickery to get chocolate ice-cream. – Booksellers (NZ) (Picture book 2-7)
THE ELEPHANT’S UMBRELLA– Laleh Jaffari, tr. Azita Rassi (Tiny Owl) [Iran]
When the rain comes, the elephant likes to put up his umbrella and invite his friends underneath. One day the umbrella is swept away by the wind and meets the leopard and the bear, who have very different ideas about how to use the umbrella. Will the umbrella find the elephant again? A simple yet sophisticated tale about how generous we can be to others.
ON A MAGICAL DO-NOTHING DAY by Beatrice Alemagna, tr. Jill Davis (HarperCollins, 2017) [France]
Anyone keen to pass on a love of the great outdoors will welcome this picture book about a child lured away from technology to find fun in a forest. Using a beautiful earthy palette and intricate lines, loops and curls, the author/illustrator evokes a woodland world so full of textures and sights you can almost feel the shafts of sunlight on your back. – The Guardian (Picture book 4-8)
The Lion Tattoo: A tale by Rumi – Atefeh Maleki Joo, tr. Delaram Ghanimifard (Tiny Owl) [Iran]
A hip and trendy young man who loves stylish shirts but REALLY loves lions. So much so that he decides it’s time to get himself some awesome ink. Time for a Lion Tattoo! At first the dude is full of bravado but almost as soon as the needle touches his skin, he realises how owchy it all is. We love the way this short and simple tale unfolds, with a minimal word count yet a hilarious story – beautifully illustrated with humorous pics throughout. – Read it Daddy
WALK WITH ME by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng, tr. Elisa Amado (Groundwood Books, 2017) [Mexico]
A girl invites an imaginary lion, a metaphor for her missing father, to accompany her on her long walk home. Along the way, she must pick up her baby brother from child care and purchase groceries, and when they arrive home, she prepares dinner before her mother returns from the factory . . . With guided discussion, youngsters can see beyond the deceptive simplicity of this poignant story. – School Library Journal (Picture book 5-8)
BERTOLT by Jacques Goldstyn, tr. Claudia Zoe Bedrick (Enchanted Lion, 2017) [Canada]
a rich and meandering character study of a boy who enjoys solitude, particularly in the branches of his favourite giant oak, which he calls Bertolt. Nestled in Bertolt’s mighty, 500-year-old branches, the boy finds immense satisfaction in observing the flora and playing with the fauna, and watching the movements of the townspeople from his hidden vantage point high above. But when spring comes and Bertolt’s branches fail to bloom, our hero must find a way to honour the loss. – Quill & Quire (Picture book 4-9)
QUESTIONS ASKED by Jostein Gaarder, illustrated by Akin Düzakin, tr. Don Bartlett (Elsewhere Editions, 2017) [Norway]
There are so many special things about this pocket-sized picture book. It is clever, poetic, with a distinct air of melancholy, and it’s filled with difficult and often unanswerable questions. While being simple in concept the questions convey a powerful philosophical message . . . It’s definitely one to treasure; to be delved into again and again. – Outside In World (Picture book 6-8)
IT’S SPRINGTIME, MR SQUIRREL by Sebastian Meschenmoser, tr. David Wilson (NorthSouth Books, 2018) [Germany]
The scratchy colored-pencil illustrations charm as always with interesting, realistic details of flora and fauna as well as visual jokes. Fans of Mr. Squirrel will welcome his return and look forward to future seasons of fun. – Kirkus Reviews (Picture book 4-8)
YOU CAN’T BE TOO CAREFUL by Roger Mello, tr. Daniel Hahn (Elsewhere Editions, 2017) [Brazil]
Like the handle on a windup toy that moves clockwise until it stops and spins in reverse, the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award winner manipulates a chain of actions and consequences—and then imagines the momentum flowing backward with entirely different outcomes . . . Complex and provocative, this Brazilian import will intrigue readers who like puzzles and frustrate those who don’t. – Kirkus Reviews (Picture book 8-12)
MY DOG MOUSE by Eva Lindström, tr. Julia Marshall (Gecko, 2017) [Sweden]
Lindström’s story stays light and funny all the way through—then ends with a shaft to the heart… Yet readers know that the title tells the truth; the way Mouse looks longingly after the girl on the final page proves it. – Publishers Weekly (Picture book 2-5)
GOODNIGHT MR CLUTTERBUCK by Mauri Kunnas, tr. Jill Timbers (Elsewhere Editions, 2017) [Finland]
creaks at the seams with laughter and crazy shenanigans; it’s an utter delight to read. There’s rich nonsense word-play alongside inventive and imaginative storytelling. Time and again readers will giggle and gasp and revel in Mr. Clutterbuck’s gloriously wacky world. – Playing by the Book (Picture book 6-8)
ME TALL, YOU SMALL by Lilli L’Arronge, tr. Madeleine Stratford (Owlkids Books, 2017) [Germany]
This sparsely worded picture book exudes the pleasure that emanates from the relationship between a caring adult and a child. Beginning with “Me tall / You small,” the text progresses through other mostly rhyming descriptors, some of them nonsense (bop, bip; whoop, droop; tired, wired), that show the contrasts between an exceedingly energetic child and an adult who vacillates between matching exuberance and exhaustion. – Kirkus Reviews (Picture book 3-5)
UNDER THE UMBRELLA by Catherine Buquet, illustrated by Marion Arbona, tr. Erin Woods (Pajama Press) [Canada]
This touching debut in lyrical rhyme, accompanied by bold and stylish illustrations, celebrates intergenerational friendship and the magic of sharing. It also reminds children and adults alike that bright moments can be found on even the gloomiest of days. (Picture book 4-8)
THE STORY OF INK AND WATER by Li Qingye, illustrated by Liang Peilong, tr. Chun Zhang (Balestier Press, 2018) [China]
This is a lively and imaginative children’s story of how Chinese painting came to be. The materials used in traditional Chinese painting (water, brush, ink) are personified as Water Girl, Brush Boy, and Ink Boy, who meet and form friendships through the discovery of their talents. – Chinese Books for Young Readers (Picture book 3+)
Inside the Villains – Clotilde Perrin, tr. Daniel Hahn (Gecko) [France]
An extraordinary pop-up book that reveals the secrets of the most famous fairytale villains: giants, wolves and witches. See the interactive video here
YOURS SINCERELY, GIRAFFE – Megumi Iwasa (Gecko) [Japan]
Giraffe, bored and looking for a friend, becomes pen pals with Penguin in this illustrated chapter book. Young readers will love the silliness. Older readers (including adults) will relax in this gentle, judgment-free world of curiosity and discovery. Takabatake’s fresh, unaffected line illustrations create a seamless collaboration of art and words. – Kirkus Review
CLEMENTINE LOVES RED – Krystyna Boglar, tr. Zosia (Krasodomska-Jones and Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Pushkin Press) [Poland].
Times Children’s book of the week and shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.
This is the story of a search party of children who don’t really know what they’re looking for. While staying at the Holiday Hamlet, Mark, little Pudding (real name Derek) and the beret-wearing Annie find a girl in the forest. She’s called Macadamia and she’s sobbing her heart out. It turns out that, as well as having a name that sounds like a healthy snack your parents would make you eat when you really want cake, she has a problem. Macadamia has lost someone…
SEE YOU WHEN I SEE YOU – Lagercrantz Eriksson, illustrated by Eva Eriksson, tr. ?? (Gecko Press) [Sweden]
Dani is on a school trip to the zoo, and the teacher tells the children how to stay safe and not get lost. But Dani gets separated from the others. What should Dani do? Follow her best friend in the whole world or do as the teacher said? The first, of course!
This is the fifth book in the Dani series, about a girl starting the second year of school. The others in the series are: LIFE ACCORDING TO DANI, WHEN I AM HAPPIEST, MY HAPPY LIFE, MY HEART IS LAUGHING
DETECTIVE GORDON: A CASE IN ANY CASE – Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee, tr. ?? (Gecko Press) [Sweden]
Gordon is on vacation, and Buffy is the sole detective at the small police station in the forest. It is not easy for a police officer to be alone. Especially when there are strange noises outside the station at night. Buffy decides to seek out Gordon in his little cottage by the lake to ask for help. After all, two police think twice
as well as one. Two police are twice as brave!
THE STORY OF A SNAIL WHO DISCOVERED THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SLOW – Luis Sepúlveda, illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, translated by Nick Caistor (Alma Books) [Chile]
This is a phenomenally wonderful story … this is a true gem that can be used as an example of what quality storytelling should be about. — Marzena Currie, The School Librarian
FINDUS RULES THE ROOST – Sven Nordqvist, tr. ?? (Hawthorn Press) [Sweden]
This is the latest in the characterful series about Findus the cat and Farmer Pettson. In this story a rooster comes to live with the chickens. Findus feels very put out that the chickens no longer want to play with him, and especially that the rooster makes a lot of noise! Findus and Pettson try various strategies to resolve this, but in the end the rooster leaves, making the chickens very sad, although they are all cheered up at the prospect of expecting chicks! The usual fun and chaos with Findus and Pettson. Juno Magazine
SODA POP – Barbro Lindgren, illustrated by Lisen Adbåge, translated by ?? (Gecko Press) [Sweden]
Soda Pop loves bright orange clothes and wears a tea cozy on his head. He has brought up his son Mazarin on sweet buns and love. Grandfather Dartanyong emerges from his woodshed every morning with a new identity, and Great-grandfather has moved into a tree, eats birdseed, and thinks he is a cuckoo.
Theirs is a carefree life, untroubled by social norms. In this tolerant world anything can happen—is the garage suddenly full of tigers? We are not surprised.
THE HOUSE IN THE TREE – Bianca Pitzorno, illustrated by Quentin Blake, tr. Stephen Parkin (Alma Books) [Italy]
All children dream of having a secret house where they can live on their own, far from any rules and regulations. But not all of them are as lucky as Aglaia, who lives at the top of a magical tree together with her friend Bianca and an incredible host of flying dogs, talking cats, carnivorous flowers and children who speak in verse.
BRUNO – Catharina Valckx, illustrated by Nicholas Hubesch (Gecko Press) [France]
This surreal yet sincere French import is one of the more interesting books in my life so far. –Travis Jonker, School Library Journal
HOW TO GET RID OF A VAMPIRE (USING KETCHUP, GARLIC CLOVES AND A BIT OF IMAGINATION) – J.M. Erre, tr. Sander Berg (Alma Books) [France]
Zazie has just received a beautiful new notebook, and decides to keep a diary. Brimming with imagination, she writes down her impressions of her cat Roudoudou, her awful cousin Lucas and her new teacher Mr Fleder – who, with his pale skin and blood-red lips, must surely be a vampire! In order to save her life and those of her classmates, Zazie must find a way to get rid of Mr Fleder – and what better way than by following the advice found in Bram Stoker’s Dracula…
THE MYSTERIOUS LIBRARIAN (THE ADVENTURES OF MISS CHARLOTTE) – Dominique Demers, illustrated by Tony Ross. tr. Sander Berg (Alma Books) [Canada]
When the mysterious and eccentric Miss Charlotte arrives in the village of Saint-Anatole to take over the tiny library, the locals are surprised to find out that she does things differently. Wearing a long blue dress and a giant hat, she takes her books out for a walk in a wheelbarrow and shows the children that reading can be fun and useful. Sometimes she is so caught up in the magic of the stories she shares with her audience that she forgets all sense of reality – so much so that one day she loses consciousness and the children must find a way to bring her back.
ERIK AND THE GODS: THE JOURNEY TO VALHALLA – Lars Henrik Olsen, tr. Paul Russell Garrett (Aurora Metro, UK) [Denmark]
An epic tale set in Norse mythology. It follows the exploits of 13-year-old Erik as he journeys to Valhalla – the Land of the Gods…
ASTRID THE UNSTOPPABLE – Maria Parr, tr. Guy Puzey (Walker Books) [Norway]
Maria Parr’s second novel is a hilarious and heart-warming story about family and friendship that will delight fans of Pippi Longstocking. […] A feisty and irrepressible heroine, Astrid is sure to charm readers in this modern classic in the making. * Bags of Books
MY SWEET ORANGE TREE – José Mauro de Vasconcelos, tr. Alison Entrekin (Pushkin Press) [Brazil]
Fifty years after its first publication, the multimillion-copy international bestseller is available again in English, sharing the heartbreaking tale of a gifted, mischievous, direly misunderstood boy growing up in Rio de Janeiro.
THE ICE SEA PIRATES – Frida Nilsson, tr. Peter Graves (Gecko) [Sweden]
A classic children’s adventure of icy seas and cold-blooded pirates, wolves, mermaids and the bravery of one girl determined to save her sister
THE WILD BOOK – Juan Villoro, tr. Lawrence Shimel (Yonder) [Mexico]
A wondrous adventure story of a boy who goes to live with his kooky, book-obsessed uncle in a library where books have supernatural powers.
THE MURDERER’S APE – Jakob Wegelius, tr. Peter Graves (Pushkin) [Sweden]
A SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER, TIMES, TELEGRAPH AND BOOKTRUST BOOK OF THE YEAR
I don’t know when I last read a book with such pure and unalloyed pleasure. It’s ingenious, it’s moving, it’s charming, it’s beautiful, it’s exciting, and most importantly the characters are people I feel I know like old friends. – Philip Pullman
APPLE CAKE AND BAKLAVA – Kathrin Rohmann, tr. Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (Darf) [Germany]
Loss and longing, exile and grief, and the need to belong somewhere underpin this heartfelt, thoughtful refugee tale. – BookBlast
DETECTIVE NOSEGOODE AND THE MUSIC BOX – Marian Orlon, tr. Eliza Marciniak (Pushkin UK / Steerforth Press USA) [Poland]
The first in a series of irresistibly charming, beautifully illustrated children’s classics – the adventures of Detective Nosegoode and his talking dog, Cody.
Others in the series: Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery; Detective Nosegoode and the Kidnappers
A GOOD DAY FOR CLIMBING TREES – Jaco Jacobs, tr. Kobus Geldenhuys (Oneworld) [South Africa]
How two unlikely heroes inspire a whole town by fighting to save a tree… The book deftly handles issues around family life, as well as activism, with a light-hearted touch. With lots of humour and a cast of weird but wonderful characters, and Jim Tierney’s modish illustrations, this is the perfect feel-good book from one of South Africa’s top children’s authors.’ – BookTrust
ELISE AND THE SECOND-HAND DOG – Bjarne Reuter, tr. Siân Mackie (Wacky Bee) [Denmark]
It features a lonely girl from an eccentric family whose unpromisingly smelly but much-wanted new dog turns out, when he talks, to be a laconic Scot. With humorous dialogue, madcap set pieces and insights into family relationships, it offers a distinctive new comic voice. –The Sunday Times
QUEST: STORIES OF JOURNEYS FROM AROUND EUROPE FROM THE AARHUS 39 – ed. Daniel Hahn (Alma) [Europe]
Age range: 11+
Quest, a volume of seventeen stories aimed at children, will whisk you away from dark bedrooms to new dimensions and fantasy realms, via the Russian countryside and modern Rome. You’ll encounter talking field mice, invisible friends, flying kraiks, white elephants, runaway books and wardrobes that act as magic portals.
MS. ICE SANDWICH – Mieko Kawakami, tr. Louise Heal Kawai (Pushkin Press) [Japan]
A quirky, hopeful story of a boy in his fourth year of primary school who has an obsession.
DOG TOWN – Luize Pastore, tr. Zanete Vevere Pasqualini (Firefly) [Latvia]
CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK: THE TIMES ‘A delightful doggy adventure … with great humour and style’
THE RAVEN’S CHILDREN – Yulia Yakovleva, tr. Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (Puffin) [Russia]
Leningrad, 1938 – a place of great terror. One morning, Shura’s parents disappear without a trace. Their neighbours whisper that Mama and Papa were spies, enemies of Stalin and that they’ve been taken by something mysterious called The Raven. Desperate to reunite his family, Shura decides to hunt down The Raven, finding help in the most unexpected places but facing more danger than he has ever known . . .
THE BEAST PLAYER – Nahoko Uehashi, tr. Cathy Hirano (Pushkin) [Japan]
Elin’s family have an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom’s army. So when some of the beasts mysteriously die, Elin’s mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath she manages to send her daughter to safety. Alone, far from home, Elin soon discovers that she can talk to both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen. This skill gives her great powers, but it also involves her in deadly plots that could cost her life. Can she save herself and prevent her beloved beasts from being used as tools of war? Or must she face the terrible battles to come?
PIGLETTES – Clémentine Beauvais, tr. Clémentine Beauvais (Pushkin Press) [France]
A fierce response to online bullying… A coming of age book with a difference, Piglettes resists the usual drift into conformity and instead maintains the theme of bullying and exclusion, never shying away from uncomfortable truths but fizzing with knowing humour throughout — School Library Journal
TOLETIS – Rafa Ruiz, illustrated by Elena Hormiga, translated by Ben Dawlatly (Neem Tree Press) [Spain]
An absolute must read for both children and adults. It’s an ode to the environment, with its deep appreciation of nature, and to childhood where magic realism combines with the importance of family and friendship. The passing of time and reflecting on life pervades throughout. With extraordinary artwork by Elena Hormiga this captivating story is one to relish; it’s timeless because it can be read again and again. A book that is surely destined to become a classic. – Outside in World
IN THE WOLF’S LAIR: A BEASTLY CRIMES BOOK – Anna Starobinets, translated by Jane Bugaeva (Dover Press) [Russia] *Out October 2018*
Life in the Far Woods tends to be tranquil because the animal denizens are strictly forbidden to kill (or eat!) one another. An elderly detective, Chief Badger, oversees the community and solves its petty crimes, from stolen pine cones to plucked tail feathers. His restless assistant, Badgercat, longs for some excitement — a desperate crime, a beastly crime! His hopes are realized when some croaking frogs reveal the shocking news of Rabbit’s murder…
Look for the sequel, A PREDATOR’S RIGHTS, also available from Dover Publications.
TORTOT, THE COLD FISH WHO LOST HIS WORLD AND FOUND HIS HEART – Benny Lindelauf, illustrated by Ludwig Volbeda, tr. Laura Watkinson (Pushkin Press) [Netherlands]
This anti-war fable, with its ironically humorous text and intricately detailed illustrations, shows the futility, absurdity and horrors of war — The School Librarian
A FRIEND IN THE DARK – Pascal Ruter, tr. Emma Mandley (Walker Books) [France]
A heartwarming story of how friendship can help through the worst traumas, even losing your sight.
12 + / Young adults
THE VENTRILOQUIST’S DAUGHTER – Man-Chiu Lin, tr. Helen Wang (Balestier Press) [Taiwan]
Liur’s father brings her a present of a ventriloquist’s doll, which becomes a menacing presence in the house, causing strife within the family. After observing her father performing strange rituals with the doll, Liur must find a way to defeat her demons – real or imagined.
ODYSSEY: STORIES OF JOURNEYS FROM AROUND EUROPE FROM THE AARHUS 39 – ed. Daniel Hahn (Alma) [Europe]
A volume of twenty-one stories aimed at young adults, offers a variety of takes on the theme of travelling – at times funny and playful, at others dramatic and poignant – covering a wide range of subjects relevant to teenagers across Europe such as coming of age, sexuality, migration, identity and displacement. Whether you’re after realism or escapism, tales about inner cities, sunny holidays or sci-fi
NAONDEL (RED ABBEY CHRONICLES #2) – Maria Turtschaninoff, tr. Annie Prime (Pushkin Press) [Finland]
An unforgettable feminist epic, shot through with hypnotic dark charm —The Bookseller
A HERO BORN: LEGENDS OF THE CONDOR HEROES VOL. 1 – Jin Yong, translated by Anna Holmwood (MacLehose Press) [China]
A Chinese Lord of the Rings. — Irish Times. A stirring epic, full of gravity-defying kung fu, treachery, loyalty and love . . . hugely entertaining. — The Times.
WILD ANIMALS OF THE SOUTH – Dieter Braun, tr. Jen Calleja (Flying Eye) [Germany]
Design wise this book is a gem. Settings, animal pairings, perspectives, and layouts are varied and interesting. The visual appeal is lively and dramatic and page turning. – New York Journal of Books. The follow-up to Wild Animals of the North
HOW DOES A LIGHTHOUSE WORK? – Roman Belyaev, tr. Masha Kulikova (b small publishing) [Russia]
A fascinating journey through the science and history of lighthouses around the world. This a terrific book to share with inquisitive children and the combination of stunning illustrations and interesting text makes this a well worthwile read both at home and to use in the classroom. – Love Reading 4 Kids
NOW MAKE THIS! 24 DIY PROJECTS BY DESIGNERS FOR KIDS – Thomas Bärnthaler, tr. Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Jessica West (Phaidon) [Germany]
Exclusive ideas from 24 of the world’s leading designers for home building projects, from propeller planes to sweet-wrapper lamps. Kids can follow the step-by-step guides that include time and making costs.—Smallish
EXPRESS DELIVERY FROM DINOSAUR WORLD – Yanan Dong, tr. Helen Wang (Candied Plums) [China]
A beautifully designed book, with meticulous attention to detail in both the illustrations and the fold-outs, lift-the-flaps and acetate sheets; all of which combine to make this a masterful book. – Outside In World (Picture book 6-8)
ALL KINDS OF CARS – Carl Johanson, tr. ?? (Flying Eye Books) [Sweden]
Taking the form of a catalogue, Johanson’s book identifies the ordinary along with the extraordinary – from fire engines and snowploughs to galactic buses and guitar cars. All Kinds of Cars is a playful mix of existing and imaginary, creating a zany book enjoyed by adults and children alike.
MARIA AND ME: A FATHER, A DAUGHTER (AND AUTISM) – Maria Gallardo and Miguel Gallardo (Jessica Kingsley Publishing) [Spain]
A father’s first-hand account of what life is like with his daughter Maria who has autism. On a trip to the Canary Islands in Spain, some challenges arise as a result. This comic shows how the two work around these issues, and gives insight into how Maria sees and experiences the world.
MOUNTAINS OF THE WORLD – Dieter Braun, tr. Jen Calleja (Flying Eye) [Germany]
Take a closer look at the mountains of the world, from the Alps to the Andes to the peaks of the Himalayas. Meet the animals and people who make their homes on rocky peaks, as well as the adventurers and athletes who challenge these great heights. This richly illustrated book is packed with history and facts about the mountains of the world and all their wonders.
THE BOOK OF CLOUDS: POEMS FOR CHILDREN – Juris Kronbergs, illustrated by Anete Melece, tr. Mara Rozitis & Richard O’Brien (Emma Press) [Latvia]
THE NOISY CLASSROOM: POEMS FOR CHILDREN – Ieva Flamingo, illustrated by Vivianna Maria Staņislavska, tr. Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini, Sara Smith and Richard O’Brien (Emma Press) [Latvia]
EVERYONE’S THE SMARTEST: POEMS FOR CHILDREN ABOUT SCHOOL – Contra and illustrator Ulla Saar, tr. Kätlin Kaldmaa and Charlotte Geater (Emma Press) [Estonia]
THE BIG BAD FOX – Benjamin Renner, tr. Joe Johnson (First Second Books) [France]
Renner’s hapless fox doesn’t like to kill prey, and he’s putty in the hands of the local wolf, who talks him into stealing three eggs from a farm to be eaten once they hatch. “It’s simple,” the wolf promises. “You just put them in your mouth and chew. I’ll show you.” Renner’s cramped, spidery lines and diminutive vignettes convey an ever-changing kaleidoscope of expressions on the face of the fox: dismay, shock, sheepish embarrassment. Not unpredictably, the three fluffy chicks grow to love their parent (“If Mommy’s the Big Bad Fox, then we’re Little Bad Foxes!”), and the fox, in spite of himself, finds that he’s attached to them, too. – Publishers Weekly
CICI’S JOURNAL: THE ADVENTURES OF A WRITER-IN-TRAINING, by Joris Chamberlain and Aurélie Neyret, tr. Carol Klio Burrell (First Second Books) [France]
Ten-year-old Cici is determined to become a writer and introduces her cast of characters in journal entries: her single mother, her novelist neighbor Mrs. Flores (“After meeting her that day, I knew that I wanted to write books too”), and her friends Lena and Erica. Subsequent action toggles between panel artwork, Cici’s journal notes, and other correspondence. Cici successfully solves two mysteries—one in the forest that contains an abandoned zoo, the second in the local library—but her professional ambitions sometimes trip her up. – Publishers Weekly
SEA CREATURES #1 Reef Madness and #2 Armed & Dangerous, by Christophe Cazenove and Thierry Jytery, tr. Nanette McGuinness (Papercutz) [France]
Dolphin sonar, the “pistol” shrimp, the incredible intelligence of the octopus … there’s no end to the mysteries and varieties of creatures you’ll encounter beneath the sea. It’s time to don your wetsuit and follow us into the depths of the oceans to discover the amazing underwater world. Learn about the colors, shapes, species and lifestyles that make up this amazing realm, straight from the (sea)horse’s mouth. Each encounter is more incredible than the last!
THE SISTERS GRAPHIC NOVELS, by Willliam Maury and Christophe Cazenove (Papercutz) [France?] # 1 Just Like Family, translated by Nanette McGuinness and Anne and Owen Smith,
# 2 Our Way, translated by Anne and Owen Smith,
# 3 Honestly, I Love My Sister, translated by Nanette McGuinness,
# 4 Selfie Awareness, translated by Nanette McGuinness
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: CASS ELLIOT BEFORE THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS, by Pénélope Bagieu, translated by Nanette McGuinness (First Second) [France]
Before she was the legendary Mama Cass of the folk group The Mamas and the Papas, Ellen Cohen was a teen girl from Baltimore with an incredible voice, incredible confidence, and incredible dreams. She dreamed of being not just a singer but a star. Not just a star–a superstar. So, at the age of nineteen, at the dawn of the sixties, Ellen left her hometown and became Cass Elliot.
At her size, Cass was never going to be the kind of girl that record producers wanted on album covers. But she found an unlikely group of co-conspirators, and in their short time together this bizarre and dysfunctional band recorded some of the most memorable songs of their era. Through the whirlwind of drugs, war, love, and music, Cass struggled to keep sight of her dreams, of who she loved, and–most importantly–who she was.
POPPIES OF IRAQ, by Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim, translated by Helge Dascher (Drawn and Quarterly) [France]
Findakly negotiates national identities with one parent from the Middle East, one parent from western Europe; she conveys a disarming coming-of-age story in war-torn Iraq, lured by the dream of France; and captures the beauty of home, even amid cultural and religious repression. With nonlinear pacing and vignettes, however, Poppies of Iraq adds a unique storytelling angle to the themes of Marjane Satrapi’s seminal Persepolis and Riad Sattouf’s acclaimed The Arab of the Future. Findakly trusts the reader to collect her personal stories into a complicated understanding of home and belonging. – World Literature Today
CASTLE IN THE STARS, #1-2, by Alex Alice, translated by Anne and Owen Smith (First Second) [France]
In search of the mysterious element known as aether, Claire Dulac flew her hot air balloon toward the edge of our stratosphere―and never returned. Her husband, genius engineer Archibald Dulac, is certain that she is forever lost. Her son, Seraphin, still holds out hope.
One year after her disappearance, Seraphin and his father are delivered a tantalizing clue: a letter from an unknown sender who claims to have Claire’s lost logbook. The letter summons them to a Bavarian castle, where an ambitious young king dreams of flying the skies in a ship powered by aether. But within the castle walls, danger lurks―there are those who would stop at nothing to conquer the stars.
Parents, grandparents, book bloggers, booksellers, librarians, teachers … please seek out these lovely books and share your thoughts and your other #worldkidlit recommendations with us on Twitter!
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