March Round-up

Your monthly selection of what’s new in the world of children’s and YA literature in translation into English…


World Kid Lit Facebook Group hits 1000 members! We’re thrilled that there so many people interested in World Kid Lit and in raising the profile of translated books for young people. Over 100 new members joined our Facebook discussion page in the last month alone. If you’re not already a member, please head over to the group and join us there.


The Bird Within Me shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Huge congratulations to the Book Island Team, as Sara Lundberg’s The Bird Within Me, translated by BJ Epstein is shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. This is the only translated title to have made it onto either the Carnegie or the Kate Greenaway lists this year, so we’ll be keeping our fingers and toes tightly crossed. See Josephine’s interview with BJ yesterday to find out more about this book and its journey into English.


Lost Shoe Publishing announce their first book. Seeds in a Dark Fruit Sky is a bilingual collection of non-fiction short stories from Haiti in Haitian Creole and English. Lost Shoe’s mission is “to publish literature for underrepresented voices and languages in all shapes and sizes.” Find out more about the people behind this debut release here or visit the Lost Shoe Publishing website here.


Nurit Zarchi wins the Israel Prize in the field of Literature and Poetry. Zarchi has written more than 100 books in a variety of fields, including poetry, novels and children’s literature, as well as essays and articles. Find out more in this article from the Jerusalem Post.


Green Bean Books and Jewish Book Week have launched two book prizes for children’s authors and illustrators living in Europe, the UK and Israel. One author and one illustrator will each receive a £1000 prize and their work will be considered for publication by specialist Jewish children’s book publisher Green Bean Books. The awards will be judged by author and chair of the book selection committee of PJ Library Chris Barash; publisher of Green Bean Books Michael Leventhal; director of the Children’s and YA department at Kinneret-Zmora-Dvir Yael Molchadsky; and translator and author Lawrence Schimel.


Tir na n-Og Children’s Book Awards 2021 shortlists announced. The Books Council of Wales announced the shortlists for the Tir na n-Og shortlists. With separate sections for books written in Welsh and English, these awards highlight the best in Welsh children’s literature. the winners will be announced on Thursday 20 May 2021. For more information, please see the Books Council of Wales website.


January 2022 will see the launch of Orange Mosquito, a new global English-language children’s imprint. It will be a collaboration between London-based Welbeck Publishing Group and Mosquito Books in Barcelona. The aim is to publish 20 books for children and young adults per year. See The Bookseller for more details. 


The 2021 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was announced on 30 March. This year’s award goes to the French author Jean-Claude Mourlevat. “With a particular love for fairy tale, fable and fantasy, he draws on literary traditions to create worlds that resemble no other.” Find out more on the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award website.

Book reviews and Recommendations

Special mention this month for the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Team. They have put out a post a day featuring book recommendations and reflections on practice and curriculum connections related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs, as they are commonly referred to), written by various international school librarians. Do take a look at the GLLI blog, starting with this post which explains all about this month’s book recommendations.

School Library Journalniños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by María José Ferrada, illustrated by María Elena Valdez, translated by Lawrence Schimel (Eerdmans) [Spanish /Chile].

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers – Watch this video to find out more about niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile.

LA Times – How family separation inspired a children’s book about a fearless girl. Dorany Pineda reviews Rebeldita the Fearless in Ogreland by Oriel María Siu, illustrated by Alicia María Siu, translated from Spanish [Honduras] by Matthew Byrne (Izote Press).

Shelf AwarenessThe Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón, trans. by David Bowles [Spanish / Mexico], illus. by Amanda Mijangos (Levine Querido). Review by Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager at Main Branch, Dayton Metro Library.

Bustle – The Most Anticipated Books Of March 2021 includes at #27 Odin’s Child, the first in Siri Pettersen’s Raven Rings trilogy, translated from Norwegian [Norway] by Siân Mackie and Paul Russel Garrett (Arctis).

SCBWI Japan Translation Group – Booklist of children’s and YA titles translated from Japanese.

Trip Fiction – 10 Great Kid’s and YA books set in Japan

Marhaba Languages Expertise – Melanie Magidow lists her book recommendations for children and young adults, whether for libraries, schools, or homes. These focus on Arabic language and culture, with a bonus Spanish selection at the end.

Chinese Books for Young Readers – Stephanie Gou reviews Dragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan

The Dutch Riveter – Download your copy of The Dutch Riveter which includes reviews of Dutch children’s books. You can also watch the launch event.

The Netherlands and You – ‘More Poetry from the Netherlands than any other country’, with recommendations for poetry for younger readers towards the bottom.

Tony’s Reading List Tony and his 10 year-old Hayley review Temple Alley Summer, by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake and translated from Japanese [Japan] by Avery Fischer Udagawa (Restless Books).

GLLI #WorldKidLitWednesday book reviews:

  • Alya and the Three Cats by Amina Hachimi Alaoui and illustrated by Maya Fidawi, translated from French [Morocco] by Nathaniel Penn. Review by Laura Taylor.
  • Trees for the Absentees by Ahlam Bsharat, translated from Arabic [Palestine] by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland. Review by Klem-Marí Cajigas.
  • Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lövestam, translated from the Swedish [Sweden] by Laura A. Wideburg. Review by Nanette McGuinness.
  • Princess Arabella at the Museum written, illustrated and translated from Dutch [The Netherlands] by Mylo Freeman. Review by Lebohang Masango.

For Russian readers: Best 50 Russian children’s books in the 21st century, recommended by Good Housekeeping, Russia.

Juliet’s Book Journey – Featuring The Garden of Inside Out by Chiara Mezzalama, illustrated by Régis Lejonc, translated by Sarah Ardizzone.

Online extracts and titles recommended for translation

ArabLit – An Excerpt from Mahmoud Shukair’s Me, My Friend, and the Donkey, translated from Arabic [Palestine] by Anam Zafar. Seeking a publisher.

The Nerd Daily – Read the first chapter of Odin’s Child by Siri Pettersen, translated from Norwegian [Norway] by Siân Mackie and Paul Russel Garrett (Arctis).

Swedish Book ReviewÖverallt och ingenstans (Everywhere and Nowhere) by Oskar Kroon, illustrated by Joanna Hellgren, reviewed by Fiona Graham

Stilton Literary Agency – Watch Norwegian author & insectologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson explain climate change, biodiversity and the importance of species. She also presents her book På naturens skuldre. Hvordan ti millioner arter redder livet ditt Tapestries of Life, translated from Norwegian by Lucy Moffat (HarperCollins). Video in English.

Articles and Interviews

Smithsonian Magazine – This Hans Christian Andersen Museum Asks You to Step Into a Fairy Tale – by Livia Gershon, about a new museum opening in Denmark that celebrates Hans Christian Andersen.

NPR – Brooklyn Librarian Becomes Unlikely Star With Her Bilingual Story Time. Tenzin Kalsang’s shares stories in both Tibetan and English. Article by Sally Herships.

Words Without Borders – interview with Isabel Malzoni, founder of Editora Caixote, a publisher of both print and digital children’s books.

The Guardian – A Nobel winner turns to picture books: ‘It is a powerful, primeval way of telling a story’ – Discussing The Lost Soul, by Olga Tokarczuk and illustrator Joanna Concejo, translated from Polish [Poland] by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Seven Stories Press). Article written by Claire Armitstead.

Culture.plThe Lost Soul – Olga Tokarczuk. Article written by Marek Makowski

Eerdlings – Interview with literary translator Lawrence Schimel about his work as a writer and translator. He also talks about the beautiful new book Niños, Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by María José Ferrada, illustarted by María Elena Valdez and translated by Lawrence [Spanish / Chile].

Borderless – Translating Japanese, Mitali Chakravarty in conversation with Avery Fischer Udagawa

Johanna McCalmont – Translating KidLit, Montreuil Book Fair

Johanna McCalmont – A review of ‘Hands, Alligators (or Crocodiles?), and the Invisible: Theory and Practice in Translating Children’s Literature‘, a talk by Dr BJ Epstein

The Guardian – What I learned from reading books by women from every country in the world – includes GLLI YA Prize Honor Book Equatorial Guinean writer Trifonia Melibea Obono’s novella La Bastarda, translated by Lawrence Schimel [Spanish / Equatorial Guinea]. Article by Sophie Baggott

Fuse8 – Where in the World is Angus Yuen-Killick? The Coming of Red Comet Press – Elizabeth Bird talks to publisher Angus Yuen-Killick

Publishing Perspectives – Enchanted Lion Books’ Claudia Zoe Bedrick on ‘Pushing the Form’ – “Enchanted Lion Books is opening Unruly: picture books for older readers“.

The Guardian – Shortlist for Carnegie medal offers locked-down children ‘hope and escapism’. Article by Alison Flood.

Storylines Trust – Julia Marshall (Gecko Press) on winning the 2021 Margaret Mahy Medal

Online Interviews and discussions

World Kid Lit LIVE

Our latest #WorldKidLitLIVE event was a discussion about Central European Literature for Young Readers: classics and contemporary books for children and teens from Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and beyond. If you missed it, the recording is available our Facebook page and our YouTube channel. You can also catch up with any of our previous sessions:


A Conversation with Michael and Shizuka Blaskowsky, the Translator Team behind SATO THE RABBIT by Yuki Ainoya (Enchanted Lion.


Muna Kalati – Initiative based in Cameroon. This session celebrates International Women’s Day, discussing how women and in particular mothers can better instil the love of reading. Featuring writer Francine Iboum Rochelet and translator and WKL contributor Johanna McCalmont – in French.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair – Machine Translation and Human Creativity. You can access all of sessions from this International Conference on the Bologna Children’s Book Fair website. €40 for on demand access from 20 March – 30 June 2021.

Linda Sue Park – Who’s REALLY getting published in kidlit these days? The hard data behind the Scarcity Myth.

The Middle Ground (Trafika Europe literature podcast) – Host Joe Williams and Ilya Novodvorkiy discuss ReadMio, a multilingual children’s storytelling app, and some cultural differences between Slavic and English-language folk tales

Useful Resources

The Open University, Reading for Pleasure – The Open University Reading for Pleasure team have collated all the recommendations from their Twitter chats #OURfPBookBlether and complied these curriculum recommendations. Great to see a handful of translated titles on each list. Lists available for Science, History and Maths.

Scottish Book Trust – Exploring translation. Translation activities created by Lawrence Schimel for students or classrooms. The examples are from poems in Spanish, but it’s not necessary to speak Spanish for the exercises.

OmniLibros – OmniLibros is an annotated bibliography to help teachers, librarians, reading resource staff, and parents select and use recently (since 2010) published English-language books that promote understanding across global cultures. We particularly love their book map!

New Releases

Nothing at all by Marie-Hélene Jarry, illustrated by Amélie Dubois, translator not known ~ Simply Read [Originally in French / Canada]

What Ollie Saw by Joukje Akveld, illustrated by Sieb Posthuma, translated by Bill Nagelkerke ~ Levine Querido [Oringally in Dutch / Netherlands]

The Story of Bodri by Hédi Fried, illustrated by Stina Wirsén, translated by Linda Schenk ~ Eerdmans [Originally in Swedish / Sweden]

Ten Little birds / Diez pajaritos by Andrés Salguero, illustrated by Sara Palacios, translator not mentioned ~ Scholastic en español [Bilingual English and Spanish / Colombia]

Our World out of Balance: Understanding Climate Change and What We Can Do by Andrea Minoglio, illustrated by Laura Fanelli, translated by Emma Mandley ~ Blue Dot Kids [Originally in Italian / Italy]

Fossils from the Lost Worlds by Hélène Rajcak & Damien Laverdunt, translated by Daniel Hahn ~ Gecko Press [Originally in French / France]

Small Gases, Big Effect: This Is Climate Change by David Nelles and Christian Serrer; co-translation from German by Dr Bernard Oelkers, Vincent Norris and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp [German / Germany] ~ Particular Books


Thanks for reading! If you have any news about translated children’s books or YA, please email us at