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10 Translated Books - 2011

Under 5

Adelaide: The Flying Kangaroo
Tomi Ungerer
Translated from German

Written and illustrated in the 1950s, this is a timeless children’s classic by award-winning Tomi Ungerer, is full of wit and expressive artwork. When Adelaide is born her parents are extremely surprised to find that their baby kangaroo has wings.  As she grows her wings become larger and larger.  An exceptionally curious little Kangaroo it is not long before she decides to leave her family and fly away to explore the world.

Press Here
Hervé Tullet
Translated from French by Christopher Franceschelli Chronicle 

An international best-seller with over 12 editions in different languages, Press here is another ingenious feat of imagination from the prolific French author and illustrator Hervé Tullet. Young children are encouraged to push the yellow button on the cover and embark on a journey of colour and imagination through the pages.  A wonderful and unique activity book encourages the power of imagination and will provide hours of amusement.


The Bear and the Wildcat
Kazumi Yumoto
Translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano
Gecko Press

When little bird dies, Bear is inconsolable.  Bear makes a beautiful box in which he places his friend and carries it with him wherever he goes.  His animal friends tell Bear that he must forget the little bird because he is never coming back to life.  Full of grief Bear locks himself away in his house. It is only when he meets a strange wildcat that he is finally able to say goodbye to his little friend. Kazumi Yumoto has written an astute and sensitive story dealing with bereavement, loss, loneliness, and depression, beautifully translated by Cathy Hirano.


Journey on a Cloud
Véronique Massenot
Translated from French
Illustrated by Élise Mansot

This enchanting story by Véronique Massenot is inspired by the French artist Marc Chagall and introduces the reader to his work. Zephyr the postman lives in a small blue town of cheerful houses and flowering hills.  He delivers the mail each day but in the evening he likes to gaze out of his attic window at the sky and watch how it changes colour and how the clouds constantly change shape while secretly dreaming of travelling to distant lands. Enriched by vivid colour illustrations by Élise Mansot that echo Chagall’s work.

Little Red Hood
Marjolaine Leray
Translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone
Phoenix Yard Books

Little Red Hood is a delightful take on the classic Charles Perrault tale of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.  French author and illustrator Marjolaine Leray has created this story out of a scribbled mass of graffiti-esque red crayon and black ink. Although there are only 60 words of text it has been expertly translated by Sarah Ardizzone cleverly encapsulating a very British sense of humour.


Ewa Solarz
Illustrated by Aleksandra Machowiak
and Daniel Mizielinski
Translated from Polish by Elzbieta Wojcik-Leese Gecko Press

D.E.S.I.G.N. explores the art of inventing and creating objects.  Ewa Solarz’s text is brought to life by Polish illustrators, husband-and-wife team, Aleksandra Machowiak and Daniel Mizielinski. Sixty-nine objects have been selected that have been created by the most influential and famous designers from all around the world.  Household items from the classic to the most crazy – pieces of furniture, lamps and domestic gadgets – from the last 150 years have been brought together in this innovative and informative book.

Nicholas and the Gang
René Goscinny
Translated from French by Anthea Bell
Illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé

Nicholas, the naïve, lovable French school boy created in 1959 by René Goscinny (author of Asterix), translated by award-winning translator Anthea Bell, and illustrated by world-renowned illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé is known throughout the world.  The ‘Nicholas’ stories are now regarded as classics but are still as appealing today as when they were first written. Nicholas and the Gang is the fourth book in the series.  Nicholas and his friends never mean to get into trouble, but somehow they always end up in some kind of scrape.


Against the Odds
Marjolijn Hof
Translated from Dutch by Johanna H. Prins & Johanna W. Prins
Allen & Unwin

Narrator Kiki's father is a doctor who is always putting himself in danger by embarking on humanitarian missions to dangerous war zones. No matter how hard she tries, Kiki can't persuade him not to go. Kiki’s mother tries to reassure her by explaining the theory of odds - “The odds of having a father are big, and the odds of not having a father are small. So you don't have to worry too much about not having a father.” Kiki still remains unconvinced but when her father is reported missing Kiki decides she has to try and improve the odds of her father coming home. A powerful, perceptive and thought provoking novel by Dutch author Marjolijn Hof.

Themba: A Boy Called Hope
Lutz van Dijk
Translated from German by Karin Chubb
Aurora Metro

This is an inspirational coming-of-age novel about Themba, a teenage boy growing up in Qunu, a rural village in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa which is a poor community ravaged by unemployment.  Themba has a dream of becoming a professional football player but when ‘Uncle’ Luthando comes to live with the family it has shocking and catastrophic consequences for Themba, changing his life for ever. This is a beautifully sensitive novel by the German-Dutch prize winning author Lutz van Dijk.  It deals with several themes – poverty, abuse and the HIV-Virus through the medium of sport.



Thin Ice
Mikael Engström
Translated from Swedish by Susan Beard
Little Island

Mik is something of a rebel and has been skating on thin ice for most of his young life.  His mother is dead, his father is an alcoholic and his older brother Tony is not always at home.  When Mik’s father is taken to hospital and Tony has mysteriously disappeared, Mik finds he is all alone at home.  Social Services have to find him somewhere else to live temporarily and Mik is sent to stay with his father’s sister Aunt Lena in a remote part of Northern Sweden. An incredibly powerful book from Swedish author Mikael Engström with the descriptive prose captured in the translation by Susan Beard.


  2011 Anniversary Book List July17



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