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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Shola and the Lions
by Bernardo Atxaga
Age Range: 9-11
“Don’t call me a dog. I’m not a dog” says Shola. “What are you then?” asks her astonished owner. “I belong to the family of lions” replies Shola.
In this charming, witty story about Shola the feisty little dog with attitude, she sets out to discover her inner lioness. Shola has big ideas and is out to prove that no adventure or challenge is too tough for her. She is also determined to take charge and voice her opinions, which she frequently does!
This is the first story from The Adventures of Shola, a collection of four stories by Basque writer Bernardo Atxaga published as a hardback edition in 2013 by Pushkin Children’s Books. It won the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation in 2015. Now Shola and the Lion has been published as a separate story in paperback.
The stories were first translated from Euskera (Basque) into Spanish by the author before being translated into English. One of the most appealing things about these stories is the humour in the text, and the success of this is down to the translator, Margaret Jull Costa who has captured the nuances perfectly.
The charming comic-style pen and ink and watercolour illustrations by Basque artist, Mikel Valverde are so full of expression that they are sure to have children giggling at Shola’s antics.