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10 Translated Books - 2009

Under 5

Bugs in a Blanket

atrice Alemagna
Translated from French by Anthea Bell

Each little bug lives in its own tiny hole, and has never met any of the other bugs who live in the old woollen blanket.  It is Little Fat Bug’s birthday and he decides to invite all the other little bugs to his birthday party in a big hole in the middle of the blanket. This is a quirky story by Beatrice Alemagna, with a contemporary look and message about difference, tolerance and identity that is both simple and funny. See also, Bugs in the Garden, Bugs at Christmas and The Bug Next Door.

Little Frog

Jakob Martin Strid
Translated from Danish
Alanna Books

When Little Frog drops from a meteor through the roof of a family of frogs they are delighted and welcome him into the fold.  The family loves him and he loves them but the problem is he really is the naughtiest little frog!  Danish author and illustrator Jakob Martin Strid has written a tale of such warmth and humour with amusing cartoon-like illustrations in pen-and-ink and watercolour. Strid deals with the bad behaviour of Little Frog in a gentle, witty way and shows that whatever problems Little Frog has, his family love him unquestioningly.



Around the World with Mouk
Marc Boutavant
Translated from French by Linda Burgess
Tate Publishing


Mouk, an adorable and intrepid little bear, sets off on a journey around the world.  He visits eleven countries and invites his readers to explore with him as he goes on his travels across the globe.  Along the way he makes many new friends and discovers different cultures.  Who can resist smiling at a koala in a Hawaiian shirt or a peacock riding a bicycle?  A remarkable sophisticated book that will enthral readers of all ages from French author and illustrator Marc Boutavant.

The Fearsome Five
Wolf Erlbruch
Translated from German by Catherine Chidgey Gecko Press

When Hyena pays a visit to four ugly misfits – Horrible Toad, Garbage Gobbler Rat, Umbrella Boy Bat and Leggy old Spinster Spider – he discovers that they are all utterly miserable.  Hyena thinks they are the ‘cry-baby club’ and asks the four if they have a problem. “It’s generally agreed that we’re revolting” said Rat.  Hyena sets out to teach them that it doesn’t matter what other people think – it is what you do that matters. Award-winning Wolf Erlbruch has created an engaging picture book with a feast of colourful, comic illustrations and amusing text.


Anne Herbauts
Translated from French
Tate Publishing 

Monday is a little penguin who likes to stay warm and whose best friends are Yesterday and Tomorrow.  When winter arrives a terrible snow blizzard blows Monday’s house away and he disappears without a trace.  An unusual creative tale from award-winning Belgium author and illustrator Anne Herbauts.  The poetic-like storyline is accompanied by a host of multiple art techniques within the pages; from the watercolour illustrations to the unique die-cut cover and to the raised patterned impressions of the special paper that allows children to feel the snowflakes on the page.


Sheep With Boots
Maritgen Matter, ills. By Jan Jutte
Translated from Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke
Gecko Press

Wolf is cold and very hungry as he trudges miserably through the snow with an icy wind blowing all around him.  Coming across a lonely farmhouse with a big barn Wolf begins to rally, perhaps there will be something tasty to eat inside, he thinks.  Here he meets Sheep who he cunningly persuades to go on an adventure with him. An unusual tale of friendship for all ages by Dutch author Maritgen Matter with exquisite black and red pen and ink drawings by Jan Jutte.


Carlo Collodi, ills. Sara Fanelli
Translated from Italian by Emma Rose
Walker Books

Carlo Collodi’s classic Pinocchio has been given a unique makeover by Italian illustrator Sara Fanelli. She has created a dream-like quality as well as incorporated a witty sense of street theatre which lightens the tone of the story. Every page is a burst of colour with a mix of collages, line drawings, watercolour sketches, tiny vignettes, diagrams, jokes, and scribbles. The translation by Emma Rose is refreshingly modern and the high quality finish of this book is superb.

Rubbish and Recycling
Gérard Bertolini and
Claire Delalande
Ills. Nicolas Hubesch
Translated from French by Jan Craddock
Gecko Press

How long does it take for a piece of chewing gum to break down as waste? What happens to milk cartons, tissues or plastic bags once they have been used? And what is a Totter?  In fact everything about rubbish that you probably didn’t want to know!  These are just some of the topics covered in this imaginative and fun book about rubbish and recycling by French authors Gérard Bertolini and Claire Delalande with colourful comical illustrations provided by Nicolas Hubesch.



Dreams from the Endz
Faïza Guène
Translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone

24-year-old Ahlème lost her mother 13 years previously in a village massacre in Algeria.  Her father, the Boss, had already immigrated to France and she and her younger brother Foued joined him after their mother’s death.  Her father is permanently disabled as a result of an industrial accident at work and Ahlème’s energies are shared between looking after her dad, trying to get herself a job and also protecting her 16-year-old brother from a life of crime. For her the future looks increasingly bleak. This is a gritty novel from talented French- Algerian writer, Faïza Guène adeptly translated by Sarah Ardizzone.

The Fury in the Fire
Henning Mankell
Translated from Swedish by Anna Paterson
Allen & Unwin

Set in Mozambique this is the third novel about Sofia by Swedish best-selling author Henning Mankell.  Sofia’s story begins in Secrets in the Fire where she is involved in a terrible landmine explosion and is followed by Playing with Fire  which deals with AIDS.  The Fury in the Fire is a powerful, compelling story of love, betrayal and the courage of a young woman who finds the strength to overcome her disability, poverty and disaster.



2009 Anniversary Book List May17




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