April Round-up

Welcome to April’s round-up, your monthly update on what’s happening in the world of books in translation for children and young adults…


Global Literature in Libraries Initiative YA Translated Book Prize was announced at the beginning of April. The co-winners of this year’s prize are Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins and Where We Go from Here by Lucas Rocha, both translated from Brazilian Portuguese by Larissa Helena.


UN SDG Book Club African Chapter launched on 23rd April which 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. On each list, there will also be an honorary book in an indigenous African language. Keep your eyes on our blog for more details coming soon.


The judges for the 2021 Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation have been announced: Khairani Barokka and Daljit Nagra will be joined this year by new judge Samantha Schnee. The competition launches on 6th May and entries will close on 16 July 2021. For more details see the Stephen Spender website.

  • Categories: 18-and-under, 16-and-under, 14-and-under, Open (adult)
  • All winning entries published in a booklet
  • Special ‘Spotlight’ prize for translation from community languages
  • Top prize £1000


62 candidates from 33 countries have been nominated for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award – shortlist to be announced Jan 2022. The winner will be announced at Bologna Book Fair 2022. More details can be found here.


The CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature was announced on March 29th. This year, for the first time, there was an Indigenous Language category which was won by Inconvenient Skin by Shane Koyczan, written in English and Cree with translation by Soloman Ratt. Illustrations by Joseph M. Sanchez, Jim Logan, Kent Monkman, and Nadya Kwandibens. Published by Theytus Books.


Milky Way Picture Books has launched an English-language publishing programme. According to Publishers Weekly, this imprint of French-Canadian publisher Comme des géants plans to publish ten titles a year starting in 2021.


London Book Fair moves online for 2021. In a press release published on 15 April, it was confirmed that the 2021 London Book Fair will be held online in June due to the ongoing global pandemic. Registration for the event will openb in the ocming weeks and visitors will be able to visit the online fair free of charge. For those of you who are planning further ahead, LBF will return to its Spring dates in 2022: April 5-7.


Kendeka Prize for African Literature. The Kendeka Prize is a literary competition administered by Kenyan based Solano Publications Ltd and awarded to the best piece of unpublished short story by an African writer. All long listed stories shall be published in an anthology titled I Am listening, 2021 Edition. Entrants must be born in, or be citizens of an African country. Winners will receive cash prizes.
Deadline for submissions: 31 May, 2021. Click here to learn more.


Singapore’s Anugerah Persuratan Announces Malay Literature Winners. Announced in Publishing Perspectives, “Rilla Melati wins for her work in the category of children’s books for Si Pencuri Ketawa: Kisah Di Dalam Taman Di Persisiran (The One Who Stole Laughter: A Tale From Gardens by the Bay).”

Reviews and recommendations

One book in particular continues to receive lots of attention this month. Our congratulations the team behind Niños, Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by María José Ferrada, illustrated by María Elena Valdez, translated by Lawrence Schimel [Spanish / Chile] (Eerdmans).

Kirkus Reviews Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, translated from Japanese [Japan] by Avery Fischer Udawaga, illustrated by Miho Satake (Restless Books).

Reading Middle Grade – 52 Best Middle-Grade Graphic Novels, featuring Akissi by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin, translated by Marie Bédrune and Judith Taboy. [French / Cote d’Ivoire] (Flying Eye)

Footnotes and Tangents – 60 books by Vietnamese and diasporic Vietnamese, written or translated into English – includes 6 books for children. List compiled by Simon Haisell with help from Dr. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai.

The Values Bookshelf It’s My Pond by Claire Garralon, translated by Sarah Ardizzone [French / France] (Book Island).

Alexia Cambaling ReviewsLa Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono, translated by Lawrence Schimel [Soanish / Equatorial Guinea] (The Feminist Press)

The Guardian‘It was her story’: Riad Sattouf on the real girl behind his Esther comics, referring to Esther’s Notebooks by Riad Sattouf, translated by Sam Taylor [French / France] (Pushkin Press). Article by Kim WIllsher.

Chinese books for young readers – Stephanie Gou recommends “I Beat the Nightmare Monsters with 32 Farts”, by written by Peng Yi 彭懿, illustrated by Tian Yu 田宇, and published by JieLi Publishing House 接力出版社. 130,000 copies sold in China!

Pink News – 7 brilliant, intimate, moving queer books that will challenge the way you think about love, by Naoise Dolan, featuring La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono, translated by Lawrence Schimel [Spanish / Equatorial Guinea]

Book Riot – 14 LGBTQ Board Books to Diversify your Baby’s Bookshelves, featuring Early One Morning by Lawrence Schimel, illustrated By Elīna Brasliņa, translated by the author.

A Library LadyUnlocked: Stories of Hope from Tiny Owl Artists in Lockdown

Momo Time to Read – Review of A Mystery in the Forest by Susanna Isern illustrated by Daniel Montero Galán translated by Jon Brokenbrow [Spanish / Spain]

Read Write Live – Some Days by María Wernicke, translated by Lawrence Schimel [Spanish / Argentina].

Russian Kid LitThe Music of My Woodpecker by Anna Anisimova and Yulia Sidneva. Review by Ekaterina Shatalova

Global Literature in Libraries Initiative #WorldKidLitWednesdays

  • Agnes’s Place Written by Marit Larsen, illustrated by Jenny Løvlie, translated from Norwegian by Kari Dickson. Review by Nanette McGuinness
  • Animals Brag About Their Bottoms Written by Maki Saito, translated from Japanese by Brian Bergstrom (Greystone Kids). Review by Klem-Mari Cajigas
  • Who Left the Light On? By Richard Marnier, illustrated by Aude Maurel, translated from French by Emma Ramad (Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers). Review by Nanette McGuinness
  • The Best Meal Ever! by Sindiwe Magona, Illustrated by Paddy Bouma. Review by Lebohang Masango 

Articles and Interviews

New York Times – How Do You Illustrate Resilience? These Graphic Novels Show the Way. Hillary Chute reviews A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS by Didier Kassaï and Marc Ellison, translated from French by Nanette McGuinness (Humanoids/Life Drawn), SAVE IT FOR LATER: Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest, by Nate Powell (Abrams), and SHADOW LIFE by Hiromi Goto and Ann Xu (First Second).

Will Buckingham The Secret of Creativity Is Not Suffering, It Is Pleasure, article about Finnish writer, painter, and illustrator Tove Jansson.

Publishing PerspectivesAmazon Crossing Kids’ Marilyn Brigham on Children’s Books in Translation. Article by Porter Anderson.

Brain PickingsThis Is a Poem That Heals Fish: An Almost Unbearably Wonderful Picture-Book About How Poetry Works Its Magic, by Maria Popova, discussing the book This Is a Poem That Heals Fish written by Jean-Pierre Simeón, translated Claudia Zoe Bedrick [French / France] and illustrated by the inimitable Olivier Tallec.

Planet Picture BookQ&A with Author Baptiste Paul. Laura Taylor talks to Baptiste who was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia and is a native speaker of Creole/Patois.

SCBWI Japan – Jackie Friedman Mighdoll Talks with Translator Emily Balistrieri about Soul Lanterns.

University of Oxford Education. South AsiaOn Children’s Literature, Sangita Thebe Limbu analyses contemporary kid lit in Nepal.

Online discussions and interviews

Poda-Poda Stories and The Young Sierra Leonean present The Gilded Ones Homecoming, a conversation with Namina Forna. Discussion with New York Times bestselling author, Namina Forna. Avilable to catch up on Instagram.

The Nobel Prize – Olga Tokarczuk answers the questions: What books did you read when you were younger?

Remembering Tomi – Axel Scheffler in Conversation with Aria Ungerer. The first in a series of videos by, and interviews with other artists discussing the impact of German artist Tomi Ungerer’s work, his influence, and his legacy.

Cork International Book Festival – Catch up with two sessions on translated children’s literature:

  • Lawrence Schimel and Elīna Brasliņa talk about what it’s like to translate children’s literature from around the globe
  • Featuring stories from Germany, Indonesia, Japan and China, this session will take our younger readers on a journey around the globe. With readings by author Reda Guadiamo, and translators Helen WangRuth Ahmedzai Kemp and Emily Balistrieri.

AfriculturesHistoire(s) de la BD en Afrique par pays by Christophe Cassiau-Haurie- in French.


The International Youth Literature Collection from Rutgers University Library is a representative collection of children’s and young adult books, both translated and in their original language, that celebrate writing, visual style and design from outside the USA.

New York Library – Multicultural Collections and Resources for New York’s Diverse Communities. Here you will find information about the celebrations that were held in April to honour Library’s commitment to serving the diverse communities of New York City. As part of these celebrations, there is a book list of 25 recommended world books, including La Bastarda: A Novel by Trifonia Melibea Obono, translated from Spanish [Equatorial Guinea] by Lawrence Schimel. There is also a list of the top check-outs for children in different languages and a link to the library’s vimeo page where you can access multilingual storytimes.


PEN Translates is now open for submissions, with a special mention for books for children and young adults: “We particularly welcome submissions from underrepresented forms and genres (e.g. children’s literature, YA, graphic novels) and and underrepresented languages and geographies”. Funding up to 100% of translation costs. Ensuring translators are acknowledged & paid properly. Deadline May 31st.


Applications for translation grants at the Spanish Ministry of Culture are now open until 4th May. The grants promote literary translation from Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician. Children’s literature is eligible. More details on the New Spanish Books website.


The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation is awarded annually to the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction, work of fiction for children or young adults, graphic novel, or play text, written by a woman, translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender, and published by a UK or Irish publisher. Submissions open NOW. Deadline 28th May 2021.


The ArabLit Story Prize is an award for the best short stories, in any genre, newly translated from Arabic into English. ArabLit welcome submissions of short stories for young people. Deadline 2 August 2021.


IBBY’s Journal Bookbird: a Journal of International Children’s Literature is looking for a new editor or editorial team. If you think this could be you, find out more details here.

Upcoming events

Let’s talk about sex in YA
University of Cambridge
3-7 May 2021
Join delegates from around the world in a week of live online events discussing sex in young adult literature. Of particular interest to WKL fans is Dr Lisa Chu Shen’s talk about Femininity and Masculinity in Contemporary Chinese Children’s Literature.
Full event. Register via Eventbrite


Translation outreach in schools and the move online
Wednesday 5 May, 6-7.30pm UK BST
Sophie Heywood from CBCP and Suzanne Graham from the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism, in partnership with Outside in World, are co-convening an online panel event on ‘Translation outreach in schools and the move online’. 
Speakers: Sarah Ardizzone (Translator, critic and journalist), Charlotte Ryland (Director, Stephen Spender Trust), Gitanjali Patel (Director, Shadow Heroes), Greet Pauwelijn (Book Island Publisher). Chair: Clémentine Beauvais (Author, academic and translator, University of York).
Full details and registration


Five Leaves Bookshop – Diversity in children’s literature series
Children’s Literature in Translation
World Kid Lit Co-Editors Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Claire Storey along with Emma Wright of The Emma Press talk to Deirdre O’Byrne about the importance of translating children’s books.
Free entry. Register via Eventbrite.


Asian Festival of Children’s Content, held annually in Singapore, is possible to attend virtually this year (in late May) with an early bird discount available through this Friday, April 30.

As shown on afcc.com.sg, this year’s speakers will include children’s book translators Lawrence Schimel, Helen Wang, Mariko Nagai and Avery Udagawa Fisher.

New Releases for May

Bibi & Miyu #2 by Olive Vieweg and Hirara Natsume, translated by Nanette McGuinness ~ Tokyopop [Originally in German / Germany]

Chirri & Chirra: The Rainy Day by Kaya Doi, translated by David Boyd ~ Enchanted Lion [Originally in Japanese / Japan]

Grasshopper by Tatiana Ukhova ~ Greystone / Aldana Libros [Wordless, from Russia]

Juan Hormiga by Gustavo Roldán, translated by Robert Croll ~ Elsewhere Editions [Spanish / Argentina]

Little Fox: Playing in the Forest by Marja Baeten, illustrated by Annemiek Borsboom, translator not known ~ Clavis [Dutch / Netherlands]

Maxy survives the hurricane / Maxy sobrevive el huracán by Ricia Anne Chansky and Yarelis Marcial Acevado, illustrated by Olga Barinova ~ Arte Público / Piñata [Bilingual English – Spanish]

My story of Cinco de Mayo / Mi versión del Cinco de Mayo by José Angel Gutierrez ~ Arte Público / Piñata [Bilingual English – Spanish]

Raulito the First Latino Governor of Arizona / El primer gobernador Latino de Arizona by Roni Capin Riviera-Ashford ~ Arte Público / Piñata [Bilingual English-Spanish]

Un tren llamado esperanza / A train called Hope by Mario Bencastro, illustrated by Robert Casilla ~ Arte Público / Piñata [Bilingual English – Spanish]

Pitter Patter goes the rain by Ellen DeLange, illustrated by Anna Lindsten, translator not mentioned ~ Clavis [Dutch / Netherlands]

Birds and Ocean Animals by Motomitsu Maehara ~ Blue Dot [Multilingual – Japan]

The Missing Potty by Anita Bijsterbosch ~ Clavis [Dutch / Netherlands]

The Most Beautiful Story by Brynjulf Jung Tjønn, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, translated by Kari Dickson ~ Enchanted Lion [Norwegian / Norway]

Who is shrieking so early? by Ellen Delange, illustrated by Zafouko Yamamoto ~ Clavis [Dutch / Netherlands]

The Magical Bookshop by Katja Frixe, illustrated by Florentine Prechtel, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp ~ Oneworld / Rock the Boat [German/Germany]

If you’ve got anything to add to next month’s round-up, please email us worldkidlit@gmail.com.

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