It’s World Beard Day! Four bearded kid-lit heroes to help you celebrate:
Four Heroes and A Green Beard by Narayan Gangopadhyan, translated by Swati Bhattacharji (Bangladesh / India)
In this second book of the Four Heroes’ comical adventures, Teni the Terrible, Pyalaram the Puny, Habul the Hungry and Kyabla the Clever find a collection of mysterious poems written on chocolate wrappers. After that, they run into a strange man with a green beard called Sevenpenny Santra, and the four find themselves caught up in a very strange adventure.
Narayan Gangopadhyay (1918-1970) was a well-known Bengali writer and his books are regarded as Bengali classics. His books parody the Bengali mystery novel, making fun of their blood-curdling descriptions, strange characters and improbable plots. This novel certainly has plenty of these ingredients with completely absurd situations that are truly comical as the unlikely heroes try to work out what is going on.
Two of Gangopadhyay’s novels – Four Heroes and the Haunted House and Four Heroes and a Green Beard – have been translated into English by and published by Tara Publishing giving UK children an opportunity to read these Bengali classics in English for the first time.
Pirate Girl, by Cornelia Funke, Author, Kerstin Meyer, Illustrator , illus. by Kerstin Meyer, trans. by Chantal Wright. (Germany)
According to Publishers Weekly, “Captain Firebeard, helmsman Morgan O’Meany and the crew of the Horrible Haddock make “the knees of honest seafaring folk… shake like jelly.” But they meet their match in Molly, a small but sturdy girl whose thick auburn ponytails rival the Captain’s bushy beard.”
Recommended by translator and educator Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp — and how could you go wrong with Cornelia Funke?
Pancake Pie, by Sven Nordqvist, translator not listed. (Sweden)
Bearded men also like pancakes (at least when the batter doesn’t get in their beard hair)!
This is the first of the Pettson and Findus books, nine story books have been published in Swedish, plus a puzzle book, song book and cookbook.
The books have worldwide book sales of over 6 million and have been translated into 44 languages.
I Love My Dad’s Long Beard, by Maitha al-Khayat (UAE)