World Kid Lit Month 2022: a look back at a busy month!

It’s the final day of #WorldKidLitMonth 2022, and wow – what a month it’s been! We’ve had more readers and libraries getting involved on social media than ever before, sharing books and stories, new and old, in translation from a huge range of languages, and from all corners of the globe. Below you’ll find a small sample of what happened around the web and in publishing this month. Thank you all for celebrating with us…

Africa

On World Kid Lit blog, Dušanka Stojaković showcased four recent Picture Books from South Africa, published by multilingual publisher New Africa Books; Olatoun Gabi-Williams introduced us to children’s books from Morocco, Kenya and Nigeria as part of the UN SDG Book Club Books – Africa chapter; and Ayo Oyeku shared folklore and fantasy from Nigeria and Senegal in Magic from the Shores of West Africa.

The Jill+ reading series featured #WorldKidLitMonth readings throughout the month, including Nigerian author Toyosi Olatokun reading from Mosa’s Adventures in Libertopia. Also from Nigeria, Modupe Adeyemo read Poems for Children from the Animal Kingdom. And at YouTube channel Translators Aloud, Hannes Barnard reads his self-translation from Afrikaans of HALLEY’S COMET (Catalyst Books, 2022).

Americas

Tapioca Stories and the Carle Museum hosted two picture book events this month celebrating the work of Latin American authors and illustrators Mariana Alcántara, Guilherme Karsten, and Andrés Sandoval; both events are now on YouTube here and here

Jill+ reading series included D.P. Snyder’s translation of Pegasus by Sandra Patricia Rey, a poet and writer from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Translations from the Americas: New releases in September included:

  • A Place for Pauline by Anouk Mahiout and Marjolaine Perreten, translated from French [Canada], Groundwood
  • Clover by Nadine Robert and Qin Leng, translated from French [Canada] by Nick Frost and Catherine Ostiguy, Milky Way Picture Books
  • I Caught a Rainbow by Danielle Chaperon and Nathalie Dion, translated from French [Canada] by Nick Frost and Catherine Ostiguy, Milky Way Picture Books

Translations from the Americas: New releases in October include:

  • João by a Thread by Roger Mello, translated from Portuguese [Brazil] by Daniel Hahn, Elsewhere Editions
  • My Neighborhood by Maria Jose Ferrada and Ana Penyas, translated from Spanish [Chile] by Kit Maude, Tapioca Stories

Asia, the Middle East and Oceania

Global Literature in Libraries celebrated World Kid Lit Month with a focus all September on #IndiaKidLit, with a rich selection of articles, interviews and book reviews curated by Karthika Gopalakrishnan, the Head of Reading at Neev Academy, Bangalore, and the Director of the Neev Literature Festival, and Katie Day, an international school teacher-librarian and one of the Jury Co-Chairs for the Neev Book Award. It’s been an incredibly diverse showcase of India’s children’s publishing in many languages, and you can find links to all the blog posts in this @GlobalLitIn Twitter thread. The Neev Book Awards were announced this month, too. See the GLLI blog for the winners of the Early Years category, the Emerging Readers category, and the Junior Readers category

Here on World Kid Lit blog, Amanda L. Andrei introduced us to Philippine Language Picture Books, Kelly Zhang explored Precious Bonds in Chinese Picture Books, and Anam Zafar reviewed Picture books by Indian author Asha Nehemiah. Lori of Kids Read the World shared four favorite Wordless Asian Picture Books, from South Korea and China.  

Tanja Nathaneal of Children’s Literature Association interviewed Takama Nieda, translator of Chesil’s award-winning The Color of the Sky is the Shape of the Heart, a YA novel from Japan, about books for young people in Japanese and Korean. 

The Japanese Board on Books for Young People released its annual curated list of recent picture books, chapter books/novels, and nonfiction titles published in Japan/Japanese, described in English.

The SCBWI Japan Translation Group featured an interview with Wendy Uchimura, translator of re-released YA novel The Great Shu Ra Ra Boom by Manabu Makime.

On the blog Chinese Books for Young Readers, Helen Wang interviewed Chinese author and translator Xueting C. Ni about translation, early experiences and childhood. And Asian Festival of Children’s Content published a database of themed booklists to help you discover some brilliant children’s books from and about Asia.

Translations from Asia: New releases in September included: 

  • PLAZA by Yuichi Yokoyama, translated from Japanese, edited by Ryan Holmberg, Living The Line
  • Say Hello? By Sung Mi Kim, translated from Korean by Clare Richards, Berbay Publishing
  • Nine Color Deer, written and illustrated by Kailin Duan, translated from Chinese [China] by Jeremy Tiang, Levine Querido
  • Nuri and the Whale by Ronit Chacham, translated from Hebrew by Mekella Broomberg, Green Bean Books

Europe

On World Kid Lit blog, Megan Farr explored recent translations into and out of Welsh, in Recent Books in Wales; Josephine Murray and her daughter Kirstie reviewed three books in the Come and See My City series, Mia Spangenberg reviewed fiction from Sweden and the Netherlands in Friendship in Middle Grade Books. Parrot Street Book Club reviewed four Illustrated Chapter Books for Emerging Readers, from Sweden, France, Germany and Italy. 

Dömdö-Dömdö-Dömdödöm by Ervin Lázár (Hungarian)

In Hungarian Children’s Literature: Zany, Philosophical, and Innovative, translator Anna Bentley showcased the leading writers, publishers, and trends of Hungarian children’s literature. The Jill+ reading series included Emma Ramadan reading from Phalaina by Alice Brière-Haquet and Ainsley Morse reading from the Fine Feats of the Five Cockerels Gang by Aleksandar Vučo & Dušan Matić, which she translated from Serbian.

Alexandra Berlina read from her translation from Russian of Notes of a Distinguished F Student by Artur Givargizov, illustrated by Victoria Semykina. Melody Shaw read from her translation from German of ‘Hi, I’m Death Junior, but You Can Call Me Frida‘ by Anne Gröger (#SeekingAPublisher). Jane Bugaeva read Children’s Poetry, by Elena Akselrod, and Yana Kane read Protest & Children’s Poetry from Russia, both translated from Russian.

Two of our blog co-editors shared readings this month: Johanna McCalmont read from Just to See by Morgane de Cadier, Illustrated by Florian Pigé. On Translators Aloud, Johanna read from I’ll Take Care of You, while Claire Storey read from Austrian author Julya Rabinowich’s Me, In Between, translated from German. Translators Aloud continued their #WorldKidLitMonth readings series with Deirdre McMahon reading from Dirk Kummer’s It’s Only Sugar-Sand (#SeekingaPublisher, from German); David Colmer reading from Annie M.G. Schmidt’s “Babette” (#SeekingaPublisher, from Dutch); Leah Janeczko reading from Roberto Piumini’s Glowrushes (out in December from Pushkin Press, 2022); Ruth Donnelly reading from Pilar Serrano Burgos & David Sierra Listón’s Love in a Cardboard Box.

European translations: New releases in September included:

  • Oskar and the Things, by Andrus Kivirähk and Anne Pikkov,  translated from Estonian by Adam Cullen, Emma Press
  • My Hands by Néjib, translated from French by Angus Yuen-Killick, Red Comet Press
  • No to Dictatorship: Victor Jara by Bruno Doucey,  translated from French by Ruth Diver, Seven Stories/Triangle Square
  • No to Homophobia: Harvey Milk, by Safia Amor, translated from French by Ruth Diver, Seven Stories/Triangle Square
  • Talli, Daughter of the Moon #1 by Sourya Sihachakr, translated from French by François Vigneault, Oni Press
  • Phalaina by Alice Briére-Haquet, translated from French by Emma Ramadan, Levine Querido
  • No Escape From the Alhambra by Kirsten Boie, translated from German by David Henry Wilson, Arctis
  • Little Fairy’s Christmas by Daniela Drescher, translated from German, Floris Books
  • Let’s Play, Little Rabbit by Jörg Mühle translated from German by Catherine Chidgey, Gecko Press
  • Duck’s Backyard by Ulrich Hub, illustrated by Jörg Mühle, translated from German by Helena Kirkby, Gecko Press
  • The Last Rainbow Bird by Nora Brech, translated from Norwegian by Polly Lawson, Floris Books
  • Mr. Coats by Sieb Postuma, translated from Dutch by David Colmer, Levine Querido
  • Severn Speaks Out, Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Alex Nogués, translated from Spanish by Susan Ouriou, Groundwood
  • How to be a Spy, by Daniel Nesquens and Mathias Sielfeld, translated from Spanish by Fay Evans, Little Gestalten
  • Hello Robot! By CosiCosa and Ana Seixas, translated from Spanish by Rosa Gomez, Little Gestalten
  • The Ape Star by Frida Nilsson, translated from Swedish by Julia Marshall, Gecko Press
  • The Gnomes’ Winter Journey by Ernst Kreidolf, translated from German, Floris Books
  • Fleeing the Fascists by Myrddin ap Dafydd, translated from Welsh by Susan Walton, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
  • The Happiest Lion Cub by Oleksandr Shatokhin, translated from Ukrainian by Zenia Tompkins, Red Comet Press

European translations: New releases in October include:

  • Noor and Bobby by Praline Gay-Para and Lauranne Quentric, translated from French by Alyson Waters, Restless Books
  • At the Drop of a Cat by Elise Fontenaille and Violeta Lópiz, translated from French by Karin Snelson and Emilie Robert Wong, Enchanted Lion Books
  • Albie on his Way by Jutta Bauer, translated from German by Matthias Wieland, Red Comet Press
  • A Fairytale for Everyone: The all-inclusive children’s illustrated fairy tale collection that took the world by storm, edited by Boldizsár Nagy, translated from Hungarian by Anna Bentley, HarperCollins
  • The Box by Isabella Paglia and Paolo Proietti, translated from Italian by Laura Watkinson, Eerdmans
  • What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking by Tina Oziewicz and Aleksandra Zając, translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft, Pushkin Press
  • Take a Bite by Daj Gryza, translated from Polish by Agnes Monod-Gayraud, Big Picture Press
  • Madani’s Best Game by Fran Pintadera and Raquel Catalina, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel, Eerdmans
  • Piece by Piece: How I Built My Life by David Aguilar and Aguilar, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel, Amazon Crossing Kids 
  • The Mystery of Raspberry Hill by Eva Frantz, translated from Swedish by Annie Prime, Pushkin Press

World Kid Lit around the world

On World Kid Lit blog, Nanette McGuinness took us on a tour of Graphic Novels about History; Lori of Kids Read the World reviewed three Buzzy Picture Books about bees from Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland; Charlotte Graver wrote about Breaking the Taboo: Books about Death, which included books from Mexico, Denmark, Germany and the Faroe Islands; Clare Gaunt reviewed three Books about Survival; Paula Holmes shared her favorite examples of World Kid *Cat* Lit, including translations from Arabic, French and Japanese.

Anne Thompson explored Books to Read for Empathy, including books from Slovenia, France and the Netherlands; Jake Hope discussed Translation and the Yoto Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals; Lisa Davis shared three Stories to Support a Child with an International Move; and Jen Kraar introduced Picture Books that Convey Emotions in Surprising Ways, including books translated from Italian, Korean and Polish. 

Over at Words Without Borders, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp reviewed 12 Global Children’s Books for History Lovers. UK charity UK Literary Association announced the longlist for the 2023 UKLA Book Awards, which included 5 translations into English: from Korean, Estonian, Spanish, Chinese and Welsh. 

The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators made Celebrating Books in Translation the September theme of its monthly reading list. It also announced Stephen Fraser Encouragement Fund grants open to authors, illustrators and translators, including non-SCBWI members (applications open until November 15); and its Pennsylvania East region offered two free webinars on translation featuring literary agent Ellen Goff and translator Lyn Miller-Lachmann.

Julie Sullivan introduced World Kid Lit Month to readers at Words & Pics magazine. Outside In World have published some wonderful interviews this month including with translator and children’s book expert Ekaterina Shatalova, Julia Marshall of Gecko Press, and Chinese translator Helen Wang. Translator and author Lawrence Schimel was interviewed about disability and inclusion in children’s books (Frankfurt Buchmesse), and also by Betsy Bird in Helping Readers Connect With Stories: An Interview with Prolific and Amazing Lawrence Schimel

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Orpington Library

It’s been wonderful to see readers and libraries around the world making #WorldKidLitMonth displays such as Orpington Library, Lori’s kindergarten, Latymer School Library, and Institut Int. Lancy in Switzerland. Elizabeth Lutz at Marathon County Public library shared this excellent list of translated picture books, chapter books, and YA novels

Our new bingo chart has been a big hit inspiring twitter posts and reading lists. A particularly rich selection of books could be found in the twitter threads curated by librarian Annie in Aotearoa (New Zealand), Paula Holmes and Maureen Tai, who all shared a truly global selection of translated children’s books throughout September.

#WorldKidLitMonth was bigger this year on Instagram than ever before; look up the hashtag and you’ll find some great accounts showcasing global children’s books / translated kid lit. And it’s been great to see international children’s book authors celebrating #WorldKidLitMonth too, like Australian author Andy Griffiths who showcased these translations of his and Terry Denton’s Treehouse series. 

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Huge thanks to everyone who has joined us in celebrating #WorldKidLitMonth 2022 by reading, tweeting, and sharing the love for international children’s books and translations. 

Please keep using the #WorldKidLit hashtag all year round, and happy travels wherever you fly next with a book!