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10 Translated Books - 2013

Under 5

Leo Timmers
Gecko Press

Bang is an almost wordless picture book that is guaranteed to make children giggle.  The stunning illustrations by Belgian artist Leo Timmers are filled with bright colours and quirky detail. One moment of distracted driving causes a chain of hilarious car prangs that result in pandemonium.

Where do we go when we Disappear?
Isabel Minhos Martins
Illustrated by Madalena Matoso
Translated from Portuguese
Tate Publishing

Where we go when we disappear is the big question that Portuguese author Isabel Minhos Martins tackles in this picture book. There are things in this world that are always appearing and disappearing: the sun, clouds, puddles, snow, noise and people. With simple, but striking block colour illustrations by Madalena Matoso.


Samuil Marshak, illustrated by Vladimir Lebedev Translated from Russian by Jamey Gambrell
Tate Publishing

Baggage is the saga of a lady, her luggage and her cute little dog as they make a journey by train.  Created in 1926, by the poet and writer, Samuil Marshak and avant-garde artist, Vladimir Lebedev who were both leading figures of a new movement in Leningrad helping to shape a modern Russia after the Revolution.

Maia and What Matters

Tine Mortier, illustrated by Kaatje Vermeire Translated from Dutch by David Colmer
Book Island

This is a brave thought-provoking book that deals with some difficult issues. Flemish author Tine Mortier tackles the realities of ageing, illness, death and grief with sensitivity as seen through the eyes of a young child.  Kaatje Vermeire’s whimsical illustrations use a range of techniques including collage to convey the different emotions experienced.

Findus Plants Meatballs
Sven Nordqvist
Translated from Swedish by Nathan Large
Hawthorn Press

Farmer Pettson and Findus decide it is time to plant up the vegetable patch and Findus wants to know if he plants one of his meatballs will it grow too.  Things don’t go according to plan and the usual mayhem ensues. Comedy abounds from award-winning Swedish author and illustrator Sven Nordqvist.



Waffle Hearts: Lena and Me in Mathildewick Cove
Maria Parr

Translated from Norwegian by Guy Puzey
Walker Books

Fans of Pippi Longstocking will love Waffle Hearts. Trille and Lena are the best of friends and live next door to each other in a small coastal community in the Norwegian Fjords. A truly enchanting book that combines humour and the carefree innocence and antics of childhood.

Wolf and Dog
Sylvia Vanden Heede, illustrated by Marije Tolman Translated from Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke
Gecko Press

Here is a quirky collection of hilarious short stories by Flemish writer Sylvia Vanden Heede. It contrasts the differences between Wolf and Dog as they discuss the important things in life – like food, family and fleas!  Written in simple language with a dialogue style full of rhymes and wordplay children will love the humour of this book.


The Watcher in the Shadows
 Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves
Weidenfeld and Nicholson

The Watchers in the Shadows by Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a thriller full of atmospheric mystery, intrigue and romance beautifully translated by Lucia Graves.  A suspicious death, ghostly apparitions and suspense at every turn will leave the reader wondering what is fantasy and what is reality.


Arcadia Burns
Kay Meyer
Translated from German by Anthea Bell
Templar Books

Arcadia Burns is the second book of the Arcadian trilogy by best-selling German author Kai Meyer, who weaves a dark, thrilling and suspenseful tale of many complexities. Anthea Bell’s excellent translation brings this cleverly combined fantasy of ancient myths and realistic detail of the ruthlessness of the Costa Nostra together seamlessly.

The Reason I Jump
Naoki Higashida, Illustrations by Kai and Sunny Translated from Japanese by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell
Sceptre Books

This is a non-fiction book from Japan dealing with Autism. What makes this book particularly effective is the fact that the author, Naoki Higashida is not only on the autistic spectrum himself, but also wrote the book when he was just thirteen. As such, a book like this is a lifesaver for parents and other family members endeavouring to understand an autistic child.  A second book Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 was published by Sceptre in July.


2013 Anniversary Book List Aug17




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