January Web Round-up

Happy New Year from the World Kid Lit Team. We’re kicking the year off with another bumper edition of the WKL round-up. It’s been a busy week for awards and honour lists and it’s great to see so many translated books featuring among the winners. We’ve also got reviews, articles and interviews as well as events and workshops for translators. If you’ve got anything for the next round-up, please let us know.


The Batchelder Awards were announced on Monday 25th January. The award is given each year for the best translated children’s book published in the United States of America.

Winner: Telephone Tales, published by Enchanted Lion Books, written by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali and translated by Antony Shugaar. Originally published in Italian.

Honor Title: Catherine’s War, published by HarperAlley, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, written by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel, and translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Originally published in French.


The USBBY Outstanding International Books List was also published on Monday and includes 18 translations into English from Chinese, Russian, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Ukrainian. Thank you for USBBY for taking care to #namethetranslators in the full book list! Take a look at their website to find out more.


2021 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry included I Wish by Toon Tellegen, illustrated by Ingrid Godon and translated from Dutch by David Colmer (Elsewhere Editions). See this link for more details.


Empathy Lab UK published their 2021 Read for Empathy Guide which included two translated books:
Felix After the rain by Dunja Jogan, translated by Olivia Hellewell (Tiny Owl)
Maia and What Matters by Tine Mortier and Kaatje Vermeire, translated by David Colmer (Book Island Books)
See the Empathy Lab UK website for more details.


A new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) book club is launching across Africa. The new, multilingual initiative sees book sector organisations from across the African continent come together and commit to augmenting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Book Club with a collection of English, French, Arabic and Kiswahili books about the different goals for children. The book club will launch on World Book Day – 23rd March 2021 – and submissions are currently open for books that will considered by a selection committee to create a shortlist for each SDG. For more details, see this link.


Love Reading 4 SchoolsDragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan, translated by Helen Wang. Review by Joanna Owen

The Horn Book Inc. – Review of Sato the Rabbit, by Yuki Ainoya; illus. by the author; trans. from Japanese by Michael Blaskowsky (Enchanted Lion). Review by Sarah Ellis

The Alliterates – 2021 Anticipated Releases: Young Adult and Middle Grade Science Fiction & Fantasy. Includes Odin’s Child by Siri Pettersen released March 23rd 2021. Translated by Siân Mackie and Paul Russel Garrett (Arctis)

Sandhya Acharya: Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum by Natasha Yim, illustrated by Violet Kim (Charlesbridge)

Global Literature in Libraries Initiaive (GLLI) – #WorldKidLitWednesdays

  • Every Color of Light by Hiroshi Osada, illustrated by Ryōji Arai, translated from Japanese by David Boyd (Enchanted Lion Books). Review by Nanette McGuinness
  • Luisa, Now and Then written and illustrated by Carole Maurel, adapted by Mariko Tamaki, translated from French by Nanette McGuinness (Humanoids). Review by Laura Taylor
  • The Beast Warrior written by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano (Pushkin Press). Review by Nanette McGuinness
  • The Winter Train written by Susanna Isern, illustrated by Ester Garcia Cortes, translated from Spanish by Jon Brokenbrow (Cuento de Luz). Review by Klem-Marí Cajigas
  • Stars and Poppy Seeds, written and illustrated by Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, translated from Ukrainian by Oksana Lushchevka (Abrams Books). Review by Nanette McGuinness

Online readings

Translators Aloud “Seeking a Publisher” – Rachel Ward reads from her translation of Valija Zinck’s DRAGON AWAKENING, in which Ms Tassilo finds a dragon egg inside her suitcase & many adventures ensue…

Articles and interviews

Chinese Books for Young Readers: Helen Wang interview with Frances Weightman, Director of the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing about a new book for Chinese New Year

Chinese Books for Young Readers: Helen Wang interviews publishing consultant Solene Xie

Chinese Books for Young Readers: Interview with Silvia Torchio, Italian translator of Jimmy Liao

Kirkus Reviews: ‘Bring the World Close With Picture Books’. A summary of some of the best translated picture books of 2020. Article written by Vicky Smith

The Gorkha Times: Sangita Swechcha interviews Laura Taylor from Planet Picture Book

International Worldwide Literacy – The IWL have published their “30 Under 30” list of next generation literacy leaders, which includes individuals from Afghanistan, India, Kenya, Japan, Ghana and the Czech Republic among others


University of Reading – Children’s Literature in Translation: A window into the cultural changes of ’68
Monday 22nd February, 6pm GMT
Celebrating International Mother Language Day, Dr Sophie Heywood discusses how the global upheaval caused by the protest movements of 1968 fuelled an explosion of radical creativity in children’s literature.
Free event. Book your space here.


Byre World: Children’s Literature Without Borders
Wednesday 24 February, 7pm GMT

Clémentine Beauvais writes children’s and young adult fiction in French and English. She is the best-selling author of In Paris with youPiglettesThe Royal Babysitters, and the French translator of J.K. Rowling’s The Ickabog. In this masterclass, Clémentine will discuss her work as author-translator with Elise Hugueny-Léger (Department of French) and will share her tips for writing stories for children.
Free event. Book your space here.


European Schoolbooks: Recommended Russian books for children and young adults

Thursday 25 February, 5-6.30pm GMT

Panel discussion with Russian Kid Lit blog co-founders Maria Wiltshire, Ekaterina Shatalova and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, who will each recommend their favourite picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and non-fiction in Russian, as well as highlighting favourites which have been translated into English. Sign-up details will be shared on the Events page as soon as they’re available.

For Translators

British Centre for Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School
19th-24th July
Nine different strands available including multilingual prose for less translated languages. This year’s Summer School is fully online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Various bursaries and grants available, including 4 full bursaries for UK-based Black and Brown literary translators, 2 full bursaries for translators on a low income or who specifically require extra financial support, and 10 full bursaries for applicants residing in a country that qualifies for British Council Official Development Assistance. Deadline for applications: Monday 12th April 2021
For more details, see the BCLT webpage.


Bristol Translates Literary Translation Summer School
5th-8th July
Eleven different language options. This year’s summer school is fully online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Two grants available for refugee/asylum seekers or people on a low income. Deadline for applications: 31st March 2021
For more details, see the Bristol Translates webpage


Comma Press have recently added an area on their website with resources 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, so get your entries in quick!

February new releases

Lenny and Benny, written and illustrated by Naama Benziman, translated by Shira Atik and Batnadiv HaKarmi ~ Green Bean Books [originally in Hebrew]

Benjy’s Blanket, written by Miguel Gouveia, illustrated by Raquel Catalina, translator unknown ~ Green Bean Books [originally in Portuguese]

The lost soul by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones ~ Triangle Square [originally in Polish]

One Day written by Lee Juck and illustrated by Kim Seung-youn, translated by Asuka Minamoto ~ Enchanted Lion [originally in Korean]

The Sea-Ringed World by María García Esperón, translated by David Bowles ~ Levine Querido [originally in Spanish from Mexico]

Can You Whistle, Johanna? written by Ulf Stark, illustrated by Anna Höglund, translated by Julia Marshall ~ Gecko Press [originally in Swedish]

The Hidden Talent of Phoenix Fox written, illustrated and translated by Kristina Radkevich ~ Wacky Bee [originally in Russian]

Sato the Rabbit by Yuki Ainoya, translated by Michael Blaskowsky ~ Enchanted Lion [originally in Japanese]