September 30th is International Translation Day, an annual celebration which takes place to honour the worldwide translation community whose work becomes more and more essential with the rapid globalisation of our society. The date itself is significant as it’s the feast day of St Jerome, the bible translator considered to be the patron saint of translators.
The occasion got us thinking about how we seem to regularly encounter wonderful international children’s books, often translated into English from their native languages. Book Trust has a great list here of books for those interested in exploring children’s literature in translation and below are a couple of children’s books translated into other languages we found on our shelves- can you tell what they are?
Below are this week’s Friday Reads
Apryl: Super Stan by Matt Robertson
Very occasionally, very nice things get sent to us and this week a lovely package arrived on my desk- inside, was this book!
Little brothers are sometimes annoying but for Jack, the situation is even worse; his baby brother Stan is a SUPERHERO. This is pretty frustrating for Jack whose actions to him seem so ordinary in comparison to his very extraordinary sibling. However, just when he thinks his birthday treat to the zoo has been overshadowed by Stan’s special antics, Jack begins to realise that we’re all heroes in our own way…
This is a lovely little story about the challenging relationships between siblings, accompanied by wonderful illustrations (I really loved the scenes at the zoo- that Lion!). Even more excitingly, Matt lives in Norwich which makes this book extra local. I wish I got post more often!
(Orchard Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781408337295, find it at a Norfolk Library)
Gail: Swashbuckle Lil: The Secret Pirate by Elli Woollard, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
Two fun short rhyming stories about a pirate girl who always saves the day, while keeping her identity secret. Would be great for reading aloud to KS1 or for Year 3 to read alone. Rather reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s rhyming stories, especially the tale where a crocodile wants to eat up all the school children…!
An attractive small paperback with interesting illustrations and layout- worth a look!
(Macmillan, £5.99 paperback, ISBN 9781509808823)
Harriet: Hector and Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith
Nicholas John Frith has won the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize for the most exciting and promising newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. He won for his book Hector and Hummingbird, about a bear and his noisy best friend. The panel of judges included not only Klaus Flugge himself, who set up the award in celebration of his children’s publishing house Andersen Press, but famous illustrators such as Chris Riddell and Tony Ross.
The story is simple and the theme covered many times, about friendship under pressure, but the characterisation of the two protagonists is delightfully portrayed and the minimal text is cheerful and humorous. A must read!
(Scholastic, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781407146416, find it at a Norfolk Library)
Zoë: Tall Tilly by Jillian Powell, illustrated by Tim Archibald
This is a simple short story, with slightly larger print for developing readers, with some lovely illustrations to enhance it.
Till is different from her classmates because of her height. She finds it difficult to be happy until her teacher has an idea…
(Evans Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780237527945, find it at a Norfolk Library)
You can find an archive of our past Friday Reads here.