November web round-up

It’s been a busy November for news and awards announcements and we’re thrilled to see translated books being included on several prize shortlists. November also saw the first of our language-specific World Kid Lit LIVE panel events, this time focusing on Arabic. Take a look below for all your World Kid Lit news, reviews, interviews and events. This month we also have opportunities for translators, authors and academics.


The nominations for the 2021 CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals have been announced including translated titles on both lists. The longlist will be revealed in February 2021 with the shortlist following in March. The winners will be announced on 16 June 2021.

  • Carnegie Medal: A Postcard to Ollis by Ingunn Thon, illustrated by Nora Brech and translated by Siân Mackie (Wacky Bee Books).
  • Kate Greenaway Medal: The Garden of Inside-Outside illustrated by Régis Lejonc, written by Chiara Mezzalama and translated by Sarah Ardizzone (Book Island)


On 16 November 2020, the finalists in the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award were announced. For the first time, a translated title has been included on the finalist shortlist for this award: THE DAY SAIDA ARRIVED by Susana Gómez Redondo, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer, translated by Lawrence Schimel and published by Blue Dot Kids Press. The winner will be announced on 15 January 2021. You can watch Lawrence read from the book over on the Translators Aloud YouTube Channel.


We were very sorry to learn of the death of Emma Langley, publisher at Phoenix Yard Books, who was a passionate advocate of children’s literature in translation. She was remembered here in a conversation between Daniel Hahn & Sarah Ardizzone (Books for Keeps)


There’s great news for fans of Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins, translated by Larissa Helena (Scholastic)! Brazilian independent film producer Conspiracao has secured rights to develop a screen adaptation of the queer and body-positive new release. Check out the teaser trailer here. You can also find out more about the book from this interview between Lawrence Schimel and Larissa Helena.


Trees for the Absentees, a Palestinian coming-of-age novella set in Nablus, by Ahlam Bsharat, translated from Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland (Neem Tree Press) has been shortlisted for the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic literature in translation. As far as we know, this is the first Arabic YA book to be shortlisted for the prize.

This prize is one of six translation prizes administered by the Society of Authors, and Trees for the Absentees is the only book for young people on any of six prize shortlists. The winners of all six prizes will be announced in an online celebration on Thursday 11 February 2021.


On Tuesday, the BBC published its 100 Women 2020. This list includes 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world. We were delighted to see children’s author and illustrator Nadine Kaadan featured on the list which mentioned her “mission to champion empowered and inclusive representation in children’s books, so that every child can see themselves in a story.” Congratulations Nadine!


THE GHOUL by Taghreed Najjar (illustrated by Hassan Manasrah, translated from Arabic by Michel Moushabeck; Crocodile Books, 2019) received an Honorable Mention in the MEOC Middle East Book Award, the only translated title on the winners’ list.

The winners of the Picture Book award were SALMA THE SYRIAN CHEF by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron (Annick Press, 2020) and THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO by Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2020). The winners of the Youth Literature award were NO BALLET SHOES IN SYRIA by Catherine Bruton (Nosy Crow, 2019) and OTHER WORDS FOR HOME by Jasmine Warga (Balzer + Bray, 2019), with an honorable mention for ONCE UPON AN EID: STORIES OF HOPE AND JOY BY 15 MUSLIM VOICES edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Sara Alfageeh (Harry N. Abrams, 2020).

You can register for a webinar on March 11, 2021, by Danny Ramadan and Anna Bron, the winners of the Picture Book award.

Articles and interviews

A Crafty Arab – 99 Arab Children’s Books: “My goal is to make this 99 book list pure #OwnVoices from authors of the 22 countries of the Arab world, or its diaspora.”

CLPE Reflecting Realities updated report

Publishers Weekly – Expect the Unexpected from Enchanted Lion’s ‘Unruly’ Imprint

Kirkus Reviews – ‘The World’s Ending. But First, a Mystery to Solve’: Laura Simeon interviews Mats Strandberg, author of The End, translated by Judith Kiros (Arctis Books)

Words Without Borders – Children’s Literature in Translation: Levine Querido. Interview with Levine Querido founder Arthur Levine.

Silencing Tales for Tolerance in Hungary: Wonderland Belongs to Everyone – by Jozefina Komporaly, Asymptote Journal

Book reviews

Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands by Sonia Nimr, translated from Arabic by M. Lynx Qualey (Interlink) – starred review from Kirkus Reviews

Justine Laismith – 5 Books for Anti-Bullying Week (16-20 Nov 2020), including Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, translated from Chinese by Helen Wang

Gathering Books – Review of María Wernicke’s SOME DAYS (Amazon Crossing Kids) and THE PHONE BOOTH IN MR. HIROTA’S GARDEN by Heather Smith & Rachel Wada (Orca Books) talking about grief for All Soul’s Day. Review by Myra Garces-Bacsal.

Outside in World – reviews of children’s books in translation:

  • Ellie’s Voice or Trööömmmpffff  by Piret Raud, translated from Estonian by Adam Cullen (Restless Books)
  • Like a Giant by Marc Daniau and Yvan Duque (from French; Tate Publishing)
  • Nina’s Amazing Gift! by Maja Lunde, illustrated by Hans Jorgen Sandnes (translated from Norwegian by the publisher Wacky Bee Books)
  • Count On Me by Miguel Tanco (from Spanish; Tate Publishing)
  • Tell Me by Katharina von der Gathen, translated from German by Shelley Tanaka, illustrated by Anke Kuhl (Gecko Press)

Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI) #WorldKidLitWednesday reviews:

  • Brown by Håkon Øvreås and illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson (Enchanted Lion Books). Review by Nanette McGuinness
  • Little Fox by Edward van de Vendel, illustrated by Marije Tolman, translated from Dutch by David Colmer (Levine Querido). Review by Laura Taylor
  • Here Comes Lolo and Hooray for Lolo, by South African author and illustrator Niki Daly (Catalyst Press). Review by Klem-Marí Cajigas
  • A Winter’s Promise / The Missing of Clairdelunde by Christelle Dabos, translated from French by Hildegarde Serle (Europa Editions). Review by Nanette McGuinness

Asian Review of Books – Children’s review, including Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono, translated from Japanese by Emily Balistrieri (Penguin Random House)

Ed Finch – Thread on Twitter of video reviews looking at each of the books from the Book Island Satchel of Dreams

Nina’s Amazing Gift by Maja Lunde, illustrated by Hans Jorgen Sandnes, translated from Norwegian in house by Wacky Bee – reviewed by Karen Argent at The Letterpress Project

Jefferson – reviewed by Margot Lindgren at Momo Time to Read

Playing a Part by Daria Wilke, translated from Russian by Marian Schwartz (Arthur A. Levine Books) – reviewed by Olga Bukhina at Russian Kid Lit blog

Apple Cake and Baklava by Kathrin Rohmann, translated from German by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (Darf Publishing) – reviewed on Even the Trunchbull podcast

The Ghoul by Taghreed Najjar, translated from Arabic by Michel Moushabeck (Crocodile Books) – named as one of the Chicago Public Library’s ‘best of the best’ for 2020

Riley Can’t Stop Crying by Stéphanie Boulay, translated from French by Charles Simard, illustrated by Agathe Bray-Bourret (Orca Books, out March 2021) – reviewed at Publishers Weekly

New releases in December

The Invisible by Alcides Villaça, illustrated by Andrés Sandoval, translated by Flávia Rocha, Tapioca Stories [Originally published in Portuguese in Brazil]

Upcoming online events and recordings

Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse – in French
La 36e édition du Salon, du 2 au 7 décembre. #SLPJ20
More details here.


Around the World in 18 Books: An introduction to literary translation in children’s and YA publishing
10 December 2020 17:00-18:30 GMT
Literary translation in children’s and YA publishing: an online public talk with translator and World Kid Lit blog co-editor Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, introduced by Patricia Billings (Milet Publishing and Outside in World). Hosted by The University of Reading. Free to attend. See the University of Reading webpage for more details of how to join the event.

Palestine Writes Literature Festival: Children and YA Literature

Saturday 5 December 2020 10.00-11.15 EST

Details here

This panel will touch on issues of representation in literature aimed at young audiences—in particular, what it means to raise children amidst popular cultural images that do not speak to their realities. Panelists will talk about their own experiences in creating books that reflect the lives of Black, Brown and Indigenous children.

Videos and recordings of online events

World Kid Lit LIVE returns!

Our first language-specific World Kid Lit LIVE focusing on Arabic children’s and YA literature was huge success with a fantastic discussion on our Facebook page.

If you missed it, it is available to watch again on our Facebook page and on our YouTube channel, along with the first two #WorldKidLitLIVE events


FarLit, an organization promoting Faroese literature, recently launched the project TRANSLATION TEASERS with nine short films, each showcasing a Faroese book and author. This week’s film was about Faroese picture book creator Bárður Oskarsson, who has several books in translation by Marita Thomsen published by Darf Publishing. This short film is about his new book, Hilbert.

For translators and authors

The John Dryden Translation Competition 

Prizes will be awarded for the best unpublished literary translations from any language into English. Literary translation includes poetry, prose, or drama from any period – texts for young people will be accepted. Closing date 8 February 2021.


ICM Global South Translation Fellowship 2021

Cornell University’s Institute for Comparative Modernities welcomes applications from translators for a grant of up to $5000 to complete translations of works from the Global South (Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, etc) into English.  This is a non-resident, remote fellowship designed to allow the recipient to complete the work outside of Cornell University. 
Deadline to apply: December 10th. Full details here


Bok Bok Books: Poetry Submissions for ‘Floating Words’ now open

The independent publisher Bok Bok Books is accepting submissions for ‘Floating Words,’ a project for which we have been awarded funding from Arts Council England. ‘Floating Words’ is going to be a collection of poetry engaging with the theme of water, aimed at children aged 7 – teens.

The book will be an illustrated, children’s poetry anthology containing poems by Bengali authors, curated by British Bangladeshi bilingual poet, Shamim Azad. Entries may be in English or Bangla (Bangla entries will be translated to English and vice versa).

Deadline for submissions: 31st December 2020. Full details here


Shadow Heroes: Exploring race through translation

Shadow Heroes runs series of creative and challenging workshops which use translation
to engage students in critical thought. The organisation is looking to train 3 translators to develop a workshop which explores race through translation.

Deadline to apply: Wednesday 9th December. Full details here

For Academics

The Antwerp University Summer School on Children’s Literature runs from 5 – 9 July 2021. The Summer school is aimed at MA and PhD students, but also open to more senior researchers and professionals with an interest in children’s literature studies. Registration opens on 7 December 2020.