December web round-up

Welcome to our last web round-up of 2020. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our contributors and readers for your support this year. In what has been a difficult year, Project World Kid Lit has grown and achieved far more than we could have imagined, so THANK YOU! And may 2021 be a happier, healthier and easier one…

Publishing news

Great news confirmed at the first UK-Swiss Book Fair: Books for children and young adults are now included in Pro Helvetia’s translation grants, facilitating the translation of books written by Swiss authors in the four national languages of Switzerland. For more details, see the new Translate Swiss Books website.

Articles and interviews

Interview with Rachel Yung-Hsin Wang , one of the members of the award jury for the GLLI Translated Young Adult Literature Award. Interview by Helen Wang, simultaneously published on the websites for the GLLI and Chinese Books for Young Readers.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) – Global Reading with World Kid Lit: A Look Back at World Kid Lit Month 2020 by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

World Kid Lit Month: a celebration of children’s books in translationLaura Taylor for InTouch, the journal of AUSIT, the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators

Book reviews

AntonTon by Grigor Vitez, illustrated by Tomislav Torjanac, translated from Croatian by Irena Stanic Rasin. Review by Cyrisse Jaffee, The Arts Fuse

THE KING’S GOLDEN BEARD by Klaas Verplancke, translator not known (out in March from mineditionUS/Russo) – Publishers’ Weekly

Outside in World book reviews:

  • Happy Mid-Autumn Festival by Meng Yanan, translated from Chinese by Jasmine Alexander (Balestier Press)
  • Sleepy, Sleepy New Year by Meng Yanan, translated from Chinese by Izzy Hasson (Balestier Press)
  • The Elevator by Yael Frankel, translated from Spanish by Kit Maude (Tapioca Stories)
  • The Invisible by Alcides Villaca, illustrated by Andres Sandoval, translated from Portuguese by Flavia Rocha and Endi Bogue Hartigan (Tapioca Stories)

#WorldKidLitWednesday reviews from GLLI:

  • Can You Hear the Trees Talking: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest Written by Peter Wohlleben, translated from German by Shelley Tanaka (Greystone Books). Review by Nanette Guinness
  • Ida and the Whale, by Rebecca Gugger and Simon Röthlisberger, translated from the German by David Henry Wilson (NorthSouth Books). Review by Nanette Guinness
  • The Lizard by José Saramago, illustrated by J. Borges, translated by Nick & Luca Caistor (Seven Stories Press, 2016; reissued by Penguin Random House, 2019). Review by Klem-Marí Cajigas
  • Follow the Firefly/Run Rabbit Run by Bernardo P. Carvalho (Originally published in Portuguese. Book Island). Review by Laura Taylor (Planet Picture Book)

Translated books in Best Of 2020 lists

Betsy Bird’s 31 lists of the best books of 2020

2020 Translated Picture Books – Betsy Bird reviews her favourites of the year at Fuse #8 (an SLJ blog)

2020 Bilingual Children’s Books – Betsy Bird reviews her favourites of the year at Fuse #8 (an SLJ blog)

50 Notable African Books of 2020, including Water Birds on the Lakeshore and several other children’s and YA titles. Brittle Paper

The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL) Best Multicultural Children’s Books of 2020 includes When Saida Arrived by Susanna Gómez Redondo and Sonja Wimmer, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel.

Translated children’s books due to receive a starred review in the Jan/Feb 2021 edition of The Horn Book magazine:

  • Cave Paintings by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng, translated by Elisa Amado (Groundwood Books)
  • Sato the Rabbit; written and illustrated by Yuki Ainoya, translated from Japanese by Michael Blaskowsky (Enchanted Lion)
  • Your House, My House; written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc, translated from French by Yvette Ghione (Kids Can)

The Kaleidoscope children’s books newsletter from distributor Consortium features translated titles from Enchanted Lion in their best books of 2020

The NY Times 25 Best Children’s Books of 2020 list includes three translations:

  • THERE MUST BE MORE THAN THAT! by Shinsuke Yoshitake, translator not known. (Chronicle; from Japanese) 
  • THE WANDERER, by Peter Van den Ende (Levine Querido; wordless picture book originally published in the Netherlands)
  • WHEN YOU LOOK UP, by Decur, translated from Spanish by Chloe Garcia Roberts (Enchanted Lion, originally published in Argentina) 

Publisher’s Weekly:

The 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List (USA IBBY)

PLC Sydney Reads the World (on Twitter) – recommendations from their World Ambassador for Americas and two attachés

The CLPE staff best of 2020 list included one translation: Felix After the Rain by Dunja Jogan, translated by Olivia Hellewell (Tiny Owl)

World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2020, possibly for the first time featuring children’s titles among the list.

World Kid Lit blog readers’ choices for 2020:

New releases in January 2021

Tweet! by Maria Jose Ferrada, illustrated by Magdalena Perez (Barefoot Books)

Dragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan, translated from Chinese by Helen Wang (Walker Books)

Online events and recordings

World Kid Lit LIVE: Arabic children’s and YA literature

Available to watch again here on our FB page and on our YouTube channel, along with the first two #WorldKidLitLIVE events


Around the World in 18 Books: An introduction to 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 of Milet Publishing and Outside in World. The recording and Ruth’s notes are available on the website of the event’s host, the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing, at the University of Reading, UK. 

For translators

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.

Mslexia has an open call for submissions. They’re on the hunt for short stories to be read aloud to a child at bedtime – and we presume that translations would be eligible, although it’s best to ask. They can be on any subject, but no more than 250 words long, please. Deadline: 11 Jan.

For teachers

Book now for Poetry in the Primary Classroom Programme – a 5-day teacher training course looking specifically at African and Diaspora poetry. For primary school teachers in London, UK. More details here.

Christmas Quiz Answers

We hope you enjoyed our 2020 Christmas quiz compiled by Helen Wang. If you haven’t had a go yet, pop over to the blog post where we share the covers of 18 covers of Raymond Briggs’s famous book Father Christmas in 16 different languages. How many languages can you identify?

Answers: 1. Swedish 2. Italian 3. Serbian 4. Japanese 5. Finnish 6. Slovenian 7. Norwegian 8. Welsh 9. English 10. French 11. Dutch 12. Slovenian 13. German 14. Korean 15. Danish 16. Spanish 17. Chinese 18. English