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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)
I'll Believe You When ...
by Susan Schubert
Age Range: 6-8
This charming picture book by US author Susan Schubert looks at unbelievable idioms from around the world. The expression “when pigs fly" used in the UK also has the equivalent meaning in many other different countries. In Spain they say “when frogs grow hair"; in the Netherlands “when cows dance on Ice”; in Turkey “when the heron turns black” and in Poland “when my hand grows a cactus!”
The groups of words that make up idioms are often playful phrases that are completely nonsensical. These common expressions have over time become part of the language and culture of each country.
I'll Believe You When... contains ten idioms from ten countries in ten different languages. The amusing artwork by Spanish illustrator Raquel Bonita provides hidden features in the illustrations for children to find. At the back of the book, the author gives some useful information on idioms. There is also a map of the world with each saying set out in the original language.