New titles reviewed during March and April 2018
Under 5 Category
There is one word for this book – ingenious. Another title from Walker Studio by the talented French/Swedish designer Élo where a simple concept of one word text is transformed by the clever and sophisticated lift- the-flaps.
Surprising Birds is a clever and sophisticated interactive novelty life-the-flap book. With one word text identifying different colours French/Swedish designer Élo has created intricate drawings and together with a variety of flaps to lift.
Nimesh is a little boy with a BIG imagination and this captivating story by Ranjit Singh presents conversational style text accompanied by illustrations from Iranian artist Mehrdokht Amini that open up Nimesh’s imaginary world with their striking collage that zings with colour and energy.
It is bedtime for the baby animals in the Indian forest but a storm is brewing and the little ones can’t sleep. Only wise Mama Elephant can reassure them with her soothing words. You’re Safe With Me by Chitra Sounder is a gorgeous lyrical tale inspired by the rich traditions of Indian folklore and nature with spectacular artwork from illustrator Poonam Mistry.
Renata is always angry. She is beset on all sides of her flat by noise especially the shrieking seagulls’ overhead. They seem to be trying to tell her something and Renata needs to remember who she really is and uncover the truth before it’s too late.
Queen of Seagulls is an unusual and refreshing picture book from Latvia by author and illustrator Ruta Briede, beautifully translated by Elīna Brasliņa. A magical modern-day fable with expressive and comic pen and ink drawings that will make you smile.
Jacob Bird lives in the city of Riga with his dad who often works long hours. When he goes to stay with his Uncle Eagle and grumpy cousin Mimi on the other side of the city in the run-down district of Maskatchaka Jacob meets the local Dog Town pack of talking dogs and hears of the dastardly plans of property developer Skyler Scraper’s to transform the neighbourhood into a concrete jungle. Jacob knows he must do something to help stop the destruction.
Dog Town by Latvian author Luīze Pastore is based on a local legend from Riga. It is a witty and heart-warming story touching on loneliness, friendship and the importance of community and preserving neighbourhoods with amusing black and while illustrations by Reinis Pētersons together with an excellent translation from Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini.
Elise is often lonely. With her mum away working in Brazil and her dad busy trying to get by as a musician in Mysundegade, Denmark where they live, Elise asks for a dog to keep her company. When they visit Petifar’s Pet Salon Elise sees a dog that isn’t much bigger than a rabbit, smells of cheese and suffers from asthma but she thinks he’s the sweetest dog in the world so how can her dad refuse?
A funny and poignant novel by Danish author Bjarne Reuter with atmospheric comic-style black and white illustrations by Kirsten Raagaard and a polished translation from Siân Mackie that captures the humour and pathos so perfectly.
New titles reviewed during January and February 2018
Under 5 Category
Two new charming Board books from Floris Books.
An’s Seed is a philosophical tale about discovering how doing things at the right time will lead to the best results. A dual language book in Chinese with an English translation by Helen Wang.
Astrid Glimmerdal, nicknamed the little thunderbolt loves to spend her days racing down the mountainside on her sledge or skis. Her best friend is her irascible 74-year-old godfather Gunnvald. His workshop is like her second home and they always have a project on the go including designing the perfect steerable sledge with Astrid as the test pilot. Then Astrid discovers Gunnvald has been keeping a secret and everything changes. Astrid is not happy but as the book titles suggests she is unstoppable and luckily she has a plan …
Another gem from Norwegian author Maria Parr, translated by Guy Puzey, following Waffle Hearts. An enchanting warm funny story about friendship and family.
My Sweet Orange Tree
Five, nearly six-year-old Zezé lives in Rio de Janeiro with his family. Zezé can’t help being naughty and his mischievous pranks are always getting him into serious trouble. After moving house due to his father losing his job Zezé discovers a sweet orange tree whom he names ‘Pinkie’; a friend with whom he can communicate and tell his secrets to. Despite the poverty and harshness of his life Zezé forges an unlikely friendship with Manuel Valadares who he nicknames Portuga, but when unexpected tragedy strikes his world comes crashing down.
A bitter-sweet autobiographical novel by Brazilian writer José Mauro de Vasconcelos, translated by Alison Entrekin, that has never been out of print in Brazil since it was first published in 1968.
The Wild Book
With the heart-breaking news that his parents are separating, thirteen-year-old narrator Juan must spend the summer with his reclusive and eccentric uncle Tito whose house is a vast library brimming with every kind of book imaginable. As Juan adjusts to his new life amidst this labyrinth of books his Tito tells him he is a Princeps Reader – a ‘unique reader’ of books. Only Juan can find the elusive, never-before-read Wild Book before the story-stealing Pirate Book does.
Prize-winning Mexican author Juan Villoro’s prose, translated by award-winning Lawrence Schimel, flow effortlessly. A refreshingly timeless classic in the making with its message of the empowerment of books; a magical ode that celebrates the wonderful world of books and reading.
To celebrate World Book Day we’ve partnered up with Lantana Publishing for a free Book Giveaway on Twitter. For a chance to win a copy of The Jasmine Sneeze by Syrian author Nadine Kaadan, who we worked with on #RtW2, see how to enter the draw to win see below. Don’t forget to share the link to our ‘Using Answer Me, Leila’ #RtW2 Resource: http://bit.ly/2oxhCFS. #RtW2Giveaway
Breaking Down Stereotypes Through Children's Books Outside In World Publishes Reading The Way 2 Project Report
Leading UK and international artists including former children’s laureate Julia Donaldson, illustrator Jane Ray, translator Daniel Hahn and Syrian author Nadine Kaadan, recently joined forces with book organisation Outside in World (OIW) on Reading the Way 2 (RtW2), an innovative workshop project to explore a selection of inclusive and accessible books from around the world. OIW now hopes this valuable project will help to enrich the book landscape with improved inclusion of disabled children, and more books in translation being published in the UK.
Julia Donaldson, former Children’s Laureate and best-selling children’s author, comments:
"I have always been keen for children’s books to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, so I was delighted to be involved in the Reading the Way 2 project, visiting a school with a high number of deaf pupils. It would be good if children in special schools could have a wider range of books and audio books, and for there to be more books in Braille and videos of BSL stories available.”
Reading the Way 2 Report Press Release 17.01.18
You can read the full report here or click to download the pdf.
Reading the Way 2 Final Report Jan17
New titles reviewed during November 2017
Under 5 Category
Buddy is So Annoying
Buddy is So Annoying by Chinese author/illustrator Wenzheng Fu, translated by Adam Lanphier, is a charming, quirky tale about friendship. The young boy narrator finds his friend Buddy, (an anthropomorphised boar), intensely annoying but when he goes away on holiday, his friend soon realises that however annoying he is, he still wouldn’t be without him.
In each of these eleven-and-half- ‘Good Night Stories’, Fox and Rabbit try new ways to go to sleep and say good night. A perfect read-aloud gift book for bedtime full of heart-warming stories of friendship and fun from award-winning German artist Kristina Andres.
The woodland gnomes travel to their mountain cousins to welcome the Winter Queen to a special feast. An enchanting classic tale, written in 1924, from renowned German artist Ernst Kreidolf (1863-1956), who was best known for his children’s books about little folk, is available in English for the first time. The delicate watercolour snowscapes are beautifully atmospheric.
Two charming picture books - Little Mouse Helps Out and Little Mouse’s Christmas from Finland by author and illustrator Riikka Jäntti, translated by Lola Rogan, about the delectable Little Mouse with beautiful illustrations in pen and ink, watercolour and gouache.
Little Rabbit is very inquisitive and he’s always asking questions such as why his mother has such big eyes, long ears, or strong legs. To each question Mamma Rabbit gently explains that one day he will be grown up and move away, but she will always be there for him in some way. A beautiful, philosophical story with gorgeous emotive artwork by Chinese author/illustrator Dayong Gan, expertly translated by award-winning translator Helen Wang.
Picking Turnips is a refreshing twist on a traditional Russian tale - ‘The Giant Turnip’ by Tolstoy by Chinese author/illustrator Xu Zhou, translated by Adam Lanphier. An amusing alternative version is presented here together with delicate and expressive watercolour artwork.
Rosemary thinks fairies are very dull and boring; the worst of it is, she is a fairy herself but Rosemary would rather be a witch. Belgian author Brigitte Minne’s quirky story, translated by Laura Wilkinson, is about growing up and finding your way in the world. With masterful illustrations by Carll Cneut, one of Flanders’ most celebrated artist.
When winter comes to Beijing the streets are full of peddlers selling candied hawberries and a delicious sugary, syrupy aroma fills the air. Written by Chinese author Donyni Bao and translated by Adam Lanphier, this is a real feel-good picture book. A magical heart-warming tale with expressive watercolour-and–coloured-pencil artwork by Di Wu.
Tom the rabbit meets a young wolf and they become good friends spending months together. French author and illustrator Grégoire Solotare’s picture book has sold over a million copies under its original French title Loulou. A witty and endearing story, translated by award-winning translator Daniel Hahn, it shows the power of friendship – of a rabbit and a wolf who want to be best friends.
This is an exquisite book for children who truly adore Dinosaurs. There are ten adventures with visual puzzles to solve and surprises hidden under flaps. This fun and clever book by Chinese illustrator and author Yanan Dong, translated by award-winning translator Helen Wang, displays Dong’s diverse artwork, rendered in pencil and digitally coloured which will capture the imagination of any child (or adult).
A single feather is swept away by the wind as she embarks on a quest to discover to whom she belongs. Award-winning Chinese author Cao Wenxuan has written a moving, timeless story, with a sensitive translation by Chloe Garcia Roberts. Brazilian artist Roger Mello’s illustrations are striking and in this first collaboration of these two recent Hans Christian Andersen award winners, the result is a bewitching book for all ages.
Mr. Clutterbuck is blissfully unaware of his sleepwalking reputation in the town. Shy and mild-mannered when awake, he is completely different by night, often being the accidental instigator of chaos. Finnish author and illustrator Mauri Kunnas’ hilarious story, translated by Jill Timbers, is accompanied by hilarious riotous illustrations – a definite modern classic.
When Otto finds a postcard on the seashore showing a beautiful picture of a sparkling star-filled sky with the words ‘The light of Christmas’ he wonders what Christmas might be. This is an enchanting storybook created by Nora Surojegin and Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin, a mother and daughter team from Finland. A story is full of wildlife and mythical creatures with a beautiful poetic narrative translated by Jill Timbers.
Written in 1970, this Swedish classic by Barbro Lindgren, and translated by Sarah Death, and freshly illustrated with zinging, comic and colourful artwork by upcoming Swedish illustrator Lisen Adbåge, it’s a story full of nonsensical fun and craziness from start to finish.
This beautiful philosophical tale by Spanish author Rafa Ruiz is suffused with flowing poetic prose, eloquently translated by Ben Dawlatly. Toletis is an absolute must read for both children and adults. It’s an ode to the environment, with its deep appreciation of nature, and to childhood where magic realism combines with the importance of family and friendship. With extraordinary artwork by Elena Hormiga this captivating story is one to relish.
New titles reviewed in October 2017
Under 5 Catergory
HIC! is a quirky, nonsense verse about getting rid of Hiccups. Its tongue-in-cheek rhyme is about a young girl as she tries, without success, to cure her hiccups in eight rather unconventional ways! Award-winning poet and writer Anushka Ravishankar has written a perfect interactive book that children can have great fun with as they imitate the hiccups with lively and amusing illustrations by Christine Pieper.
Raven, Crayfish and Horse are all best friends. Now grown up they are ready to have their own families, but are anxious not to be separated. They decide to build a big new house where they and their families can all live together. Latvian author Inese Zandere has created a universal story about the importance of friendship, collaboration and compromise with gentle child-like illustrations from Juris Petraškevičs that are full of vibrant playfulness.
Penguin is doing a spot of fishing. With a fishing pole and line dangling in a hole in the ice she patiently waits, but so far the fish aren’t biting. French author/illustrator Jean Gourounas’ clever picture book has a droll sense of humour and a surprise ending. All the animals (and human) are by turn ‘baffled’, ‘perplexed’ and ‘flummoxed’ as to why the fish aren’t biting the bait and they all decide that there is definitely something fishy going on.
This non-fiction book about bones is fun while also being full of serious information too. Set out like a guessing game with a question and answer format for each animal with detailed skeletons together with a description of the bone structure followed full colour illustrations of the animal featuring invisible raised bones that can be felt and text providing the answer and further explanation. Packed with information, this is certainly no dry text book. American author Gabrielle Balkan’s narrative is engaging and witty with eye-catching screen print-inspired artwork by Sam Brewster.
This is the first, in a series of classic books about Detective Nosegoode and his dog Cody, by Polish author Marian Ortoń. Ambrosius Nosegoode, the famous detective is enjoying a quiet retirement along with his remarkable talking dog. But a mysterious crime soon disturbs their peace when a music box is stolen from Ignatius Blossom’s workshop. Ortoń’s text is witty, the main protagonists are engaging and the adventure keeps the reader in suspense.
This is another fun and exciting adventure in the Detective Nosegoode series. Cody is now famous. He has made an appearance in a new book Portraits of Extraordinary Dogs. But with Cody’s newfound fame comes danger. When Cody is kidnapped Ambrosius must use all his legendary sleuthing skills to track down the culprits and save his friend.
New titles reviewed in September 2017
Under 5 Category
Pippa and Pelle in the Autumn Wind
Autumn has arrived bringing with it a blustery wind. Pippa and Pelle can’t wait to go out and play in the forest where the golden leaves are swirling all around. An enchanting seasonal tale with delicate watercolour illustrations that bring autumn to life from German author and illustrator Daniela Drescher.
Where is Grandma?
On a trip to visit his Grandma in hospital Henry gets lost when he goes off on his own in search of her. World-renowned German picture book artist, Peter Schössow has created an unusual, amusing, clever book that will help to demystify hospitals for young children.
Sometimes a book comes along that simple takes your breath away. The Murderer’s Ape, by Swedish author and illustrator Jakob Wegelius, is one such book. Sally Jones is an engineer working on a cargo ship with her friend Captain Henry Koskela, better known as the Chief. However, she is no ordinary mortal; she is a gorilla who has learnt to understand how humans think and what they say as well as how to fix engines, and to read and write. When the Chief gets framed for murder Sally Jones is the only witness who saw what really happened. Nothing if not determined, she proves an unlikely heroine now at the forefront of a murder investigation and the quest to clear the Chief’s name will take Sally Jones from Portugal to India. The Murderer’s Ape is a truly exceptional novel and one that will indelibly be etched in your memory for a long time to come.
World Literature for Kids (#WorldKidLit and #WKLMonth) is an initiative co-launched in September 2016 by Alexandra Büchler (Literature Across Frontiers), M. Lynx Qualey (ArabLit), and Lawrence Schimel (author, translator, and publisher at Midsummer Night’s Press).
This month focuses on bringing translated literature and a discussion of world literature to kids, parents, educators, librarians, translators, critics, publishers and anyone who cares about good books for the not-yet-adult set.
Blogs to date include:
New titles reviewed in August 2017
Under 5 Category
Bobby wants a car – one that goes Vroom! so he’s decided to visit a car showroom to buy himself one. Belgian author Zidrou together with Illustrator Sébastien Chebret have created a story that will appeal to every child who’s mad about cars.
When Drake’s father tells him the time has come for him to prove himself as a Dragon by visiting the village and burning down some houses, Drake is less than keen. A lovely, funny story by Alexandre Lacroix with hilarious comic-style illustrations from Ronan Badel.
Two delightful picture books from the talented Polish duo Przemystaw Wechterowic and Emilia Dziubak - Hug Me, Please! and The Secret Life of a Tiger.
Hug Me, Please! – is an irresistible, heart-warming story about how a hug always makes you feel good as Daddy Bear and Baby Bear hug all the animals they meet, even Ms Anaconda!
The Secret Life of a Tiger - a gentle, humorous story about Tiger who is brave and cheerful and almost never, ever fierce is cleverly turns the stereotypical characteristics of a Tiger on its head defying conventional expectation and demonstrating the possibility of difference.
I Can’t Sleep! is the seventh book in the series about Simon, the cheeky and mischievous little rabbit, by Stephanie Blake and translated by Sarah Ardizzone. Simon’s little brother Casper can’t sleep without his special blanket so his big brother will have to be very brave to solve this problem.
Whose Eyes are These? takes the reader on a journey of discovery to find the nine hidden animals amongst the pages. Virginie Gobert-Martin’s poetic flowing text, translated from French by Rae Walter, is witty as well as being informative, but it is the magical illustrations by Madeline Peirsman that are truly captivating.
Two classic stories – The Tomten and The Tomten and the Fox by Sweden’s acclaimed children’s author have been created into this charming edition, with the original soft, enchanting illustrations by Harald Wilberg, allowing the world of the Tomten to be vividly brought to life.
All Kinds of Cars is a sort of car encyclopaedia with all manner of transportation from the serious to the wacky. A vehicular extravaganza, an amazing assortment of the weird and crazy. Illustrator Carl Johanson guides you through the world of transport in this beautifully designed book.
This moving and atmospheric picture book by Italian author/illustrator Francesca Sanna highlights the plight of refugees escaping war and persecution. A visually sophisticated book with much symbolism within the silk-screen-style artwork. Endorsed by Amnesty International, The Journey is a beautiful and evocative book.
Polish author Julian Tuwim’s classic ‘Locomotive’ is a trip full of nostalgia in this beautifully crafted book of a bygone age. Just like the 1938 original, this edition also includes two stories – one a well-loved fold tale ‘The Turnip’ and ‘Birds’ Broadcast’ written in rhyme and adapted into English by Bernard Gutteridge and William J. Pearce. The artwork of Lewitt and Him is sublime, combining a mixture of surrealism and cubism with a lovely whimsical humour.
Fifteen-year-old Mireille Laplanche has just come third in the Pig Pageant, a cruel Facebook page organised by a classmate allowing everyone to vote on the three ugliest girls in the school. Teaming up with the other two winners the girls go off on a road trip by bike to Paris. Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais is a remarkably original, sharp and often hilarious story of three girls who are determined not to let malicious online trolling get them down.
New titles reviewed in July 2017
Under 5 Category
A charming rhyme book where each line is repeated on the next page as the story evolves. Édouard Manceau’s simple concept of repetitive rhyme and rich bold colours are sure to engage any young toddler.
What Does Baby Want? is an unusual, sensitive and original board book featuring a scenario of a hungry baby and a breastfeeding mother. Created by Japan’s top design duo, Tupera Tupera, the text and brightly coloured illustrations are thoughtful and honest.
A charming folk tale about the ancient traditions of Chinese art with playful, delicate watercolour artwork by Peilong Liang that captures the essence of the tools used in traditional Chinese painting - known as the ‘four treasures’ – brush, ink, ink stone and paper.
Another striking art activity book by Italian artist Oscar Sabini that will provide hours of fun for children as they create their very own collage monsters. Quirky and enormous fun, this is an ideal entertaining art activity book that will capture the imagination.
Canadian author Kyo Maclear’s different and original story, delicately explores the theme of depression. The text is delightfully witty and cleverly uses an imagined relationship between the writer Virginia Woolf and her sister, artist Vanessa Bell as children. Stunning artwork by Canadian illustrator Isabelle Arsenault complements Maclear’s prose to perfection, capturing and conveying the change in mood. An incredibly powerful and uplifting book tackling a challenging subject with sensitivity and humour.
Cléa Deudonné has created a wonderful panoramic adventure teaming with intricate detail and delightful humorous nonsense text. Megalopolis is a story three metres long with a fold-out design that is navigated vertically rather than read from left to right. Each panel folds out to reveal a new part of the story and a new section of the city.
Wild Animals of the South is another stupendous encyclopaedic book following on from Wild Animals of the North. It showcases some of the most magnificent creatures inhabiting the Southern Hemisphere. This intricate study of wild animals by German illustrator Dieter Braun is breath-taking.
Aglaia and her friend Bianca live in a magical tree – a secret house where they can live on their own, far from any rules and regulations. This wacky story, full of delightful nonsense by Bianca Pitzorno, one of Italy’s most famous contemporary children’s writers is full of an assortment of eccentric characters and hilarious scenarios. Witty pen-and-ink illustrations by Quentin Blake enhance the prose, excellently translated by Stephen Parkin, and bring the hilarity of Aglaia and Bianca’s capers in the tree vividly to life.
Outside In World Celebrates its tenth Anniversary
We are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year and over the coming months we will be selecting 10 books from different years, as well as a whole range of other book selections created from our database. These will be posted in our Education Zone 'Anniversary Book Selections' as well as on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Book from 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 and 2011
Themed lists include:
Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation past winners 1996-2015
Ten Board Books
Ten Fantasy Series
Three part article on historical fiction written about the First and Second World Wars
Importance of History: Part I featuring ten authors writing about Germany and Austria
Importance of History: Part 2 featuring ten authors writing about France, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands and Turkey.
Children's Bookshow 2017
The Children’s Bookshow 2017 has an exciting line up of children’s authors and illustrators from around the world – Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Japan and Russia.
Japanese author and illustrator Megumi Iwasa and Jun Takabatake together with their translator Cathy Hirano, will be appearing in September at the Stafford Gatehouse theatre and Foyles in London to talk about their wonderful book Yours Sincerely, Giraffe
Award-winning Belgian picture book writer and illustrator Kitty Crowther will be appearing at the L’Institut Français, London on 16 November.
Events at Europe House on 24 November include Ulla Saar and Kätlin Vainola from Estonia and Timo Parvela and Virpi Talvitie from Finland talking about their delightful book Bicycling to the Moon.
Eugene Ostashevsky, winner of the 2014 National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association, will be talking about his work to Sasha Dugdale also on 24 November at Waterstones, London.
For more information click on the pdf
It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of one of our Patrons, Carla Poesio. She was a staunch supporter of Outside In World providing a much needed international perspective on children’s books. Carla was a specialist of children's literature at an international level. She was one of the founders of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and worked with the fair for over 50 years. She has been a chair of the Andersen Prize for children's literature; a committee member of IBBY and author of numerous articles and books on children's literature.
New titles reviewed in June 2017
Under 5 Category
French author and illustration Claire Garralon’s delightful picture book, translated by Sarah Ardizzone, provides a different take on sharing. What is a duck to do when another duck comes along saying “Wow, nice pond – it’s my pond”? It all gets a lot more complicated when more coloured ducks arrive declaring that they want a section of the pond too. As the pond gets divided into smaller and smaller sections the ducks find they are unable to move, let alone swim around. Fun, quirky and original.
Here is a recipe book with a difference! Young budding chefs-to-be can make pizza inside a book! They can follow a real recipe and stir in the ingredients. The simple instructions guide the reader through every step of making their very own pizza by using the specially designed interactive features including tabs, flaps and wheels. The clear language and fun interactive features on thick sturdy pages are combined with the stylish vividly coloured illustrations by acclaimed Finnish artist Lotta Nieminem. An original, novel and innovative interactive recipe book.
Award-winning Swedish artist Eva Lindström has written and illustrated a funny, original and heart-warming story, translated by Julia Marshall. A young girl regularly asks the owner of Mouse if she can take him for a walk in the park. Mouse is old, he waddles at a snail’s pace, is a little over-weight and has long droopy ears. Despite this the narrator loves Mouse very much.
Etabo dreams of racing camels. One day he may even be able to beat his older brother Lopeyok when they race. With the price of water rising, Etabo’s father has to sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What can Etabo do to keep his dream alive? Set against a backdrop of north-west Kenya, acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu has written a story that combines the nomadic life of the Turkana tribe with the importance of keeping one’s dreams alive. With expressive artwork by Italian illustrator Manuela Adreani.
Bear has been sitting and waiting since dawn. “I’m waiting for Goliath,” he tells everyone. “Goliath is coming! He’s my best friend.” At last the bus pulls up, but no one gets out. The seasons pass and when Bear awakes from his hibernation, he hears a noise. Goliath is coming! Award-winning and best-selling German illustration and author, Antje Damm has created a warm and unusual story, translated by Sally-Ann Spencer, with a completely unexpected ending.
Even when Mr Postmouse goes on holiday he still manages to deliver post to his friends! Mr Postmouse, his wife and three children Lulu, Pierrot and Pipsqueak are off on their travels. This is the sequel to Here Comes Mr Postmouse by award-winning Canadian author and illustrator Marianne Dubec, translated by Greet Pauwelijn. It’s another visual treat for the reader as they follow Mr Postmouse on his journey through the detailed cross-section double-page spreads.
Questions Asked is an existential thought-provoking book by Norwegian best-selling author Jostein Gaarder, translated by Don Bartlett. There are so many special things about this pocket-sized picture book. It is clever, poetic, with a distinct air of melancholy, and it’s filled with difficult and often unanswerable questions. While being simple in concept the questions convey a powerful philosophical message. Turkish-Norwegian illustrator and children’s author Akin Düzakin brings an ethereal quality to the artwork that reveals much more behind the questions asked.
See You When I See You is the fifth stand-alone title in the chapter book series about Dani from the popular Swedish duo, author Rose Lagercrantz and illustrator Eva Eriksson, translated by Julia Marshall. Dani has to face up to new challenges: her Dad is preoccupied with his new girl-friend Sadie, which Dani would rather he wasn’t, and her friend Ella is full of rebellious ideas attempting to encourage her to follow suit. The simple, expressive pen and ink illustrations by Eriksson convey emotion as well as bringing a gentle humour to the story.
This is the legend behind the annual day of celebration of the Double Sixth Festival among the Tujia people of China. The original text by Wu Chaozhu and Xiang Hua has been adeptly adapted and translated from Chinese by award-winning translator Helen Wang. Cai Gao, who in 2000 was named as China’s most outstanding artist, has provided atmospheric, colourful and expressive watercolour artwork.
This beautiful anthology, first published in 2010, has been re-issued in paperback. It includes 35 poems from around the world that celebrates nature and the planet. Distinguished anthologist Wendy Cooling has chosen poems that will make children think about the planet, the damage being done to it and the desperate need to preserve our world. A thought-provoking book with colourful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Piet Grobler.
After her mother’s death Luir’s father goes to study in America, leaving six-year-old Luir in the care of his parents, promising to return with a special doll for her. However, instead of studying, Luir’s travels to the Andes, where he meets a mysterious ventriloquist who takes him on as a pupil. Five years later, he returns home, bringing with him one of the ventriloquist’s dolls. It is not a present for Luir; instead, ‘Carola’ as it is called, becomes a menacing presence in the house, causing strife within the family. Lin Man-Chiu, a well-known and award-winning author in Taiwan, has created a sparkling and chilling novel, excellently translated by award-winning translator Helen Wang.
Naondel tells the back story of the founding sisters:– Kabira the first Mother), Garai (the High Priestess), Estegi the servant and second Mother, Orseola the Dreamweaver, Sulani the Brave, Clarás who led the flight, Daera the first Rose and Iona, who was lost. Maria Turtschaninoff’s novel is a cross-over feminist epic that gives insight into a time when women were nothing more than chattels. The stories of these women show them finding friendship and salvation in each other when all else is lost, but also displaying incredible strength in the face of terrible adversity. A novel of true sisterhood, excellently translated from Swedish by A. A. Prime, one that lingers long after you have put it down.
New titles reviewed in May 2017
Under 5 Category
Sisters Siba and Saba are always losing things. When the two sisters fall asleep each night, they dream about finding all the things they have lost during the day. Until, one night, their dreams begin to reveal something entirely unexpected. Set in Uganda, this charming story by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl has a gentle poetic narrative that ebbs and flows from page to page and gorgeous expressive artwork by French illustrator Sandra van Doorn.
Circle, Triangle, Elephant! is an amusing and innovative way to introduce shapes to a young child. Created by award-winning Japanese husband-and-wife illustration team Kenji Oikawa and Mayuko Takeuchi they have created something a little bit different from the more conventional shape books with surprise elements and some daft concepts that are sure to engage young readers.
Despite being told to stay out of the nearby farmer’s garden full of cherry trees the naughty crow sneaks in there every day for a treat. Eventually he is caught and the farmer decides to punish him by forcing him to work. However, the cantankerous crow manages to wreak complete havoc wherever he goes. Swedish author Lennart Hellsing delightful story is told in rhyme accompanied by lovely whimsical artwork from Danish illustrator Poul Strøyer.
Findus Rules the Roost provides more delightful comedy from award-winning Swedish author and illustrator Sven Nordqvist when Farmer Pettson introduces a rooster to the hen house which doesn’t please Findus. As ever the eccentricities in the characterisation, humour in the conversations between Findus and Pettson and the captivating illustrations make this another great ‘Fundus’ tale to relish.
A colony of snails live happily under the leaves of the Calycanthus leaves in lush Dandelion Land. A young snail is incredibly curious and can’t stop asking his friends awkward questions. He wants to know why snails are so slow and why they don’t have individual names. The other snails become rather exasperated with him and finally banish him from the snail community forcing him out into the wide world alone. Award-winning Chilean author Luis Sepúlveda’s story, translated by Nick Caistor, is a wonderful ode to our environment accompanied by delightful black and white drawings by acclaimed illustrator Satoshi Kitamura.
Victor feels he’s a failure at everything – school, girls and making his dad feel better about his mum having left them. He struggles with school work, particularly with maths and nearly always comes bottom of the class. When Marie, the cleverest girl in his class helps him with his maths homework an unlikely friendship begins to develop. Before long Victor learns that Marie will need his help and it’s a challenge that will test his ability to the full. French author Pascal Ruter’s novel, eloquently translated by Emma Mandley, mixes pathos and humour as it deals sensitively with the traumatic experience of Marie as she gradually loses her sight, Victor’s learning ‘difficulties’, whilst also exploring the importance of friendship.
The Book of Pearl is a complex and beguiling novel by master storyteller Timothée de Fombelle, expertly translated by Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon. It moves effortlessly between two worlds and is an absorbing and sophisticated read with many layers of interwoven stories all connected by various threads. A mystery, that spans the life times of Joshua Pearl, the narrator and a mysterious, elusive girl called Oliå, slowly begins to unravel.
New titles reviewed in April 2017
Under 5 Category
Everything is stripy on Stripy Island. There are stripy mountains, fields, trees and even stripy houses in Stripe City. In fact there is all sorts of stripiness in this book by Japanese husband and wife design team Tupera Tupera who have created a fizzling book full of fun psychedelic colour.
Are You a Monkey? is an entertaining story featuring animal-themed charades by French author and illustrator Marine Rivoal. As each animal mimics another, the reader can guess along with the other animals to see if they can get it right; unlike poor Toucan who always manages to guess incorrectly.
This bedtime alphabet book is guaranteed to get your sleepy child off to sleep. It’s innovative, it’s fun and another clever title from Portuguese writer Isabel Minhós Martins with striking artwork by Yara Kono.
The Mysterious Librarian
The mysterious and eccentric Miss Charlotte, a kind of modern-day Mary Poppins, turns up again after her adventures in The New Teacher, this time with a new identity as a librarian. This is a delightful celebration of books and libraries by Canadian author Dominique Demers enriched by the amusing pen and ink illustrations of Tony Ross.
In this delectable nonsense-style story from a Hans Christian Andersen award-winner (2014), Brazilian children’s writer and illustrator Roger Mello explores an idea he had as a child: that one small action can have marvellous consequences. A complex and provocative book, excellently translated by Daniel Hahn that is different, unusual and an absolute delight to read.
The ‘Reckless’ series by best-selling author Cornelia Funke series contains all the ingredients of fairy and folk stories with references to some specific tales. Combines with this is political intrigue as well as a human story of love, desire, loyalty and betrayal that binds everyone together. A suspenseful and thrilling fantasy that is sure to engage all those fantasy fans.
New titles reviewed in March 2017
Under 5 Category
When Hina and her mother find a cat leaving one of her kittens on their doorstep they know that they have to look after it. This is a lovely, gentle story by Japanese author Lee, translated by Cathy Hirano, about taking care of a pet with exquisite brush-stroke artwork by acclaimed Japanese illustrator Komako Sakai.
Two books using the ‘before’ and ‘after concept’.
Popular French graphic designer Jean Jullien has produced an imaginative and playful board book. Using bold graphics on thick sturdy coloured pages it takes a simple learning concept and adds some novel examples making it an ideal book to share with a young child.
This quirky and witty picture book from French author and illustrator Eric Veillé, translated from French by Daniel Hahn, is packed with clever wordplay that take the ‘before’ and ‘after’ concept to some unexpected places. Veille’s eye-catching fluorescent coloured illustrations and the unexpected comparisons are really great fun.
Following the bestselling Tickle My Ears,here is another charming, board book about the lovable Little Rabbit by German author and illustration Jörg Mühle that will make bathtime a lot of fun for young children.
Bruno the cat takes life as it comes because he knows it will always bring something interesting. Dutch author Catharina Valckx’s prose are clever and pithy, translated by Antony Shugaar and the expressive cartoon-style illustrations from Nicholas Hubesch will ensure that the endearing and loveable Bruno will captivate young readers.
When a group of children discover a frightened young girl in the forest their adventure begins. Someone called Clementine has gone missing and it is up to them to find her. A renowned Polish classic by Krystyna Boglar, (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Zosia Krasodomska-Jones), it has never been out of print for almost 50 years since it was first published in 1970. With some slap-stick humour and larger-than-life characters the story is accompanied by child-like red pen-and-ink artwork by acclaimed Polish artist and cartoonist Bohdun Butenko.
This enchanting large-format picture takes the reader on a truly amazing journey through the world inhabited by the tiny, lovable squirrel-like creatures known as the Twims. Celebrated French illustrator and children’s writer Claude Ponti, translated by Alyson Waters, has created a charming universe where the Twims live in their magnificent Tree House overlooking a beautiful valley.
Hélène has been ostracised by the girls who were once her friends and she has no idea why. A visually stunning graphic novel by Fanny Britt, translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou with powerful artwork by Isabelle Arsenault’. Painfully evocative and brutally honest, it demonstrates the cruelty of emotional bullying and how demoralising it can be.
Starving after a harsh winter, a group of bears descend from the mountains in search of food. A war with the Grand Duke of Sicily ensues with the bears finally victorious after great losses. Their King Leander now rules over Sicily, however, it soon becomes clear that victory has come at a great price. Written in 1945 by Italian author Dino Buzzati (1906-1972), one of the most important voices of Italian literature in the twentieth century, Alma Books have produced a revised edition of the original English translation by Frances Lobb published in 1947.
Here is another warm and funny Detective Gordon case from Swedish author Ulf Nilsson, (translated by Julia Marshall) with humorous watercolour artwork by Gitte Spee. While taking a well-earned break in his cottage by the lake Detective Gordon’s young assistant Buffy has been left in sole charge at the small police station in the forest. After hearing strange noises outside the station at night, Buffy decides to seek Gordon out to ask for help.
A gripping and enthralling sequel to The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt, translated by Laura Watkinson. Sir Ristridin, one of King Unauwen’s knights has gone missing. Sent off to explore the mysteries of Wild Wood where no one dares venture because rumours abound that it is enchanted, Tiuri, now Sir Tiuri, (after carrying out his last perilous mission) sets out with his best friend and squire Piak to find him.
Award-winning and best-selling German author Cornelia Funke has revised and rewritten Reckless first published by Chicken House in 2010 and translated by Oliver Latsch. Jacob Reckless has discovered the dangerous world behind the mirror and when Will, his younger brother follows him and encounters the dark magic of the mirrored world he must do everything he can to save him. A suspenseful and thrilling fantasy that is sure to engage fantasy fans.
New titles reviewed in January and February 2017
Under 5 category
This gorgeous, bright board book introduces young children to a range of insects and creepy-crawlies. Dutch illustrator Loes Botman’s colourful and detailed illustrations bring the different insects vividly to life making this a perfect book for exploring with young children.
German author and illustrator Daniela Drescher has created an enchanting seasonal tale with delicate watercolour artwork. A colourful board book that is perfect for babies and toddlers.
Elephant loves his brightly coloured umbrella; when it rains he likes nothing more than being able to offer shelter to his friends so that they can keep cosy and dry. With gentle humour Iranian author Laleh Jaffari demonstrates how the other animals only consider themselves whereas the elephant thinks of others. A gorgeous tale is both simple and sophisticated in equal measure with vibrant, eye-catching illustrations by Iranian illustrator Ali Khodai.
What’s That Noise? is full of visual puzzles on every page it will certainly keep children guessing. With the clever use of shapes and instructions on large sturdy pages readers can tell the story using their fingers, eyes, ears and nose. Portuguese duo Isabelle Minhós Martins and Madalena Matoso have written and illustrated another delightful interactive book.
What is hidden in the woods? A first glance shows that it is all still, but have a look more closely through the three coloured cello magnifying glasses – green, blue and red – and the wonders of nature emerge before your eyes. Using exquisitely detailed patterns throughout the book, Spanish author/illustrator Aina Bestard has created a visual feast that both children (and adults) will love and keep children absorbed for many hours.
Timeline is an international best-seller introducing history as it travels the story of the world. Now, there is a companion activity book for children to enjoy from Belgium illustrator Peter Goes. Here the reader can create their own journey through time with drawings, puzzles and designs – there is so much here that will inspire any child and get them interested in history.
With stylish typography and striking graphics Alphadoodler by Polish illustrator and graphic designer Bajtlik is an engaging activity book that brings the letters of the alphabet to life. Readers are encouraged to start doodling and taken on an alphabet journey from A to Z with plenty of activities to do along the way.
The Horror Handbook is a humorous tongue-in-cheek guide to the world of vampires, witches, monsters and so much more. If you are a fan of horror, this book by Dutch author Paul van Loon is for you. With its readable, witty format, translated by Sander Berg, it’s full of tips, anecdotes and trivia making it a fun and fascinating reference book. Delightful black and white illustrations from Axel Scheffler provide additional humour creating a perfect accompaniment to Loon’s text.
In this companion to Wolf and Dog (2013) by the popular Flemish children’s writer Sylvia Vanden Heede there are further witty exchanges between the two animal cousins. It is packed with information, activities, quizzes, rhymes, stories and humorous conversations between Wolf and Dog. A refreshingly unconventional mix of science and storytelling excellently translated by Bill Nagelkerke and with humorous illustrations by Dutch artist Marije Tolman.
Laura Davies tells Outside In World why she is such a fan of Tiny Owl books in her fascinating article and book reviews.
Reading the Way2'
A new project from Outside In World – Reading the Way2 will use a range of noteworthy children’s books from around the world to give young people a real voice about how to improve the accessibility and inclusion of all children in books.
Supported by Arts Council England and the Unwin Charitable Trust, it will work with UK and international authors and illustrators and translators including: Holly Bourne, Susie Day, Julia Donaldson, Jane Ray, Italian author Rosa Tiziana Bruno, Syrian author/illustrator Nadine Kaadan and award-winning translator Daniel Hahn. Activity will take place in a selection of mainstream and special schools in the form of workshop-based projects. Each project will involve the school exploring one or more inclusive and/or accessible books from around the world.
The project builds on the successful Reading the Way project (run by Outside In World in 2014-15) which identified a range of accessible/inclusive books from around the world and proved that such books could provide vital material and learning to enrich the UK book landscape. The research provided valuable data and recommendations identifying new and innovative ways of producing books to meet all children’s needs.
Reading the Way2 will act on some of these recommendations, by working with selected schools to look practically at how such books could be enhanced for UK publication, but also how these books could be used in any school to discuss issues such as inclusion, equality, translation and world cultures.
Now more than ever, there is a need for activity such as this which aims to broaden horizons and enhance cross-cultural understanding. It is also hoped that the project will increase awareness of children’s books in translation and the likelihood of more translated books being published in future.
See article in The Bookseller
A Decade in Children's Literature in Translation (2005 - 2014)
For World Book and Copyright day on 23rd April 2016 Deborah Hallford Co-Founder of Outside In World reflects on what has happened in Children's Literature over the last ten years.
Decade of Children's Literature in Translation, 2016
New Research into 'Inclusive and Accessible' Children's Books from Around the World
Outside In World aims to help change the future of inclusive and accessible books with the launch of its new research findings.
Disability is a disturbingly under-represented area in children’s literature and many more inclusive and accessible books are needed. The results of our ground-breaking 'Reading the Way' project, undertaken in 2014/15 with funding from Arts Council England, Unwin Charitable Trust and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, shows that books from around the world have a wealth of new perspectives on disability and new ways to access stories to offer UK children. As well as highlighting many potential candidates for UK publication, the consultation has generated valuable learning points and good practice to help the UK shape children’s books of the future.
See the Guardian Children's Book Website blog and gallery of inclusive books 8th December
Reading the Way Press Release Nov 2015
Reading the Way: A Translation Challenge - Video extracts of Seminar held at the London Book Fair in April 2015
Click on the PDF below to download the seminar report.
OIW RtW LBF Seminar Report 2015
Reading the Way, translating the Way: Finding and translating books for ALL children - Report of Seminar held at the International Bologna Children’s Book Fair in April 2015.
See the message from Austrian writer, Franz-Joseph Huainigg shared a message from him.
Click on the PDF below to download the seminar report.
OIW RtW BCBF Seminar Report 2015
Visit the 'Reading the Way' pages to find out more about the project.