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Children’s Books in Translation Collection Acquired by The University of Portsmouth


Image © University of Portsmouth

Outside in World's unique Collection of Children's Books in Translation has been gifted to the University of Portsmouth. The 1,600 titles translated from many world languages into English will be available to the public for the very first time. The Collection includes translated books dating from the early 1990s to the present and will continue to grow with new additions each year.

Part of the University of Portsmouth Library’s new Near and Far World Books @UoP collection, the OIW Collection is now available to students, academics and researchers, and, importantly, to diverse local communities through the university’s extensive outreach programme.  

Greta Friggens, Faculty Librarian, Creative and Cultural Industries comments: “It is a delight to see the OIW books brightening the cafe space in the University of Portsmouth Library. It is a significant acquisition to our Near and Far World Books @UoP collection.”

Partnership with the University of Reading

Through generous funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s South West and West Doctoral Training Partnership granted to the University of Reading, translator Emma Page is undertaking a PhD that will feature the first in-depth study of the data compiled by OIW, as part of a wider examination of the interactions between different stakeholders in the children’s literary translation publishing ecosystem. By mapping this understudied field, this project investigates the relationship between advocacy, diversity and translation for children, asking: what kind of books do these circumstances produce? Who is being translated, and how?  

Emma, who recently translated Wandering Memory by Jan J. Dominique (University of Virginia Press, 2021), also has deep experience in the book industry and will be based at the Universities of Reading and Cardiff, supervised by Dr Sophie Heywood and Dr Catherine Butler. Emma will also co-curate panels and webinars with the University of Reading, OIW and other partners.

Commenting on these exciting new partnerships, Deborah Hallford at Outside In World says: “Translated children’s literature is now being integrated into wider campaigns for diversity of creators and content, helping to ensure its sustainability and growth, thanks in part to the energies of translators, academics and advocates, like OIW. Our partnerships will make a vital contribution to this field and expand the worlds of young readers, now and in the future.”




New Reviews November 2021


Under 5 Category

Pablo - A charming board book that follows Pablo the chick as he slowly emerges from his shell. Belgian author/illustrator Rascal has written a witty text, translated by Anthony Shugaar, accompanied by simple and effective black and white artwork that progresses from page to page like an animated sequence. The lovely absurdness of the finale is bound to raise a giggle too – a gorgeous and engaging book. (Gecko Press)

Where is the Dragon? - The King is scared and cannot sleep; he fears a dragon is lurking in the dark. He orders three of his bravest knights to go in search of the dragon in the middle of the night. Here’s another delectable creation from Dutch author/illustrator Leo Timmers, translated by James Brown. The clever shadowy imagery gives readers much to look at as the knights take it in turns to recount the king’s varied descriptions of the dragon displayed in Timmer’s silhouetted shapes which are often not what they first appear. (Gecko Press)

6-8 Category

Seahorses are Sold Out - This delightful hilarious book by German author Constanze Spengler, translated by Shelley Tanaka, is tremendous fun and young readers will enjoy following Mika’s antics as more and more exotic and larger animals appear, while his preoccupied father remains completely oblivious to the increasing menagerie filling up their home. (Gecko Press)

The Visible Sounds - is an unusual book exploring a world of silence. It is based on the true story of Chinese dancer Lihua Tai. When MiLi was two years old she suffered an illness that resulted in her losing her hearing. MiLi feels anxious and upset as suddenly her world has become silent. Although MiLi cannot hear sounds, one day her life is changed forever when she discovers that she can perceive them in other ways.

From this moment on a new vibrant world is opened up to MiLi full of new sounds expressed exquisitely through Chinese author Yin Jianling’s lyrical text, eloquently translated by Filip Selucky and accompanied by delicate pencil and watercolour illustrations by Chinese artist Yu Rong. The Visible Sounds is both inspiring and empowering and offers a positive message of hope which can speak to everyone. (uclanpublishing)

I Am the Subway - Have you ever wondered about the multitude of stories behind the strangers you see out and about but never have a chance to meet? I Am the Subway, a picture book written by Korean author Kim Hyo-eun and translated by Deborah Smith transports the reader through highlights of multiple storylines that make up the people taking the Seoul subway. (Scribble)

Sato the Rabbit: The Moon - In a matter-of-fact tone, the narrator of Sato the Rabbit: The Moon informs readers that “Haneru Sato the Rabbit goes into the woods and pulls the moon out from a thicket.”  From then on, Sato the Rabbit sails in his moon boat and begins his new adventures in the second book of the Sato the Rabbit trilogy, written by Japanese author Yuki Ainoya and translated by Michael Blaskowsky. (Enchanted Lion)

In Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life, translator David Henry Wilson makes Austrian author Heinz Janisch’s depiction of Andersen accessible to English-speaking children who want to learn about the biography of the famous fairy-tale author through a quasi-fairy tale itself. Readers learn about Andersen’s life from the perspective of Elsa, the inquisitive little girl in the blue dress on a carriage ride who happens to be conversing with a charismatic older man, who turns out to be Andersen himself. Enhanced by illustrations full of vibrant colour by Maja Kastelic. (NorthSouth)


New Reviews October 2021

Under 5 Category

Chirri & Chirra: The Rainy Day – For Chirri and Chirra, taking a raincheck on any magical excursions for the day is unthinkable; they celebrate a rainy day, complete with cafés only open on days when it rains, rain that falls upside-down, and balloon-sized gummy gumdrops. Japanese author Kaya Doi’s fantastical story is the seventh volume of the ‘Chirri & Chirra’series, translated by David Boyd. (Enchanted Lion Books)

6-8 Category

Sato the Rabbit – “One day, Haneru Sato became a rabbit. He’s been a rabbit ever since.” In the first of three ‘Sato the Rabbit’ stories, Michael Blaskowsky translates Japanese author Yuki Ainoya’s magical landscape powered by imagination. Young readers will relish in the dreamy images of endless possibilities. (Enchanted Lion Books)

Summer Moonlight Concert – What happens when the power goes out in the middle of preparing dinner? Xinyi Tan translates Chinese author Han Han’s story of a musical gathering in a small city in 1990s southern China. As well as the text Han Han also provides original, immersive illustrations. This book is a part of The Secret Mountain’s new classical music series and contains a CD and code to download recordings of the music in the back of the book. (The Secret Mountain)

This is a Dictatorship was originally published in Spain more than forty years ago in 1977. In an easy and accessibly way the concept and text by Equipo Plantel – Equipo meaning ‘team’ in Spanish – explains what happens to a country when one person makes all the rules and why it is extremely important that new generations of children learn what it means to lose freedom and democracy. This Book Island edition has a new translation in English by Lawrence Schimel with stunning artwork by Mikel Casal and is one of the most striking and beautiful non-fiction picture books published in the UK in recent years. (Book Island)

9-11 Category

The Story of Bodri – Bodri, the dog is a loyal, lovable bystander of the events of a significant historical event for one family in Swedish author Hédi Fried’s autobiographical depiction of her experience as a Jewish child facing the horrors of the Holocaust, translated by Linda Schenck. Stina Wirsen’s watercolour illustrations with their bold outlines are reminiscent of the 1940s. (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers)


New Reviews September 2021

Under 5 Category


Can Findus Find Pettson? - Findus has drawn a picture for Pettson and wants to give it to him, but where is he? This delightful board book follows the antics of Findus on another adventure as he goes in search of Pettson. Young children will be captivated by Swedish author and illustrator Sven Nordqvist’s gorgeous artwork. (Hawthorn Press)

Daisy the Hungry Duck - Daisy the duck and her friends are very hungry, so they decide to waddle off in search of food, but it is not long before they are completely lost. A charming board book for very young children with soft coloured illustrations and rhythmic words from Dutch author Evelien van Dort and illustrator Marjan van Zeyl. (Floris Books)

Good Night! Earth is a lovely, whimsical tale from Finnish author and illustrator Linda Bondestam, translated from Swedish by Galit Hasan-Rokem about an alien family on a faraway planet who have an unusual bedtime routine – spying through a telescope on the baffling bedtime antics of other animal families on earth! With a poetic text full of offbeat humour, an inventive book design, and enchanting, this is a lovely book to share at bedtime. (Yonder, Restless Books)

Olwen Find Her Wings - Baby owl Olwen longs to leap like a hare or roar like a bear, but as hard as she tries, she just can’t do what other forest creatures can. Another enchanting creation showing the importance of learning to be ourselves from picture book Finnish mother-and-daughter team Pirkko-Liisa and Nora Surojegin. The poetic narrative and the beautiful rendition of the wildlife and landscapes are magical. (Floris Books)

6-8 Category

Three new editions from OUP of the classic tales from ‘Noisy Village’ – The Children of Noisy Village, Happy Times in Noisy Village and Nothing But Fun in Noisy Village. This charming collection of stories from one of the world's best-loved children's authors Astrid Lindgren describe the children’s daily family life and everyday incidents, which are often turned into adventures as they play together. Lindgren structured these books as a series of simple self-contained stories and the charming black and white illustrations by Mini Grey bring the children and the children’s escapades to life. (OUP)

9-11 Category

A Good Night for Shooting Zombies - Martin’s life changes the day his dad is killed in a car accident.  Neither his mum, who refuses to leave the house, nor his sister, who seems only interested in her boyfriend, will talk about it. When a neighbour’s dog kills one of Martin’s prize chickens, he goes next door to confront the owner, a boy of the same age called Vusi. Martin, little realises, that this brief encounter will change his life forever. South African author Jaco Jacobs novel, translated from Afrikaans by Kobus Geldenhuys, is about the power of friendship and strikes the perfect balance between humour and heartbreak. (Rock the Boat)

Talking to Alaska - It only takes one day at their new school for Parker and Sven to decide they dislike each other intensely.  Parker has had a terrible summer, while Sven is desperate to make an impression otherwise, he will always be known as ‘the boy with epilepsy’ attracting a mixture of pity and fear. When Parker discovers that her beloved dog Alaska, who she had to give up the previous year, is now an assistance dog belonging to Sven, she’s determined to get her back. Dutch author Anna Woltz’s powerful novel, translated by Laura Watkinson, is a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship that is brought about by the love of a dog. (Rock the Boat)

Temple Alley Summer - This imaginative and multi-layered story from renowned Japanese children’s author Sachiko Kashiwaba, skilfully translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa, combines eerie suspense with the narrative humour provided by the main protagonist Kazu.  It’s full of twists and turns as it moves between the present and the past effortlessly. An exciting supernatural adventure, with expressive black and white illustrations from award-winning Japanese illustrator Miho Satake, that will have the reader hooked from the very first page as it explores the power of friendship in a world where the dead come back to life. (Restless Books)

More New Reviews August 2021

Under 5 Category

Hello Animals Who Are You?
- Another board book in the critically acclaimed series ‘Hello Animals’ by popular Dutch illustrator Loes Botman whose lovely, detailed artwork brings the animals vividly to life making this an ideal book for pre-school children to learn and identify different animals. (Floris Books)

6-8 Category

1001 Bees
– Polish author and illustrator Joanna Rzezak has created a charming, illustrated non-fiction picture book detailing the lives of bees and the vital work they do. The lively and engaging text, translated from French, is packed with fascinating facts from the many different types of bees there are, how honey is made, and which flowers the bees like best when collecting their nectar. This is an ideal book for parents and carers to share with young children and for teachers introducing the natural world into the classroom. (Thames & Hudson)

The Caiman
– When Faoro the clockmaker comes across a group of children who have found an orphaned baby alligator – a river caiman, he decides to adopt it and take it home. Based on a true story by Venezuelan author María Eugenia Manrique and translated by Amy Brill, it recalls nostalgic memories of her childhood growing up in San Fernando de Apure as one of the children who used to visit the famous caiman. The visual narrative with its colourful palette by Venezuelan artist Ramón París is evocative and brings to life this unusual tale. (Amazon Kids Crossing)

Magic Candies
– This poignant story, with a mix of realism and fantasy, is narrated by Tong Tong, a lonely child, whose life is changed when he buys a bag of magic candies. The first candy he tries is brightly coloured and has a familiar pattern that looks just like the family sofa.  As Tong Tong sucks the candy, he suddenly hears a voice emanating from the sofa telling him where the missing remote control is. Other voices follow and it turns out they have a lot to say but is Tong Tong ready to hear them?  At turns funny, quirky, and heartfelt, this imaginative picture book from the 2020 winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Korean author, and artist Heena Baek, translated by Sophie Bowman, will take readers on Tong Tong’s journey of discovery. (Amazon Kids Crossing)

Ready, Steady, School!
– Here is another sumptuous lively search and find large-format book by award-winning Canadian author and illustrator Marianne Dubuc. Pom, a small gnome whose gender isn’t specified, is not due to start school until next year but wants to spend a day at school and sets out on a fascinating adventure visiting an array of animal schools. Dubuc has provided yet another visual treat packing every double-page spread with meticulous and appealing detail. The text, translated by Sarah Ardizzone, is conversational and as with all Dubuc’s books, there is plenty of humour and hidden visual jokes in the artwork.  (Book Island)

9-11 Category

How Life on Earth Began
– Another clever and exquisitely designed large-format picture book from Spanish illustrator Aina Bastard that gives an overview of what the earth looked like 300 million years ago. From the evolution of life through fossils, dinosaurs and the first humans, this book is packed with information. With lift-the-flaps and detailed illustrations together with the clever overlaid transparencies, it will allow readers to discover layers of history showing the universe in all its forms. A beautifully crafted book with stunning visual content that is sure to engage lively interest in how life began on earth. (Thames & Hudson)

The Magical Bookshop – Clara must say goodbye to her best friend Lottie who is moving away. She is forlorn and takes comfort in her favourite place, Mrs Owl’s bookshop, where she is surrounded by books that appear to spring to life, a cat who talks in rhymes, a talking mirror, and copious amounts of cinnamon buns. German author Katja Frixe’s story, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, is full of humour, magic and at its heart the preservation of a friendship and a bookshop. Accompanied by amusing black and white cartoon-style illustrations by Florentine Prechtel. (Rock the Boat)

Introducing Red Comet Press -a small independent children’s publisher providing a home for talented creators who seek a boutique experience and the personal touch of a passionate publisher.


New Titles Reviewed August 2021

Under 5 Category

Gratitude - This vibrant book encapsulates the concept of gratitude in a simple and easy way helping young children to understand its importance as well as enriching their vocabulary.  Embracing mindfulness through a series of different situations author Patricia Billings provides a concise and expressive text with vibrant illustrations by Manuela G. Montoya.

Gratitude is part of a series of six bilingual titles translated into seventeen languages that include: Emotions, Empathy, Friendship, Sharing and Love. (Milet Publishing)

6-8 Category

Escape: One Day We Had to Run is a beautiful and innovative book that charts the true stories of remarkable escapes. These twelve stories show how people from different corners of the world have courageously overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their flight to escape and be free. The two authors Ming & Wah have created an emotive and inspiring series of personal narratives which show determination, courage, and resilience. Spanish illustrator Carmen Vela has provided stunning and dramatic illustrations in a bold graphic style that capture the mood of the text. (Lantana Publishing)

Juan Hormiga – Juan Hormiga is a lone red ant among thousands of black ants, but what sets him apart from the rest of the colony is his indolence which is second to none and his special talent of telling hypnotic stories of his intrepid grandfather’s adventures. Juan Hormiga decides he wants to experience his own adventures and to re-enact the brave feats of his ancestor, so one day he announces his departure and sets out from the anthill. When a flash flood occurs, the ants begin to worry about Juan and his fate. He could not possibly have survived the rising waters, or could he?

Argentinian-born Barcelona-based Gustavo Roldán’s story, translated by Robert Croll, has a fable-like quality with whimsical cartoon-like black pen and ink illustrations. A delightfully quirky and fun book to read and one that can be dipped into again and again. (Elsewhere Editions)

The Book That Did Not Want To Be Read comes with a WARNING! It definitely does NOT want to be read. Not now or ever. Because if it is read all kinds of strange and magical things could possibly happen. This debut offbeat and comical picture book by Sundin, translated by B.J. Woodstein, is very much in the nonsense tradition vein and will certainly provide children and grown-ups with a very special kind of reading adventure. (Puffin Books)


September is World Kid Lit Month

With international travel still curtailed by the global pandemic, World Kid Lit Month is the perfect time for young readers to travel the world through books. First launched in 2016, #WorldKidLitMonth celebrates and promotes world literature for children and teens, especially fiction, nonfiction and poetry translated to English from other languages. Whether it’s in your school, your local library or bookshop, or on social media, September brings the perfect opportunity to find out about global reading for young people.

I love reading books from other countries and cultures!
It is just like travelling (without having to get on an airplane).”
~ Jakob Wegelius, author of The Murderer's Ape*
*translated from Swedish into English by Peter Graves


Join in #WorldKidLitMonth


#ReadtheWorld: Pick a destination and fly there with a book! Or perhaps set off on a tour of the globe, reading one book by an author or illustrator from each country you visit?


#DiverseBooks: Find and share inclusive books that reflect the diversity of the world around us


#GlobalCitizens: As we grapple with the issues facing us as a global society, what better way to begin dialogue across nations than by reading beyond our borders?


#TranslateThis!: Help us showcase forgotten gems and new books for translation


New for 2021 – Educator, librarian and bookseller resources


As well as families, this year we are encouraging teachers, librarians and booksellers to celebrate #WorldKidLitMonth using our pre-prepared reading lists and resources.


To find new releases, explore the 2021 list: children’s and teen books in translation, featuring books from over 28 languages. You can search the World Kid Lit website for books by age category, by country of origin, language of origin (over 80 languages so far!), and you’ll find reading lists for regions of the world.
It’s easier than ever to pick a destination and fly there with a book!

About Project World Kid Lit


World Kid Lit blog, the @worldkidlit social media accounts, and the World Kid Lit Month (September) campaign are run by a collective of volunteers.


Project World Kid Lit aims to make it easier to find books for children and young adults from around the world, especially in translation from other languages into English.


World Kid Lit Month is for children and teens, but also for parents, educators, librarians, translators, critics, publishers -- anyone who cares about good books for young people!


Project World Kid Lit aims to see more diversity in English-language publishing, to give a fairer representation of the multicultural and multilingual world we live in.


Join the conversation online:
•    Twitter
•    Instagram
•    Facebook page & Facebook discussion group
•    World Kid Lit blog
•    World Kid Lit LIVE: panel discussions with industry experts
•    Live online events hosted worldwide


More info and interviews

For more information about World Kid Lit Month, see the World Kid Lit website, contact @worldkidlit on Twitter, or email: worldkidlit@gmail.com
Download free graphics from the public press pack here


In Case you missed the Translation outreach in schools and the move online event you can watch the recording here:

A list of links and references from the event were compiled which you can see here

The Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing and the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading, in partnership with Outside in World, the organisation dedicated to promoting and exploring world literature and children’s books in translation, are delighted to invite you to a free online panel event on translation outreach in schools on Wednesday 5 May, 6-7.30pm.


Chair: Clémentine Beauvais (Author, academic and translator, University of York)
Sarah Ardizzone (Translator, critic and journalist)
Charlotte Ryland (Director, Stephen Spender Trust)
Gitanjali Patel (Director, Shadow Heroes)
Greet Pauwelijn (Book Island Publisher).

This event is aimed at teachers of languages across primary and secondary schools, covering both Modern Foreign Languages and work with learners who have English as an Additional Language. It will also appeal to librarians, educators and all who are interested in translation for children. Participants will learn about some of the major initiatives being led in schools to promote multilingualism and intercultural awareness and discuss this with some of the leading translators and organisations currently working on translation for/with children.

The event will be taking place online on Wednesday 5 May, 6-7.30pm UK BST
It is free and open to all - full details and registration link can be found here:


Titles Reviewed in March 2021


Under 5 Category

Hard Times For Unicorn - One day a young explorer from Siberia catches the rarest of creatures, a unicorn! But the very next day she is lost in a game of cards. And so, begins a series of adventures for this unlucky unicorn. Hard Times For Unicorn is a funny and touching picture book by acclaimed French Moroccan author and illustrator Mickaël El Fathi, translated by Gilberte Bourget, that follows the lively misadventures of a plucky unicorn. Accompanied by lovely, vibrant illustrations by French illustrator Charlotte Molas which provide a riot of colour and warmth to this endearing story. (Tate Publishing)

6-8 Category

Anita and the Dragons - Anita watches the large winged beasts as they roar and shake flying high above her in the sky as she hops from one cement roof to another in the rural village in the Dominion Republic where she lives. Soon a dragon will carry Anita, her parents and two brothers far away from their island to live in a distant land. Latinx writer, Hannah Carmona has written a gorgeous and moving tale about an immigrant family leaving their home country for a better life with stunning illustrations by Brazilian artist Anna Cunha. (Lantana Publishing)

My Little One - A mother welcomes her tiny son into the world. As she tenderly whispers and swings him gently to and fro, she tells the child the story of their lives. Each page shows the child growing taller while the mother becomes smaller until she is the one being held by her adult son bringing the story full circle. French author and poet Germano Zullo’s minimal text, translated by Katie Kitamura, is full of poetry. Albertine’s illustrations with their delicate line drawings in black pencil stand out against a white background. The simplicity of the images, however, hides a complex and careful choreography that allows the reader to flit through the pages creating movement and an animated effect as the mother and son reverse positions.

My Little One is a uniquely unusual book that is both timeless and suitable for readers of any age. Although the text is sparse it combines with simple, yet poignant images that will leave a lasting impression. (Elsewhere Editions)

12+ Category

Wonderous Journeys in Strange Lands - Sonia Nimr, a leading Palestinian author and storyteller, weaves together a richly imagined tale, creating stories within stories, inspired by the famous travel narratives of the fourteenth-century Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta. Nimr’s powerful and evocative narrative, exquisitely translated by Marcia Lynx Qualey, is a mix of historical, traditional tales, in the ilk of 1001 Arabian Nights, and a feminist perspective that is tinged with humour as well as love and loss.

Qamar, the narrator of the story, tells of her many adventures as she journeys over continents, deserts, and seas. Full of detail, colour, and vibrancy giving a flavour of different cultures and places making this novel so engaging and enjoyable to read.

‘Children’s literature in translation: a window into the cultural changes of ‘68’, online public lecture by Dr Sophie Heywood



This public event co-hosted by The Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) and the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing (CBCP) celebrating International Mother Language Day at the University of Reading took place on 22 February 2021. You can listen to the lecture here

Books play an important role in our understanding of how society changes, both at the time of the change and in the long view of historical events. In this public lecture Dr Sophie Heywood will illustrate how the global upheaval caused by the protest movements of 1968 fuelled an explosion of radical creativity in children’s literature. By tracing the journeys of key books such as Where the Wild Things Are and The Little Red Schoolbook as they travelled across different countries, Dr Heywood will explore the crucial role that translations and cultural exchange played in the ‘children’s ’68’. How did concepts of what was ‘radical’ in children’s books change across time, place and context? And what were the long-term legacies of this watershed moment on children’s culture in Europe?

Sophie Heywood is Associate Professor in French at the University of Reading, and co-director of the CBCP.

Titles Reviewed in February 2021

Under 5 Category


Sunday Rain - Elliott has just moved into a new house but he’s nervous about venturing outside, preferring to spend his days indoors immersed in a book with his fictional friends.  When Elliott hears the laughter of the kids from his street as they gather to play in the puddles, his mother tries to persuade him to go out and join them. An engaging story by Bulgaria-born US-based author Rosie J. Pava about moving home, making new friends, the power of books and the imagination. Accompanied by bright, engaging watercolour and charcoal artwork by US illustrator Amariah Rauscher. (Lantana Publishing)

6-8 Category

Agnes’s Place - Agnes knows what everyone is doing in the close-knit apartment building where she lives, and she also knows what it’s like to be lonely as an only child in a place full of adults who never have any time. When a new girl, Anna, moves into the building and Agnes’s orderly world is turned upside down. A charming debut picture book by Norwegian songwriter and musician Marit Larsen, translated by Kari Dickson, about home and belonging and how change can transform our world. Exquisite vibrant illustrations by Norwegian artist Jenny Løvlie vividly bring the story to life. (Amazon Crossing Kids)

The Ghoul - The inhabitants of a quiet village live in fear of disturbing the scary and ugly ghoul who lives in a cave at the top of the mountain. Young Hasan is tired of being frightened all the time and decides to embark on a dangerous mission to find the ghoul. When he finally comes face to face with the monster he’s in for a surprise! Palestinian-Jordanian writer Taghreed Najjar’s heart-warming story, translated from Arabic by Michel Moushabeck, has been inspired by Arabic folk tales. The edgy illustrations by Jordanian-born artist Hassan Manasra are full of vibrancy and movement. (Crocodile Books)

Older Titles

Under 5 Category

The Visitor - Elise is scared of everything. She lives alone and never goes out, staying within her tiny dimly lit grey spic and span house. When a strange object floats through the open window and lands at Elise’s feet everything changes. A moving, understated story by German author/illustrator Antje Damm, translated by Sally-Ann Spencer, about the power of friendship and how it can transform someone’s life. Through the expressive illustrations and clever use of colour Damm captures Elise’s loneliness and isolation, her joy in having the companionship and the importance of having someone else to care about.  An extremely poignant and striking picture book that is sure to leave a lasting impression. (Gecko Press, 2019 PB)

9-11 Category

A Case for Buffy - Chief Detective Gorden and Chief Detective Buffy take on the most important case ever investigated – to discover what happened to Buffy’s mother and family. Their adventure leads them beyond the edges of the forest and to the mysterious Cave Island. Another touching and funny Detective Gordon case from Swedish author Ulf Nilsson, translated by Julia Marshall, and lovely expressive and humorous watercolour artwork by Gitte Spee. (Gecko Press, 2018)


Around the World in 18 Books Online

The recording of Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp’s talk Around the World in 18 Books: An introduction to literary translation in children’s and YA publishing is now available to watch here.

You can also access the handout with details on the books discussed and links to organisations and resources on children’s literature in translation.

Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, Literary translator (Arabic, German, Russian) and diversity in publishing activist with WorldKidLit

Introduced by Patricia Billings, co-founder of Milet Publishing, author of bilingual children’s books, and a trustee of Outside in World

This seminar was organised by the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing in partnership with Outside in World, the organisation dedicated to promoting and exploring world literature and children’s books in translation.

Around the World in 18 Books

The Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing at the University of Reading is pleased to announce the details for an online public talk by translator and diverse publishing activist, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp: https://research.reading.ac.uk/centre-for-book-cultures-and-publishing/event/literary-translation-in-childrens-and-ya-publishing-an-online-public-talk-with-translator-and-diverse-publishing-activist-ruth-ahmedzai-kemp/

Entitled 'Around the World in 18 Books: an introduction to literary translation in children’s and YA publishing', Ruth will open a door onto the global children’s publishing industry, looking at how publishing rights are sold from one country to another, how translations are commissioned and funded, how marketing and age-banding varies between territories, why there are so few translations from outside of Europe and so few translated books by non-white authors, and how that could change.

Besides translators and researchers, this whirlwind book tour is aimed at a general audience including booksellers, librarians, teachers and parents, indeed anyone keen to diversify their children’s bookshelves.

The talk will be at 5-6.30pm UK time, Thursday 10 December, and there will plenty of time for questions and discussion. Please join the seminar here using Microsoft Teams. Information on joining Teams meetings without an account can be found here.

This seminar is organised by the CBCP in partnership with Outside in World, the organisation dedicated to promoting and exploring world literature and children’s books in translation.

All are welcome - please do spread the word, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Titles Reviewed in November 2020

6-8 Category

The Elevator - As a young girl sets out with her dog Roco for their afternoon walk, she must first take the elevator from the fourth floor of their apartment block down to the ground floor. There follows a series of stops and starts until it judders to a halt and stops between floors.  Now they are all stuck together! A delightfully quirky book by Argentinian author and illustrator Yael Frankel, translated by Kit Maude, transforms a simple concept of the everyday workings of an elevator filling it with detailed human interaction. (*Tapioca Stories)

The Invisible - The young boy in this story is a master in the art of being invisible, and the reader is invited to join him as he indulges in this very 'special' talent. Brazilian poet Alcides Villaça wrote this amusing poem, translated from the Portuguese by Flávia Rocha, in collaboration with Endi Bogue Hartigan, as an ode to his favourite childhood superpower, invisibility. The playful text is brought to life by Chilean illustrator and graphic artist Andrés Sandoval. (Tapioca Stories)

*Tapioca Stories is a New York-based children’s book publishing house with Latin American soul. We are carefully selecting and translating children's books written and illustrated by unique and ingenious contemporary Latin American artists, originally written in Spanish and Portuguese. We are publishing stunning illustrated books that express ideas beyond words...and borders. Find out more @tapiocastories | tapiocastories.com

Sleepy, Sleepy New Year - Another appealing story following on from Happy Mid-Autumn Festival from Chinese author and illustrator Meng Yanan about Chinese New Year, translated by thirteen-year-old Izzy Hasson, a student from Benenden School in Kent, winner of the sixth Bai Meigui translation competition run by Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing in 2020.

Bao Bear is feeling very sleepy as it's about time he settled down for the winter, but he overhears the Bunny family discussing Chinese New Year and making dumplings.  He's never heard of either, so he takes the Encyclopaedia of the Forest from the bookshelf and looks up the meaning of Chinese New Year but finds it all rather confusing. Suddenly Bao has an idea, he will invite all his friends from the forest to come and spend Chinese New Year together. (Balestier Press)

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival - Mother bunny sets off with her basket to gather food from all her forest friends so she can bake mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival. There is a clever and amusing subplot that takes place entirely within the artwork where a wolf with an ulterior motive watches and follows Mother Bunny wherever she goes together with a lovely heart-warming twist at the end. Meng Yanan’s engaging story with an excellent translation by Jasmine Alexander, a secondary school student who won the fourth Bai Meigui translation competition is accompanied by warm and expressive watercolour illustrations. (Balestier Press)

Titles Reviewed in October 2020

Under 5 Category

Ellie’s Voice or TRooommmpffff - Ellie is a bird who has no voice. One day she finds a strange object washed up on the beach. It’s a horn and when she blows into it a strange sound emerges – “Trooommmpffff".  Now Ellie is happy because at last, she can make a noise but unfortunately, the horn belongs to Duke Junior who has not been himself since he lost it. Ellie's Voice is a powerful story by renowned Estonian author and illustrator Piret Raud, translated by Adam Cullen, which has a fable-like quality that is both profound and moving. Its central themes are about learning to accept being different the importance of friendship and the magic of music. (Restless Books)

Like a Giant - A beautiful poetic story by French author and illustrator, Marc Daniau and Yvan Duque is about imagination and taking time to appreciate the wonderful world that surrounds us by exploring it from a new perspective. Duque’s stunning gouache artwork is captivating with its rich and vibrant colour palette. Like a Giant has a dream-like quality that will enchant children as they follow the two heroes on their incredible journey. (Tate Publishing)

6-8 Category

Nina’s Amazing Gift! - Nina misses her best friend Choco so much when he moves far away to the other side of the world.  But then a mysterious envelope arrives from Choco, but all that’s inside are five brown beans – “what kind of gift is that” she thinks. While watching a cooking competition taking place in her village, Nina suddenly has a brainwave. This charming early reader book is a witty and original story by Norwegian author Maja Linde with delightful comic-style illustrations by Hans Jorgen Sandnes which are rather unusual in that the original artwork was painted with real chocolate!
(Wacky Bee Books)

Count On Me - Everyone around Katherine seems to have a passion: her dad loves to paint, her mum studies entomology and her brother is good at music.  Katherine has tried her hand at many different things, but there is only one thing she has a passion for, and that's maths!

Spanish author and illustrator Miguel Tanco has created a very original story accompanied by bright pen and ink and watercolour illustrations.  Katherine shows that “maths is all around us” and Tanco takes complex mathematical concepts and makes them easily understandable. (Tate Publishing)

9-11 Category (Non Fiction)

Tell Me - As the subtitle indicates, Tell Me is a book made up of a variety of questions from children about what they really want to know about bodies, sex and emotions.  As part of a sex education project with nine – ten-years-olds children were asked to write down their questions anonymously and put them into a box which German author Katharina von der Gathen would answer.

There are a total of 99 questions in all covering sex, anatomy, puberty, reproduction, sexual and gender identity. Von der Gathen’s answers are direct and frank and are accompanied by lively and funny comic-style illustrations from German illustrator Anke Kuhl. An important resource for children and teenagers, teachers and families. (Gecko Press)

Titles Reviewed in September 2020

6-8 Category

I'll Believe You When... 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. This non-fiction picture book contains ten idioms from ten countries in ten different languages with amusing artwork by Spanish illustrator Raquel Bonita.

Some Days - As a mother hangs out the washing to dry her young daughter tells her about a passageway she has discovered in their yard. The child is fretful because some days the passageway isn't there and it's left to her mother to explain that “Although we may not always see it, / we can always go looking for it.” But maybe, together mother and daughter can find a way to carry that feeling with them always.

Argentinian author and illustrator María Wernicke has created an evocative picture book full of understated emotion. Although the text is sparse, Lawrence Schimel's translation is beautifully nuanced with one significant sentence on each double-page creating a gentle absorption of their meaning. Some Day is an incredibly moving and evocative book with layers of meaning which is sure to resonate with anyone who knows what it means to miss a loved one.

Taking Time is a gentle poem that has been inspired by the principles of mindfulness. Children are encouraged to take time to listen, to feel, to contemplate and to experience the wonder of nature from many different perspectives.

Although not a translation this lyrical picture book by UK artist Jo Loring-Fisher is universal by giving a glimpse into life in eleven different countries as the atmospheric illustrations capture the essence of other cultures.

To the Island - When Fia looks out of the window she hopes to see the mysterious island called Hy Brasil which only appears once in every seven years. Fia’s longing to go there is fulfilled when she embarks on a magical adventure to the mysterious island. This enchanting picture book from award-winning Irish author Patricia Forde, with dream-like artwork by Italian illustrator Nicola Bernardelli, is based on the mythical island of Hy Brasil off the west coast of Galway, Ireland.

12+ Category

The Girl from the Sea and Other Stories - The stories in this collection by Sophie de Mello Breyner Andresen (1919-2004), one of Portugal’s greatest poets, are classics of Portuguese children’s literature. This is the first time that these eight short stories have been translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson. De Mello Breyner Andresen fills her lyrical tales with her love of nature, gardens and the sea, as well as a keen sense of the fantastical.

September is World Kid Lit month

With international travel curtailed by the global pandemic, World Kid Lit Month is the time for young readers to travel the world through books. First launched in 2016, World Kid Lit Month is a month to celebrate and promote world literature for children and teens, especially fiction and nonfiction translated to English from other languages. Both on social media and in person — in schools, libraries, bookshops — September brings the perfect opportunity to find out about global reading for young people.

Author and translator Daniel Hahn said: "Only a few percent of t

he world have English as a first language. Deciding you're interested in reading only books by people who happen to have been born into the same language as you is as arbitrary as deciding you're only going to read books written by people whose surnames start with vowels. Not that there aren't quite a lot of them, but don't you think you might be missing out?"

Alexandra Büchler, director of Literature Across Frontiers, said: “By reading beyond our borders we explore the vast diversity of voices and perspectives that complement and contrast with our own. Global kid lit offers a window onto the world and a reflection of other cultures, but it also expands the opportunities for children to find the texts that speak personally to them.”

There are four strands to the World Kid Lit Month campaign: ? ARMCHAIR TRAVEL: Pick a destination and fly there with a book ? BIBLIODIVERSITY: Kids deserve diverse and inclusive books ? GLOBAL READS FOR A GLOBAL OUTLOOK: What better way to explore our planet than by reading? ? FOUND IN TRANSLATION: The key to opening up new worlds and new stories Readers and educators are encouraged to get involved in September by joining the #worldkidlitmonth challenge on social media: read and review one children’s or young adult book translated into English from another language. More ideas and resources are available on the World Kid Lit blog, making it easier than ever to pick a country and fly there with a book: https://worldkidlit.wordpress.com/get-involved/


Titles Reviewed in July 2020

Under 5 Category

 A Tiger Like Me - A little boy – um, no, a tiger, wakes up in the morning in his tiger den, yawns and stretches before filling his lungs and letting out a mighty roar. This playful story by German author Michael Engler, translated by Laura Watkinson, is written in the format of a poem which allows the text to glide along capturing the child's rich imagination as he pretends to be a tiger. The warm illustrations by German artist Joëlle Tourlonias provide an expressive array of the different moods of the little tiger as he bounds through the pages. A delightful and fun story that will resonate with young readers. (Amazon Crossing Kids) 

The Little Girl Who Was Afraid of Everything - Ami is afraid of absolutely EVERYTHING, that is, she meets someone who needs her help. Now she must find the strength to put all her fears and anxiety behind her. Sardinian author and illustrator Aurora Cacciapuoti has written a charming story sensitively tackling the subject of a child experiencing anxiety and fear of the unknown, and of allowing them to find a way of dealing with it through helping others. The simple text and child-like artwork will enable children who experience similar fears to identify with Ami and learn that they can be overcome. A powerful story of courage and friendship. (Tate Publishing) 

The Ride! - A surfer picks up his board and jumps in his car. He’s off to the beach to ride the waves.  Out on the open road surely nothing can stop him making it to the sea as planned?  Along the way, he picks up a variety of strange hitchhikers which leads to a great deal of hilarity. Brazilian author, illustrator and graphic designer Guilherme Karsten has created a delightfully funny and quirky picture book with rhyming text with rich block colour illustrations ensuring that children will want to read it again and again. (Tate Publishing) 

6-8 Category

Bear and Fred - Fred, a young Dutch boy lives in Delft in Holland with his parents, brothers and the narrator, his beloved teddy bear.  Fred and Bear are inseparable and when the Second World War engulfs the Netherlands Fred is taken to Amsterdam to stay with his grandfather and Bear goes to.  Although Fred is separated from the rest of his family he always keeps Bear close by his side. Bear knows he must take care of Fred and also make sure he doesn’t feel alone. Israeli author Iris Argaman has written a beautiful and moving story, based on true events which is seamlessly translated from Hebrew by Annette Appel. The flowing pen and ink line drawings by Israeli illustrator Avi Ofe with their simple watercolour palette lends an atmosphere and poignancy which works so well with Argaman’s concise text. (Amazon Crossing Kids)

The Refuge - Jeannette tells her mother about Iliana, a new girl at school who never stops looking up at the sky and always seems so sad. At first, it's hard to communicate with each other because they don't speak the same language but by using their hands and their drawings they can understand one another. Soon Iliana can tell Jeannette about her difficult and dangerous journey crossing the sea on a small crowded boat to escape her war-torn country. French author Sandra le Guen’s gentle story about finding safety, refuge and friendship is brought to life in English by award-winning translator by Daniel Hahn. The whimsical and expressive artwork by Stéphane Nicolet captures the children's growing special bond as well as their curiosity and imagination about outer space. (Amazon Crossing Kids) 

9-11 Category 

Everyone’s The Smartest - In this witty collection of 60 poems from Estonia the school setting both takes on the strange and the familiar. Estonian poet Contra (born Margus Konnula) is one of Estonia’s most prolific contemporary poets.  His writing is strongly rooted in Estonia’s folk-singing traditions and his poetry makes frequent use of his native Võra dialect. Translated by Charlotte Geater, Kätlin Kaldmaa and Richard O’Brien this witty book full of playful rhymes are further enhanced by the comical and colourful artwork by Ulla Saar. (The Emma Press)


Titles Reviewed in June 2020 


Under 5 Category

Spiky - Spiky is covered in spikes from head to toe. He’s very proud of his spikes and spends his days sharpening them so that he can scare and bully the other forest creatures. One day the unthinkable happens: Spiky loses his spikes and without them, he is no longer scary. Luckily, Bernardo, the wise bunny comes to the rescue. Italian author and illustrator Illaria Guiarducci’s story, translated by Laura Watkinson, on the face of it is a simple tale of ‘bad come good’, but there is more complexity here. Although infused with humour Spiky really is very bad until the fun-loving Bunny is able to show Spiky how to have a good time and how important friendship. (Amazon Crossing Kids)

6-8 Category

Generations of children have fallen in love with Pippi Longstocking and here are two new editions of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s classic Pippi Longstocking stories to celebrate 75 years of ‘the strongest girl in the world’. Meet Pippi Longstocking and Pippi Longstocking and the Snirkle Hunt are a perfect introduction to Pippi for a younger audience. Translated by Elizabeth Kallik Dyssegaard and Susan Beard respectively with the delightful pen and ink line drawings by Ingrid Vang Nyman who was the original illustrator of the Pippi stories. (Oxford University Press)

Along the Tapajos – A beautiful atmospheric book by Brazilian award-winning author and illustrator Fernando Vilela and translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn was inspired by the author's trip to the Amazon Rainforest. Brother and sister Cauā and Inaê live in the small community of Pará along the banks of the Tapajós River in Brazil. When the rainy season comes and the river levels rise the village must relocate to higher ground. In the rush to leave the siblings realise they have left behind their pet tortoise Titi. Knowing that Titi won’t be able to survive they set out on a dangerous journey along the river to retrieve him. (Amazon Crossing Kids)

9-11 Category

Poems the Wind Blew In is a charming book of poems by best-selling Spanish poet Karmelo C. Iribarren. This eclectic array of short poems, Iribarren’s first book of poems for children, are beautifully evocative and deftly translated by Lawrence Schimel making them an ideal introduction to poetry for young readers. (The Emma Press)

12+ Category 

Wherever it is Summer – Seventeen-year-old Louise and thirteen-year-old Jana both long for different things and the last thing either of them is looking for during this hot and boring summer is a friend of totally the wrong age. However, a chance meeting in a park leads to a strange bonding between the two when they ‘borrow’ a car and head off for a day at the lake. Wherever it is Summer by Tamara Bach, one of Germany’s leading authors for young adults, and translated by Siobhán Parkinson is written in the alternating voices of its two protagonists. A powerful and poignant story of the redemptive power of friendship. (Little Island)

14+ Category

Trees for the Absentees – Palestinian author Ahlam Bsharat’s small novella is multi-layered weaving from reality to the imaginary. On the brink of adulthood, Philistia’s world is that of an ordinary university student, except that it’s in occupied Palestine. Her father is incarcerated in an Israeli prison and she still misses her beloved Grandmother Zahia. Bsharat’s exquisitely lyrical prose, with a masterful collaborative translation from Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Sue Copeland, uses evocative metaphors and a dash of magical realism to great effect.  (Neam Tree Press)


 Wendy Cooling

Our Patron Wendy Cooling has sadly passed away after a short illness. Wendy was a passionate supported of Outside In World and also a friend who will be missed greatly. 

Official Announcement - Tuesday 23 June 2020 

Pioneering children’s book “dabbler” Wendy Cooling dies, leaving far-reaching legacy 

Pioneering children’s book “dabbler” (her words) Wendy Cooling has died, after a short illness. There are few more beloved people in the world of children’s books than Wendy, and her passing will be mourned by authors, illustrators, publishers, librarians, teachers and all those colleagues who worked with her on the ground-breaking projects that marked a long and uniquely impactful career.

Her most outward legacy is the creation of Bookstart – the BookTrust project she pioneered 28 years ago – which today places books into the hands of over two million children in the UK every year and has inspired equivalent programmes throughout the world, including Japan, Colombia, Thailand and Taiwan.

From the early days of her career as an inspirational secondary school teacher, through to the Reading Roadshows addressing the needs of children in foster care; from the many anthologies of stories and poems for children she edited to her utterly unforgettable book talks at conferences, Wendy never ceased to keep breaking down the barriers preventing any child from any background accessing the widest possible range of reading. 

Growing up in rural Norfolk, she eagerly waited for the monthly visits from the library van. She left school aged 16 and studied for A levels at night whilst working for the Civil Service in London. Throughout her career, she wore her expertise with incredible modesty and a light touch. “If you can read,” she said, “you can do anything. Reading is a resource for life.” 

In 2006, Wendy received the Eleanor Farjeon Award. In 2009, she was made MBE for Services to Children’s Literature. 

Wendy Cooling was, quite simply, a powerhouse who transformed the lives of millions of children.” Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust. 

Her belief that every child deserved a rich life of reading and books was utterly compelling.” Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust. 

Her contribution to children’s reading is utterly unique and unlikely ever to be replicated.” Hilary Murray Hill, CEO , Hachette Children’s Group and Chair, Heads of Children’s Publishers Group. 

A whole generation of readers – and their parents – have Wendy to thank for bringing books into their families.” Meryl Halls, Managing Director, Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Ltd. 

Her knowledge was overwhelming, her warmth infectious. A life so well lived.” Michael Morpurgo.

 Wendy was passionate about putting books in the hands of all our children. Meeting her made me feel I could have a place and a space as an author in the world of children’s books.” Malorie Blackman. 

Wendy was a passionate champion for children’s books, and the transformative magic of reading. Her legacy will be far-reaching.” Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate.


Titles Reviewed in May 2020

Under 5 Category

Bicki-Books are a truly delightful collectable series of postcard-sized picture books bringing to life some of Latvia’s best-loved children’s poems and modern nursery rhymes. Curated by Ruta Briede and translated into English by Žanete Vevere Pasqualini, Uldis Balodis, and Kate Wakeling, each poem has been skilfully matched to a leading contemporary illustrator. 

The first six titles were published in 2019 followed by a further six in January 2020. (The Emma Press)

The titles in the second set from 7-12 are:

Secret (007) is a witty rhyme written by Jazeps Osmanis and illustrated by Ingrida Picukane about a little boy who wants to tell his mother a secret, but she must promise not to tell anyone else.

Potato Potato (008) written by Vitauts Ludens and illustrated by Ieva Jurjane. Here is an amusing nursery rhyme about potatoes.

Mole (009) written by Vitauts Ludens and illustrated by Dita Pence. This quirky rhyme about a little mole digging a metro system underground is funny and clever.

The Tall Tale of a Mischievous Mushroom Picker (010) written by Inese Zandere and illustrated by Edmunds Janson is a fun nonsense rhyme about a child who goes mushroom-picking.

Emil (011) written by Inga Gaile and illustrated by Anna Zvaigzne, this is a love poem to Emil who perhaps doesn’t share the sentiment.

I Want a Puppy Dog (012) written by Ilmars Šlapins and illustrated by Darta Stafecka this is a yearning rhyme of a man who desperately wants a puppy and will stop at nothing to get it!

6-8 Category

Pop-Up Volcano! - How are volcanoes formed and why do they erupt? In this fascinating pop-up book, you will be able to find out all the answers and much more. French author Fleur Daugey’s lively bite-sized blocks of text is packed with facts and accompanied by five stunning pop-ups - with paper engineering by Bernard Duisit and detailed illustrations by Tom Vaillant. (Thames & Hudson)

Declaration of the Rights of Girls and Boys - French author Elisabeth Brami and illustrator Estelle Billon-Spagnol have created an engaging and amusing book for all those who believe in gender equality, self-expression and the right to be who we are. The busy comic-style artwork provides plenty to look at which helps to emphasise the message in a fun way. This two in one book is a clever and amusing declaration of the rights of boys and girls presented as a flipbook to be read from either end. (Little Island)

9-11 Category

Outsider/Odmieniec - This unusual bilingual book written in Polish and English by illustrator/author Anna Mycek-Wodecki is a beautiful homage to the worldwide renowned composer and virtuoso pianist, Frédéric Chopin. The stunning artwork retains a surreal quality making Outsider a fitting tribute to one of the world’s renowned composers. (Fran Barnat, Chicago/Warsaw) 

12+ Category

Memoirs of a Basque Cow - Basque author Bernardo Atxga has produced an original tale about a cow named Mo who lives in the mountains of the Basque region of Spain. Mo is an engaging cow who narrates her bovine memoirs after being persuaded by her Inner Voice, better known as ‘The Pest’.  Set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War Mo provides a chatty narrative full of wit, captured perfectly by translator Margaret Jull Costa, in which she relates incidents in her life as well as sagacious monologues and cow-related sayings. Memoirs of a Basque Cow has depth and many layers and is just as enjoyable to read as the delightful The Adventures of Shola about a feisty little dog with attitude which won the 2015 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. (Young Dedalus)

The Books that Devoured My Father - When Elias Bonfim, the narrator celebrates his twelfth birthday his grandmother hands him the key to his father’s library. Vivaldo Bonfim had thoughts only of books and one day he became so immersed that he just disappeared. Now Elias sets off on a journey of discovery to find the father he never knew. Each day after school he goes to his father’s attic and reads book after book which takes him through the plots of many classic novels. This small novella by Portuguese author Afonso Cruz is multi-layered with its complexity of dipping in and out of literature and reality, the philosophical conversations Elias has together with the beautiful description prose, eloquently translated by Margaret Jull Costa. The Books that Devoured My Father is it packed with rich content and is a celebration of the importance and power of literature. (Young Dedalus)


 Titles Reviewed in April 2020

Under 5 Category  

My Mama  by Dutch author/illustrator Annemarie van Haeringen, translated by Bill Nagelkerke is a simple story of a mother/child relationship with gorgeous expressive pen and ink and watercolour illustrations that complement the chatty humour of the narrator. (Gecko Press) The Wolf and the Fly – is a delightful board book by award-winning German author/illustrator Antje Damm, translated by Catherine Chidgey, who has created a clever interactive puzzle book which combines a story and guessing, memory, observation and naming game. (Gecko Press)

Bicki-Books are a truly delightful collectable series of postcard-sized picture books bringing to life some of Latvia’s best-loved children’s poems and modern nursery rhymes. Curated by Rūta Briede and translated into English by Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini, Uldis Balodis, and Kate Wakeling, each poem has been skilfully matched to a leading contemporary illustrator. These first six titles were published in 2019 followed by a further six in January 2020. (The Emma Press)

The titles in the first set from 1-6 are:

Bicki Bucki (001) is an unusual modern nursery rhyme by Janis Baltvilks with about the friendship between a small boy and a dinosaur, with comical illustrations by Reinis Petersons.
Calm Beasts (002), written by Herberts Dobre with stunning lifelike illustrations by Gita Treice. A lovely rhyme about the power of the imagination.
Topsy-Turvy Tasks (003), written by Maija Laukmane and illustrated by Sabine Moore. Things really are topsy turvy in this book.
The Door Wizard (004), written by Pēters Brūveris and illustrated by Paulis Liepa. A tale where the outside comes in and the inside goes out.
Ice Cream (005), written by Arnolds Auziņš and illustrated by Līva Piterāne. The narrator's brother adores ice cream, in fact, he worships it and manages to eat at least a ton. A playful poem full of humour.
Naughty Gnat (006) written by Valdis Grenkovs and illustrated by Zane Zlemeša – Jimmy is drawing a picture a cheeky gnat is causing havoc wherever it goes. 

6-8 Category 

Yayoi Kusama Covered Everything in Dots and Wasn’t Sorry – The Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama covers her paintings in hundreds of dots. Dots are everywhere! In this glorious celebration of Kusama's work, Italian illustrator/author Fausto Gilberti has captured the extraordinary creativity of one of the most popular contemporary artists today. Readers of all ages will be entertained and inspired by the extraordinary variety of Kusama's artistic output. (Phaidon)  

Hattie – Six-year-old Hattie is a bright, savvy country girl in her first year of school.  Hattie doesn’t live in the middle of nowhere, she lives just outside it, right next to no one at all. She is mischievous and sometimes attracts trouble or sometimes things just go wrong! Swedish award-winning author Frida Nilsson, translated by Julia Marshall, has written a funny, illustrated chapter book that is full of warmth with expressive line pen and ink drawings by Stona Wirsén. (Gecko Press)

9-11 Category

The Garden of Inside-Outside - Inspired by the author’s childhood, this graphic novel beautifully evokes two very different worlds. On the inside – a neglected palace with a wild walled garden and on the outside – a city that has collapsed into war. Chiara and her younger brother play in the garden with their dog. One day, a boy called Massoud climbs over the wall. They are unable to speak the same language, but Massoud and Chiara become friends as they find a way to communicate together. Italian author Chiara Mezzalama's story is based on her recollections of being in Tehran in 1981 two years after the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is an evocative story of an unexpected friendship between a girl and a boy, worlds apart and on either side of war and peace, captured in the lyrical text, translated by Sarah Ardizzone, and the stunning artwork by Regis Lejonc. (Book Island)

Nobody can stop Don Carlo - Eleven-year-old narrator Carlo lives in Bochum, Germany with his mother. His parents are separated and his father is now living in his native Palermo in Sicily.  Carlo desperately misses his dad; there are always promises of planned visits but somehow it never happens. Carlo longs to get his parents back together again and decides to take matters into his own hands and do something about it. He sets off for Palermo on his own. This novella, from one of Germany’s leading authors, Oliver Scherz, translated by Deidre McMahon, is a lovely, heart-warming and witty novel that is a joy to read. (Young Dedalus) 

12+ Category

Fing’s War - The Boon family are back in Fing’s War, Dutch author Benny Lindelauf’s follow-up to Nine Open Arms. It’s 1938 and the Nazis are on the march in Germany. Lindelauf’s powerful novel, excellently translated by John Nieuwenhuizen, successfully combines the different genres of fantasy, historical and literary fiction. The first part of the novel weaves an everyday narrative of the fortunes of the Boon family as Fing relays the domestic disasters to a false accusation of theft. However, with the second half, the tone darkens as it reflects the effects of living under occupation. As the Second World War intensifies Fing and her family must adjust and navigate the harsh reality of life living under German occupation and the impact it has on them and their small town on the border of Holland and Germany. (Enchanted Lion)


New Titles Reviewed in March 2020


Little Parsley - A zany collection of playful poems from one of Norway’s most famous poets, Inger Hagerup, whose children’s poems are recited and sung by children throughout Norway to this day.  The lyrical rhymes cleverly translated to retain their humour in English by Becky Lynn Cook, have similarities to the nonsense verse tradition. The vivid and detailed pen and ink illustrations by Paul René Gauguin, the grandson of French post- impressionist Paul Gauguin, burst with colour and are full of spirit and humour that match perfectly Hagerup’s quirky rhymes.

The Battle for the Good Grass - Amongst the finest, softest and greenest grass in the country a group of rabbits play and sleep. Unfortunately, they share this space with dogs, who also love the grass and like to run and do their business there too as well as to chase the rabbits because that’s what dogs do.  The rabbits aren’t happy and they set about doing something about it. A charming tale from Faroese author/illustrator Bárđur Oskarsson, translated by Marita Thomsen. Oskarsson’s tales always have a fable-like quality, often with a simple message within the story and the lucid pen and ink and watercolour wash artwork with the clever use of perspective enhance it further.

Paul, the Cool Giraffe - Paul the Giraffe has lots of friends. They think he’s really cool, but don’t know why, he just is. There is one major difference. Paul doesn’t like his vegetarian diet of leaves; he thinks they are dry and dull so he decides to try something different but his experimental diet is a step to far for the other giraffes. With minimalist storytelling and simple pen and ink and watercolour artwork together with the effective use of perspective Paul, the Cool Giraffe by Faroese artist, author/illustrator Bárđur Oskarsson, translated by Marita Thomsen, demonstrates the importance of being comfortable with who you are.

Not Without My Tractor - The narrator’s parents are moving to the city and they tell him that it’s no place for a tractor. They have a problem though because he’s not going anywhere … Not without his tractor! Finn-Ole Heinrich and Dita Zipfel’s text, translated by Siobhán Parkinson, is witty but it is the bold and brash block-colour artwork by Halina Kirschner with its rich orange, blue and thick black brush strokes that are bursting with energy that will endear this story to all those young tractor fans.

6-8 Category

The Dot - The dot is bored of sitting in the same place at the end of a line without anything to do. So it gets up and starts to move around. First of all it walks along the straight line where it encounters other dots who are also bored of sitting still. Working together they discover that if four dots each walk in different directions and stop at the same distance apart they are able to make a square. Now this is when the fun really starts! Syrian author/illustrator Gulnar Hajo’s story, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, is original and unusual and a playful exploration of lines and shapes and how they can all work together.

Tales from the Hidden Valley: The Band - Spring has arrived in the valley that is hidden between tall mountains. Ticky has just returned home after his long winter away. When Ticky hears the sound of a band he looks out of his window to see his friends approaching.  They must be coming to welcome him home he thinks. But one by one they disappear into the trunk of the tree without saying hello. Ticky feels his world is falling apart – have they forgotten him already? This is the third book in the ‘Hidden Valley’ series providing another whimsical offbeat tale from Spanish author/illustrator Carles Porta, translated by Lawrence Schimel.

Tales from the Hidden Valley: Under the Water - It is summer in the hidden valley and the inhabitants are getting ready to celebrate ‘Dragon’s Day’. According to legend, in the deepest part of the lake lives a terrible dragon. If it is woken up it emerges breathing a fire so fierce that no one is safe.  Will Yula, Sara and Ticky be able to evade the Dragon who lurks beneath the lake before the party begins?  A fourth book in the appealing, quirky tales about the hidden valley and its endearingly curious inhabitants by Spanish author/illustrator Carles Porta, translated by Lawrence Schimel.

Flat Rabbit - One day while Dog and Rat are out for a walk they come across a flattened white rabbit on the road. The two friends agree that lying there can’t be much fun. They feel sad but don’t know what to do.  She needs to be moved but how are they going to do this? And where can they take her? Eventually Dog comes up with an ingenious plan. Award-winning Faroese author/illustrator Bárđur Oskarsson’s thoughtful story, translated by Marita Thomsen, tackles a serious subject with sensitivity and wit. His style of minimalist storytelling combined with the comical cartoon-like pen and ink and watercolour wash artwork creates a rawness enveloped in humour.

Child of Glass - Gisele a child of glass is a fragile and transparent girl. People come from far and wide to see her and she becomes something of a ‘celebrity’ None of this means anything to Gisele or her parents because they are worried about something else entirely: Gisele cannot hide her feelings from others, her thoughts are on display for all to see; her transparency leaves her open to criticism and judgment. Another exquisite allegorical tale from multiple award-winning author/illustrator Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick.

9-11 Category 

Do Fish Sleep? - Ten-year-old narrator Jette, through heartfelt comments and recollections, describes the tragic death of her terminally ill six-year-old brother Emil. The feelings that Emile’s loss evoke are huge and confusing. Jette soon realises that adults don’t always have all the answers either, especially what happens after you die, even though they might talk as if they do. Do Fish Sleep? by German author and dramaturge Jens Raschke, translated by Belinda Cooper, tackles its central theme of death head on.   The pen and ink cartoon-like illustrations by Jens Rassmus provide a very visual display of the sadness and pain. A deserving honor winner of the Mildred L. Bachelder Award 2020, this is a book that has so much depth with its honest and wry look at bereavement and the search for answers.


 New Titles Reviewed in February 2020 


ABC Off to Sea! - This is a fun nautically themed rhyming Alphabet book. “A is for adventure that's waiting for you, the next time you want to sail into the blue...” With retro-style illustrations in rich block colour, Virginie Morgand provides a refreshingly different sort of ABC book that can be used again and again.

All Better! - Feeling unwell, going to the doctor or having to take your medicine is not much fun, but with these humorous rhymes, by Latvian poet Inese Zandere, translated and reimagined by Catherine Ann Cullen, you’ll soon be feeling better. With brash colourful and comical artwork by Reinis Pētersons this is a book for all those reluctant patients everywhere.

Wake Up, Let’s Play! - Two friends love to play wherever they are. This sturdy simple board book is ideal for imaginative play. With very few words and lively, colourful artwork by Swedish illustrator Marit Törnqvist it depicts lovely detail in the double-spread scenes of children playing which is sure to encourage young children to interact with the book.

6-8 Category

A Funny Sort of Minister - The mysterious and eccentric Miss Charlotte appears again in this fourth title in the ‘Adventures of Miss Charlotte’, this time dabbling in politics. A Funny Sort of Minister by Canadian writer Dominique Demer, translated from French by Sander Berg, is another zany tale about Miss Charlotte, a kind of modern-day Mary Poppins who is always ready to answer a call for help. Enriched by the amusing pen-and-ink illustrations of Tony Ross, children are sure to love this latest title in the series. 

Dandelion’s Dream - In a meadow filled with dandelions, one flower bud is ready to open and when it does it blooms into a real lion with a cheeky grin and a fluffy yellow mane. With no roots to worry about the dandy lion is free to explore the big wide world. And what adventures he has! A truly exquisite wordless picture book with dazzling artwork by Japanese artist Yoko Tanaka that will have children pouring over its pages as they follow Dandelion’s exploits.

Felix After the Rain - Felix drags an enormous black suitcase behind him wherever he goes. Every day it becomes heavier and heavier with all of his sorrow hidden inside.  When a small boy opens the suitcase while Felix is sleeping it allows him to feel free. Now he can be happy again. A clever, philosophical tale from Slovenian picture book creator Dunja Jogan, translated by Olivia Hellewell.

Forever - There are lots of things in life that don’t last forever. Sometimes things change.” A poignant and ethereal picture book by multi-award-winning Beatrice Alemagna who has a remarkable way of conveying meaningful concepts through her stylish artwork that children will understand. 

How to Light Your Dragon - This entertaining picture book by French author Didier Lévy will have children giggling from the outset.  What do you do when your pet dragon no longer breathes fire? The wild colourful comic pen and ink and watercolour illustrations by Fred Benaglia and the exuberant hand-drawn typography which sprawls across every page in large capital letters, all make for a striking, stylish and very funny book.

Nour’s Escape - Adil is a reluctant reader but he perseveres and one day realises that he loves books and reading. This is how he came to pick up a story about Nour, a little girl without a family or home. When Adil is interrupted reading Nour’s story he doesn’t realise that the character in the book stays awake while her story is asleep. Omani author Abir Ali conveys the power of stories and imagination in this clever longer-style picture book, translated from Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, accompanied by Syrian illustrator Gulnar Hajo’s evocative shadowy, textured illustrations.

9-11 Category

The Bird Within Me - This is such a gorgeous book on so many levels. Inspired by the life of the Swedish artist Berta Hansson (1910-1994), author and artist Sara Lundberg has drawn from Hansson’s paintings, letters and diaries to produce an incredible celebration of this remarkable woman and her work. The plentiful watercolour illustrations are truly exquisite and life-like. The lyrical prose, a testament to the excellent translation by B. J. Epstein, allows it to flow so effortlessly in English.

Brown (My Alter Ego is a Superhero) - ‘Brown’ is Rusty’s alter ego. By day Rusty is just Rusty, but when night time comes he transforms into a Superhero. Brown by Norwegian author Håkon Øvreås, translated by Kari Dickson, is a warm and funny story about friendship, finding courage and dealing with loss. The cartoon-style pen and ink illustrations by Øyvind Torseter add real depth to the story in their humour and expressiveness of the characters. Winner of the Mildred L. Bachelder Award for 2020.

I Wish is a collection of thirty-three poems by Toon Tellegen, translated by David Coleman, and paired with a gallery of haunting portraits by Ingrid Godon. Inspired by old-fashioned photographs and the Dutch and Flemish masters, they depict large, sombre faces staring out from the pages – babies, young children, men and women all speak through Tellegen’s sagacious array of poems. A book full of wisdom for all ages.

Max and Moritz - Max and Moritz’s sole purpose in life is to terrify their neighbourhood, laughing at all those who stick to the rules. Their inexhaustible talent for mischief in these seven pranks brings chaos wherever they go. This mock cautionary tale, written by German humourist, poet, illustrator and painter Wilhelm Busch, was published in 1865. It is one of the most popular German children’s books of all time. With its pithy new translation by Mark Ledsom and Busch’s unforgettable comic-style illustrations, Max & Moritz is a wickedly funny, dark comedy classic.

12+ Category

The Mauve Umbrella is a warm, funny and nostalgic story of childhood by Alki Zei is one of Greece’s most popular children’s writers. It is the story of two worlds: one, the carefree existence of the children as they let their imagination soar on those hot summer afternoons while their parents are having a siesta. The other, of the adult world of the Second World War which is moving ever closer. The Mauve Umbrella was written in 1995 and this is the first English translation of Zei’s delightful novel. Translated and self-published by Ian Barnes, it has allowed a whole new audience to discover this remarkable writer.

Run for Your Life - Six-year-old Santino lives in Palermo, Sicily. When his father and grandfather carry out a theft they unfortunately steal from the wrong people – the Mafia.  Santino is now a witness to a brutal double murder and chased and shot at as he tries to flee. Seriously injured, he is lucky to be alive, but he’s left with a terrible choice: cooperate with the police or maintain Omertà: the code of silence. Twelve-year-old Lucio lives in the northern Italian city of Livorno with his young sister Ilaria and sick mother. After finding his mother has gone missing Lucio discovers a mysterious text on his mother’s phone which sends him into a blind panic. Lucio and Ilaria set off for Sicily where the stories of both Santino and Lucio converge powerfully together. 





A Celebration of Children’s Books in Translation from EU Countries


As the momentous hour approaches for the UK to leave the European Union, OIW has produced a booklist representing countries within the EU to demonstrate the importance of sharing literature across borders.

“Abroad is not just about politics; it’s also about different ways of seeing, feeling and behaving.” These words are from Nicholas Tucker’s article “Children’s Books in Translation; Why is there a British problem?” in the Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation guide edited by myself and Ed Zaghini and published by Milet in 2005. Tucker was commenting on the state of UK publishing at that time and the dearth of children's books from other countries being translated to English.

We set up Outside In World to raise the profile of children's books in translation and to advocate for more. And during the last fifteen years, the situation has improved, with the publication of a much more diverse range of children's titles from different countries. It would be immensely sad and a real loss to literature if this improvement were to be stalled or even halted as a result of Britain leaving the EU. We sincerely hope that this will not be the case and that we can look forward to more books in translation, including works from languages that do not appear on our EU 27 booklist, so that children here and everywhere can benefit from sharing different ways of seeing, feeling and behaving.

Deborah Hallford
Co-founder Outside In World



To download the list click here:





Latest New Titles Reviewed in Dec 2019/Jan 2020

9-11 Category

The Legend of Sally Jones is a  stunning graphic novel is a prequel to the award-winning The Murderer's Ape by Finnish author and illustrator Jakob Wegelius, translated by Peter Graves. It follows the story of Sally Jones' life before she met her friend, Koskela, known as the Chief, and found a home on board the Hudson Queen. The illustrations are what makes this book so special. There is just so much depth within each picture and their exquisite detail in terms of capturing emotion are superb. Sally is a very compelling heroine and readers will enjoy this as a stand-alone story and, if they haven’t already read The Murderer’s Ape it will almost certainly make them want to do so.

The Goldmith and Master Thief - Laurenzo and Jiacomo are identical twins and no one can tell them apart. When tragedy strikes and they become orphaned and destitute, they know they must make their own way in the world.  Laurenzo is hardworking and wants to become a goldsmith, while his fearless brother Jiacomo wants excitement and travel which leads him to train to be a master thief. Written as a series of twelve self-contained tales they follow the brothers in a series of incredible escapades that will test them to their limits. Originally published in 1961 this classic Dutch novel by Tonke Dragt, translated by Laura Watkinson, is easy to dip into and a joy to read. Each story is a complete adventure set in the wonderful fictional medieval world that Dragt captures so well.

12+ Category 

The ‘Shamer Chronicles’ 

Dina has inherited the Shamer’s gift from her mother – one look into her eyes and no one can mask their guilt or hide their shame. Shamers are seen as social outcasts and this makes the gift seem like a curse to eleven-year old Dina. These four novels follow the lives of the Tonerre family who are constantly pitched into danger and adventure. Danish author Lene Kaaberbøl is an excellent storyteller and translator and these Shamer novels have created an exciting world, on the edge of civilisation, magic and mystery. The harsh life of the Highlands with its rival clans and villains shows a world where those that manipulate the truth are afraid of the gifted few that can see the truth and are able to expose them. 

The Shamer’s Daughter 

The Shamer’s Signet

The Serpent Gift

The Shamer’s War 


Latest New Titles Reviewed in November 2019 


6-8 Category

Akissi: More Tales of Mischief - There’s never a dull moment when Akissi is around! Here are eighteen more outrageous stories about Akissi, a popular French-language comic by French author, Marguerite Abouet, translated by Marie Bédrune, with vibrant and colourful illustrations by Mathieu Sapin that capture the emotion in the facial expressions of the characters and African life so well. (Flying Eye Books)

Findus and the Christmas Tomte - Snow is falling on Pettson’s farm, and Christmas is approaching. Findus not only wants to know all about the Yule Tomte, he wants to see him and  Pettson only has 24 days to come up with a solution. All the usual magic of the Findus series and more is contained here in this longer story book by Swedish author/illustrator Sven Nordqvist, translated into English by Nathan Large. A perfect book for Christmas. (2018 Hawthorn Press)

Oscar Seeks a Friend Oscar the skeleton has lost a tooth – “it’s hard for a small, ugly skeleton to make friends” he observes mournfully. Luckily for Oscar he manages to find a friend and together they make an unusual journey to two very different worlds. There is a lot to ponder and notice in this remarkable picture book by Polish author/illustrator Pawel Pawlak, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. (Lantana Publishing) 

9-11 Category

A Postcard to Ollis - Ten-year-old Ollis has had her world turned upside down. She has a new baby brother Ian, who she adores, but when her mum’s boyfriend, Einar moves in she feels neglected and abandoned – nothing will ever be the same again. Ollis’ real dad ‘Borgepa’ disappeared years ago and her mother refuses to talk about him. Fortunately Ollis has her best friend Gro Gran who lives next door. They share everything together, or almost! Ollis has been hiding a secret, one which she can’t even share with Gro. Norwegian script writer and puppeteer Ingunn Thon’s debut novel, translated by Siân Mackie, has plenty of humour, excellent characterisation and a lively narrative. A compelling and funny book about the importance of friendship and family relationships. (Wacky Bee Books) 

Impossible Inventions: Ideas that Shouldn’t Work is a wacky and fascinating collection of ideas, patents, and plans that include descriptions of thirty historical inventions, both ancient and modern from across the globe. A celebration of human ingenuity and creativity by Małgorzata Mycielska, translated by Agnes Monod-Gayraud. It’s clever, it’s funny and demonstrates how the human imagination is limitless. Polish duo Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski are non-fiction illustrators’ par-excellence and their comic-strip style is packed full of detail and quirky humour. (2017 Gecko Press) 


Latest New Titles Reviewed in Sept/Oct 2019


Under 5 Category

Aaahhh! – Whatever is that noise? A loud and terrible noise is permeating the whole planet. It is so loud that nobody can hear themselves think and it’s causing chaos and confusion. Everyone is in for a big surprise when the source of the noise is discovered! A witty ‘loud’ picture book by Brazilian illustrator and graphic designer Guilherme Karsten. (Thames & Hudson)

Castle of Books - This striking and unusual picture book by Italian author/illustrator Alessandro Sanna, takes readers on a trip around the Castle of Books posing the question ‘Why do we need books?’  Follow two children as they embark on a creative journey to discover the answer. An excellent way to encourage children to discover why books are so important. (Tate Publishing)

Keeping Up With Findus - Findus decides to challenge Farmer Pettson which he does his best to keep up, often with comical results.  However, there are some things even Findus has to agree that Pettson is very good at! Award-winning Swedish author/illustrator Sven Nordqvist is back with more delightful comedy, translated by Nathan Large, and captivating illustration in this smaller format book aimed at slightly younger readers. (Hawthorn Press)

Hide and Seek City - Here’s an activity art book that will provide hours of fun. Explore this Hide and Seek City and discover the hidden world within with the help of a magical magnifying glass. Packed with intricate detail, the artwork by French illustrators and graphic designers Agathe Demois and Vincent Godeau can be poured over again and again. (Tate Publishing) 

Two For Me, One For You - Friends Bear and Weasel have three mushrooms to share between them. It all gets a little complicated however, when they begin to argue over who should have the third mushroom.  A warm and funny picture book about sharing, arguing and being outwitted from German author/illustrator Jörg Mühle, author of the bestselling Little Rabbit board book series. (Gecko Press)

6-8 Category

Cornelia and the Jungle Machine - As Cornelia explores the grounds of her new home she comes across a long ladder hanging from a tall tree that leads up to a hidden treehouse where she finds Frederick, a boy her own age.  Frederick shows Cornelia around the treehouse and all his inventions – the most amazing one of all, a magical jungle machine. A debut picture book by Norwegian author/illustrator Nora Brech, translated by Don Bartlett, which takes the readers on a magical journey. (Gecko Press)

The Herring Hotel is a delightfully quirky tale about a rundown rather old and dilapidated hotel by the sea. The narrator Gabriel lives with his parents and helps look after the eccentric residents, most of whom have been living there for years. As the hotel crumbles all around them, the family and residents realise it’s time to say goodbye, however, just in time they receive a welcome surprise. Full of humour and eccentricity French author Didier Lévy’s chatty narrative is complimented by renowned French cartoonist and illustrator, Serge Bloch's free style pen-and-ink drawings on bold backgrounds of colour. (Thames & Hudson)

The House of Madame M - A perfect book for Halloween and all those long winter nights from the French author and illustrator Clotilde Perrin creator of the bestselling Inside the Villains. This time the large-format lift-the-flaps book visits the haunted house of the mysterious Madame M.  Who is she and what lurks inside her house? Another exceptional and exquisitely produced pop-up book full of creepy and ghostly secrets.  Perrin has provided a scary book, translated by Daniel Hahn, which is full of off-beat humour, meticulous detail and spine-chilling surprises. (Gecko Press)

Otto Goes North – Otto, an adventurous lemur has cycled a very long way from his home in the south to visit his friends who live far up in the north. Eager to create a painting of the northern lights to remember his visit by he hadn’t anticipated how bitterly cold it would be. Fortunately they manage to come up with an ingenious plan to help Otto get better and finish his painting. A heart-warming story by Swedish author/illustrator, Ulrika Kestere, translated by Julia Marshall, that conveys the importance of friendship and accepting difference and will also appeal to readers who enjoy crafts. (Gecko Press)  


Latest New Titles Reviewed in August 2019


6-8 Category

The Golden Cage - Valentina, the emperor’s daughter, is a spoilt princess – moody, forthright and single-minded. In fact she is a nightmare. Valentina has a passion for exotic birds and must fill her golden cage with an amazing bird that can talk. Her servants travel far and wide in search of this impossible request. In Valentina’s palace, heads roll every day! Will her golden cage ever be filled? A decidedly dark European fairy story by Anna Castagnoli, translated by Laura Watkinson with rich, bold artwork by Carll Cneut, one of Flanders’ most celebrated illustrators. (Book Island)

Mika: The Bear Who Didn’t Want to Sleep – It is winter in the Far North, and as the snow begins to fall all the bears are settling down to hibernate. After hearing about the Northern Lights from an old owl bear cub Mika sets out on a journey to find this remarkable natural phenomenon. This gentle story and sublime artwork by Dutch illustrator and comic artist Erik Kriek, translated by Laura Watkinson, is sure to capture the imagination of young readers making it a real treat to read. (Flying Eye Books)

There’s Room for Everyone - Iranian author/illustrator Anahita Teymorian’s poignant metaphorical tale follows the narrator as he grows up and struggles to understand the world and why there isn’t enough space in the world for everyone. Gentle text with stunning artwork this picture book cleverly addresses some serious issues while providing a positive message – if we are kind enough to each other, there will be room for everyone. (Tiny Owl Books)

12+ Category

Stig & Tilde: Vanisher’s Island - Twins Stig and Tilde are about to embark on an adventure - a month at a summer camp on the island of Tysla.  As the intrepid pair take a boat and head out to Tylsa disaster strikes when a storm sends them off course and they end up stranded on the wrong island. Now they must find a way to survive and get back to the mainland. This Comic/graphic novel by Belgian cartoonist Max de Radiguès, translated by Marie Bédrune, is a coming-of-age story; a mix of humour and adventure with an undercurrent of foreboding. (Nobrow)

Maresi Red Mantle – Armed with her new knowledge taught to her at the Red Abbey, Maresi leaves the safe world of her sisters to return to her impoverished family in the province of Rovas to set up a school for girls in her village. But once home Maresi realises all is not well – the people are struggling under the rule of the oppressive nádor and are too busy trying to survive to see the value of her teachings.

Narrated in an epistolary form through a series of letters Maresi sends to her friends and superiors back at the Abbey, this concluding title in the Red Abbey Chronicles by Finnish author Maria Turtschaninoff, translated by A. A. Prime, is a multi-layered, coming-of-age story. Maresi is now a young woman and the novel charts her gradual character development as she learns to grapple with new challenges whilst seeking answers to difficult questions. (Pushkin Press)


Latest New Titles Reviewed in July 2019


Under 5 Category

Evie and the Strawberry Balloon Ride – Evie the determined and resourceful little Strawberry Fairy is back in a new title from German author/illustrator Stefanie Dahle, translated by Polly Lawson. Another charming tale combining a magical world with teaching children that working together and caring for one another is sometimes more important than personal ambition. (Floris Books)

Monkey on the Run – Papa Monkey and Little Monkey are on their way home but get caught up in a major traffic jam.  Little Monkey loses patience and begins to leap from one vehicle to another. From one of Belgium’s pre-eminent book artists, Leo Timmers comes another intricately detailed illustrated wordless picture book of a story within a story. (Gecko Press)

Nits! – Another amusing title from Stephanie Blake, translated by Linda Burgess, about Simon, the cheeky and mischievous little rabbit. With bold, richly coloured illustrations this is the ninth book in this charming series about Simon following on from bestseller Poo Bum (2012) (Gecko Press)

6-8 Category

Encyclopedia of Grannies – An offbeat book covering all manner of things about grannies from French author and illustrator Eric Veillé, translated by Daniel Hahn. With much tongue-in-cheek humour, this picture book is a lot of fun. (Gecko Press)

Seraphin – Seraphin is a dreamer and an optimist and this whimsical humorous tale follows his creation of unusual inventions, ingenious gadgets, toys and magical contraptions. First published in 1967, this curious tale by French author/illustrator Philippe Fix, has a fresh new translation by Donald Nicholson Smith. With an engaging narrative in a conversational style together with cartoon-like richly coloured watercolour and ink illustrations packed full of detail this book zings with vibrancy. (Elsewhere Editions)

Zanzibar is an uplifting, quirky chapter book with witty text and vignette pen and ink illustrations from award-winning Dutch author/illustrator Catharina Valckx, translated from French by Anthony Shugaar, about an endearing crow who figures that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. (Gecko Press)

9-11 Category

The Runaways by one of Sweden’s best-loved authors Ulf Stark, translated by Julia Marshall, was one of the last books written before his untimely death in 2017. Stark’s prose are refreshingly honest and straightforward in their dealings with old age, infirmity, family tensions and the closing stages of life, all of which are so beautifully encapsulated.  Illustrated by award-winning artist Kitty Crowther, the vibrant coloured-pencil drawings capture the emotion within the book superbly. A touching, gently humorous story with hidden depths from a master storyteller. (Gecko Press)

Super Guppy – A charming collection of poems for children from bestselling Dutch poet Edward van de Vendel, pithily translated by David Colmer, including original illustrations by Fleur van der Weel. A down to earth, playful and contemporary poetry collection of 51 poems about home life that is sure to appeal to young readers. (The Emma Press)

12+ Category

White Horse is a bittersweet YA novella by Chinese author Yan Ge, eloquently translated by Nicky Harman. At its heart is a coming-of-age story narrated by ten-year-old narrator Yun Yun who lives in a small town in Western China with her widowed father and uncle, aunt and older cousin who live nearby. Nothing is as it seems and before long Yun Yun’s once-secure world begins to fall apart as tensions build between the two families revealing that their relationships have been founded on a terrible lie. White Horse is a cross-over novella that will appeal to both teenagers and adults alike. (HopeRoad Publications)


Latest New Titles Reviewed in June 2019

Under 5 Category 

JUMP! – a bright, visual board book by award-winning and bestselling Japanese author, Tatsuhide Matsuoka is a playful and joyful parade of jumping animals to share with babies and toddlers (Gecko Press). 

6-8 Category 

The Gothamites is a funny tongue-in-cheek tale from Estonia’s most celebrated children’s author, Eno Raud (1928-1996), translated by Adam Cullen. First published in Estonia in 1962 these ten short stories follow in the best nonsense tale tradition. Famed for their sensibility and keen wit, the Gothamites were consulted far and wide by foreign heads of state from all around the world. The trouble was that this left them with no time for themselves, so they had to find a solution.  Replacing their   wisdom for stupidity chaos naturally ensued! Teeming with richly coloured illustrations from Priit Pärn hilarious slapstick scenes abound showing the Gothamites in their breath-taking incompetence. Fans of nonsense-style tales will relish Pärn’s exuberant artwork and Raud’s clever wordplay. (Elsewhere Editions)

9-11 Category

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree  - tells the story of nine-year-old narrator Mafalda who has a degenerative eye condition. As she poignantly measures the distance at which she can see the cherry tree near her school, using it as an indication of how rapidly her eyesight is failing, she comes to realise with the help of friends and family what will be truly important in her life when she ultimately loses the ability to see. A bitter-sweet story by Italian author Paola Peretti, whose poetic language is perfectly captured by Denise Muir’s lilting translation, that is both inspiring and empowering. (Hot Key Books)

12+ category

Lampie and the Children of the Sea - Lampie is taken away to live and work at the Admiral’s Black House after a ship crashes into the rocks as a result of the lantern not being lit in the lighthouse where she lives with her amputee and alcoholic father. Rumour has it that there is a monster living in the tower of the Admiral’s house and it is not long before Lampie discovers what really is there.  Soon she is drawn into a world of mermaids and pirates, where she must fight to protect her new-found friend, for freedom and the right to be different. Dutch author and illustrator Annet Schaap’s debut novel, exquisitely translated by Laura Watkinson, is a compelling, magical and moving read. (Pushkin Children’s Books)

Women in Battle  - by Marta Breen and Jenny Jordahl, translated from Norwegian by Siân Mackies, is an excellent accessible brief history of feminism in graphic novel form covering 150 years of women’s history – telling the story of women’s fight for their rights to receive an education, to work and earn money, to vote, the struggle against slavery and the right to bodily integrity. It brings vividly to life the monumental achievements of women around the world right up to the present day. (Hot Key Books)


 Latest New Titles Reviewed April/May 2019

Under 5 Category 

Mira’s Curly Hair - Mira really doesn’t like her unruly curly hair and she would give anything to have lovely smooth, straight hair like her Mama. Emirati author Maryam al Serkal’s inspiration for the story came from her own daughter Mira and presents a simple, gentle concept conveying a message that difference should be celebrated. Set in Dubai, where the author lives, the vibrant acrylic artwork by Argentinian illustrator Rebeca Luciani really captures the essence of both the story and main characters. (Lantana Publishing)

When it Rains - Kira is extremely bored.  It’s been raining for days and she’s tired of doing nothing.  It makes her wonder why it has to rain and why there are so many things you can’t do when it rains. Indonesian author/illustrator Rassi Narika has created a charming picture book, translated by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul and Emma Dai’an Wright, with its delightfully simplistic watercolour artwork showing a child’s wonder and discovery about rain. (The Emma Press)

6-8 Category 

The Adventures of Na Willa - Na Willa is a feisty, bright and inquisitive girl whose home is in the middle of an alley surrounded by cypress trees in the suburbs of Surabaya, Indonesia.  Based on Indonesian author Reda Gaudiamo’s memories of her childhood in the 1960s, translated by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi Degoul and Kate Wakeling, it is a delectable collection of stories about a multicultural girl growing up in Indonesia with an East Indonesian mother and a Chinese-Indonesian father. (The Emma Press) 

12+ category 

The Casket of Time - Sigrun has become thoroughly fed up with all the apocalyptic news about the “situation” and even worse, her parents’ constant obsession with it.  When Sigrun’s family – along with everyone else – decides to hibernate in their TimeBoxs®, to wait for better times Sigrun’s adventure begins after her box malfunctions and opens to early. Sigrun is confronted with an abandoned city in ruins, overrun by wild forests and animals and the only sign of life is a group of children led by the mysterious researcher Grace who tells them the ancient tale of the Curse of the princess of Pangea. The story has eerie parallels with the present-day crisis and Sigrun knows it is now up to her and her new friends to try and break the ancient curse before it’s too late. 

Definitely a novel to savour and food for thought in these uncertain times. Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason has cleverly woven an intricate novel, adeptly translated by Björg Árnadóttir and Andrew Cauthery that crosses over several genres successfully, combining elements of fairy tales, fantasy, science fiction and contemporary drama. (Restless Books) 

14+ Category 

The Rainbow of Time - Taiwanese illustrator and writer Jimmy Liao’s stunningly beautiful cinematic graphic novel, translated by Wang Xinlin and Andrea Lingenfelter, is about love and loss, but also so much more. The exquisite and detailed illustrations exude emotion with evocative images and a rich colour scheme. Liao provides a variety of different imagery from the realistic to the fantastical and there are many perplexing details to linger over whether it’s a movie poster, a scene from a film merged with the protagonist’s life in reality or a dream. There are an abundance of cinematic references with so much complexity and subtlety that it is a book that needs to be read again and again, lingering over and savouring the illustrations to discover Liao’s meaning. It is both a poignant story but also an incredible ode to the cinema.(Balestier Press)  


Latest New Titles Reviewed March 2019

Under 5 Category

Maisies’s Scrapbook - Five-year-old Maisie has an adventurous spirit and a vivid imagination. She enjoys the wonderful folk tales about Anansi that her Dada tells her, while Mama is her source of reassurance and comfort when she is upset or scared. They come from different places but they love her in the same way. Ghanaian author Samuel Narh lively scrapbook journey through the changing seasons is complemented with beautiful mixed-media artwork from UK illustrator Jo Loring-Fisher. (Lantana Publishing)

6-8 Category 

Alfred and the Blue Whale - Alfred is just about scared of everything, especially scared of speaking in front of his class so when he finds out he has to find some interesting facts about the Blue Whale and speak about it to his whole class, he’s terrified. Gradually though, as he learns about the Blue Whale the braver he becomes. A charming and heart-warming story by Mina Lystad translated from Norwegian by Siân Mackie. (Wacky Bee)

9-11 Category

Arnica The Duck Princess - What a treat this book is to read. Completely original and extremely funny, it breathes life into the traditional fairy tale model bringing a very modern twist – especially what happens when your fiancé is turned into a duck! Hungarian author Ervin Lázár (1936-2006) unusual and witty classic tale, expertly translated by Anna Bentley, draws the reader straight into the story from the very first page. The comedic aspect is further enhanced by the wonderfully rich and colourful artwork by Jacqueline Molár. (Pushkin Children’s Books)  

The Girl Who Learned all the Languages of the World - This is a fun book about the power of learning. Join Lela on her journey, as she begins to learn all of the languages of the world, one word at a time. Latvian author Ieva Flamingo’s humorous story, translated by Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini and with lively artwork by Chein Shyan Lee, is a great way to introduce children to learning another language. (The Emma Press)

A Good Day For Climbing Trees - When Leila turns up on his doorstep one morning with a petition to save a tree which is going to be cut down to make way for a pipeline, Marnus follows her to the park and ends up joining her up in the branches to stage a protest and save the tree from municipal managers and bulldozers. A funny and heart-warming story about taking a stand by Afrikaans author Jaco Jacobs, adeptly translated by Kobus Geldenhuys and illustrated with black and white artwork from Jim Tierney. (Rock the Boat) 


Latest New Titles Reviewed February 2019

Under 5’s Category

Everyone Walks Away – It’s always the same.  Everyone walks away and Frank is left alone.  This unusual and quirky picture book by award-winning Swedish author and illustrator Eva Lindström, translated by Julia Marshall, is multi-layered; its simple concept belies its depth as it focusses on loneliness, exclusion and belonging. (Gecko Press)

Evie and the Strawberry Patch Rescue – Evie the Strawberry Fairy must find somewhere else to live after her strawberry patch is flooded. A charming tale by German author/illustrator Stefanie Dahle, translated by Polly Lawson, combining a magical world with teaching children about nature and caring for each other. (Floris Books)

Hello Animals How Do you Sleep? – Another board book in the critically acclaimed series by Dutch illustrator Loes Botman introducing young children to a whole host of sleeping animals. Botman’s gorgeous detailed artwork brings the animals vividly to life making this an ideal book for a pre-school read at bedtime. (Floris Books)

I Am So Clever – An incorrigible and bullying wolf believes he’s the cleverest of them all and can easily outwit Little Red Riding Hood but soon his plan unravels when he encounters some unexpected hazards! I Am So Clever sees the return of the big bad wolf from one of Belgium’s great children’s author/illustrator’s Mario Ramos. With witty text, translated by Linda Burgess, it’s a classic take on a fairy tale with an unusual twist at the end. (Gecko Press)  

6-8 Category 

The Dog Who Found Sorrow – An entire city is enveloped in mysterious billowing clouds of black smoke. Everything becomes grey, robbing it of its vibrancy, colour and scent and it is up to a brave dog to uncover the source of the greyness and make it go away. A clever parable about the power of the emotions by Latvian author Rūta Briede with atmospheric smudgy black shadow illustrations by artist Elīna Braslina, who also translated the story into English. (The Emma Press) 

Where Dani Goes, Happy Follows – When Dani remembers it’s Ella’s birthday she needs to thinks of the world’s best gift for the world’s best friend. This stand-alone story in the chapter book series from Swedish author Rose Lagercrantz, translated by Julia Marshall, presents a new set of challenges for the Dani as she sets off on her big adventure to surprise her friend. Lagercrantz's text sensitively navigates Dani’s feelings and the simple, expressive pen and ink illustrations by Eva Eriksson bring a gentle humour to the story. (Gecko Press)

9-11 Category

The Noisy Classroom – Latvian poet Ieva Flamingo has produced a heady variety of poems in this poetry collection which are both mischievous and playful. She’s captured just the right tone and some tongue in cheek humour that will definitely appeal to readers. With excellent translations from Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini, Sara Smith and Richard O’ Brien the poems are enhanced by the comic-style black and white illustrations by Vivianna Maria Staņislavska. (Emma Press)  

12+ Category 

Winter in Wartime by Dutch author Jan Terlouw, translated by Laura Watkinson, is a gripping and moving novel based on the author’s own experiences as a child in occupied Holland. It paints a vivid portrait of life during the occupation as the Second World War approaches its end – the suffering of the population as they struggle to survive, the brutality and the courage of those fighting in the resistance. Long been considered a classic in Holland this is a powerful and compelling read; at times shockingly brutal and heart-breaking but also displaying selfless courage. (Pushkin Children’s Books)  



Latest New Titles Reviewed January 2019

Under 5’s Category

5 Cherries is an unusual and quirky story from Italian author/illustrator Vittoria Facchini, translated by Anna Celada, with exuberant and expressive artwork that encapsulates the limitless capacity of a child’s imagination. (Enchanted Lion Books)

Sing to the Moon - No wish is too big for one young Ugandan boy. His first wish is to reach the stars and then ride a supernova straight to Mars. A charming story written in rhyme by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl with exquisite expressive and totally captivating illustrations by French illustrator Sandra van Doorn. (Lantana Publishing)

Who Left the Light On? is a zany story written in rhyme by French author Richard Marnier, translated by Emma Ramadan, deals with being different and going against the grain. Accompanied by charming artwork from French illustrator Aude Maurel. (Restless Books)

6-8 Category

Emmett and Caleb -  Readers will enjoy this enchanting story by French author Karen Hottois, translated by Sarah Ardizzone and beautifully illustrated by Delphine Renon, as they accompany best friends Emmett and Calebhe on their amble through the seasons. (Book Island)

My Little Small by renowned Swedish author Ulf Stark, (1944-2017),  translated by Annie Prime, is a touching philosophical story about a lonely grey Creature who lives deep within a cave in a grey mountain where her whole world is grey, until one morning a little sun spark flies into her cave and everything changes. Charming simplistic and expressive watercolour artwork by Swedish illustrator Linda Bondestam. (Enchanted Lion Books)

Painting Everything in the World - the people from the Rathwa Tribe in Gujarat are planning a huge feast for the Holi festival. But what happens when an important part of the ritual is forgotten? Artist Harsingh Hamir has created an oral narrative with the aid of contemporary design while remaining faithful to the concept of Pithora painting. (Tara Books)

What What What? - Young Pan is bursting with questions. He has an exuberance for life; interested in everything that is going on and asking questions all the time in order to satisfy his curiosity.  A quirky story underpinning a more serious message by Japanese author Arata Tendo, translated by David Boyd with expressive illustrations by Japanese artist Ryoji Arai. (Enchanted Lion Books)

9-11 Category

Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery  is the third book in the series about Detective Ambrosius Nosegoode and his faithful and remarkable talking dog Cody. This title contains three separate mysteries – Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery; A Game of Chess and The Sad End of the Elusive Hand. Polish author Marian Orton’s witty prose, excellently translated by Eliza Marciniak, and atmospheric black and white illustrations by Jerzy Flisak perfectly capture the humour in the narrative.

Malko And Dad - Argentinian artist Gusti presents a candid, profound and thoughtful memoir in a mixed media scrapbook-style full of brightly coloured collage, sketches, scribbles, photos, handwritten notes, poems, song lyrics, interviews and narrative reflections, which charts his relationship with his son Malko who has Down syndrome. An amazing and uplifting book that is an honest and sensitive account of what it means to love unconditionally.


New titles reviewed in December 2018

Under 5’s Category

Hello, Monster! is a funny, heart-warming tale about a narrator with a vivid imagination from French author Clémetine Beauvais accompanied by charming comical illustrations from UK illustrator Maisie Paradise Shearring. (Thames & Hudson)

6-8 Category

8 Ways to draw Deer is an art activity book designed by Jasmine Isabelle Parker with various artists which introduces children to a variety of Indian art traditions (Tara Books) 

Inside the Villains, by French author/illustrator Clotilde Perrin, translated by Daniel Hahn, is an exceptional large format pop-up book that reveals the secrets of three of the most famous fairy tale villains: wolves, giants, and witches (Gecko Press) 

Another large format book Rivers from Peter Goes, author of international bestseller Timeline, translated from Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke, presents a remarkable visual history from river to sea. (Gecko Press) 

Seven Pablos by Spanish poet Jorge Luján, translated by Mara Faye Lethem, follows the lives of seven Pablos living in North and South America. Accompanied by striking crayon graphite illustrations from Italian illustrator Chiara Carrer. (Enchanted Lion Books) 

9-11 Category

The Book of Trees  tracks the history of trees from ancient times to the present day. An amazing encyclopaedic book by Polish graphic designer Piotr Socha that has all the answers to why trees are so important to our world. Light, witty text by Wojciech Grajkowski, translated by Anna Burgess, accompany the stunning detailed illustrations bringing this large-format book to life. (Thames & Hudson)

New York Melody - another stunning, intricate masterpiece from French author and designer Hélène Druvert using laser-cut silhouettes with each page is so delicate in its lace-like quality. As with Paris Up, Up and Away this new title will take your breath away. (Thames & Hudson)

Ms Ice Sandwich  - Despite the fact that Ms Ice Sandwich always appears aloof and isn’t friendly at all, the lonely young narrator is totally in awe of her. Most electric of all are her eyelids that are painted with a thick layer of ice-blue. He nicknames her Ms Ice Sandwich and to him she is beautiful. A coming of age novella from Japanese author Mieko Kawakami, translated by Louise Heal Kawai. The power of the narrator’s voice in this tale draws the reader effortlessly into his world.  


New titles reviewed in October/November 2018


New Picture Book titles reviewed include:

Under 5’s Category

Three charming and witty fable-like picture books from award-winning Faroese artist, author and illustrator Bárđur Oskarsson, translated by Marita Thomsen - Dog, Cat and Mouse, The Tree and Wilbert  (Darf Children’sBooks)

Hey, Who’s in the Loo? is a hilarious picture book by award-winning Dutch author and illustrator Harmen van Straaten with the clear rhyming text adeptly translated into English by Laura Watkinson. (Red Robin Books)

Stories of the Night by world-renowned illustrator Kitty Crowther contains three magical stories that are perfect for reading aloud at bedtime. (Gecko Press)

6-8 Category

Two appealing quirky picture books from Spanish author and illustrator Carles Porta, translated by Daniel Hahn, in the Tales from the Hidden Valley series - The Artists and Hello Mister Cold. (Flying Eye Books)

Little Wise Wolf is an enchanting tale by Dutch author Gijs van der Hammen and illustrator Hanneke Siemensma, translated by Laura Watkinson, about a little wolf who comes to realise that he may not be as wise as he thinks he is. (Book Island)

Non-fiction Amazing Animal Babies is a visual feast from Spanish designer and illustrator Anita Bestard using delicate illustrations overlaid on transparencies that shows the miracle of birth and new life in the animal kingdom. (Thames & Hudson)

Fiction Titles 

The Yark turns on its head the traditional monster stories. He’s a blood-thirsty child-eating monster and a discerning gourmet. This is a funny and somewhat dark tale from French author and scriptwriter Bertrand Santini, translated by Antony Shugaar with black and white Victorian Gothic style illustrations by graphic designer Laurent Gapaillard’s perfectly compliment this suspenseful and darkly humorous story. (Gecko Press)

9-11 Category

The Glass of Lead and Gold is a short novella from master fantasy writer Cornelia Funke.  She returns to the Mirrorworld and Londra – a mirror image of Victorian London – in her new Christmas tale which works perfectly as a stand-alone story. (Pushkin Children’s Books) 

The Raven’s Children - Set in Russia in 1938 during Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror, Shura and his siblings live with their parents in two rooms of a communal apartment in Leningrad. When Shura’s parents mysteriously disappear he overhears one of his neighbour’s whisper that ‘The Black Raven’ came to take them away. Inspired by her own family’s experiences, Russian author Yulia Yakovleva’s novel, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, is adept at presenting disturbing experiences by way of using magical realism to deal with what is a profoundly painful part of twentieth century Russian history. (Puffin Books)


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




Darf Publishers

Darf Publishers tells Outside In World about their exciting plans for a new children’s list

Outside In World Celebrated its tenth Anniversary in 2017

We celebrated our tenth anniversary in 2017 and created a range of book lists from different years, as well as a whole range of other book selections created from our database.  

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


Exploring Tiny Owl Publishing

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.  

For more information about our research visit our web pages or email us for a PDF copy of the full report info@OutsideInWorld.org.uk  


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.














To not be seen at home …

To not be seen at school,

not on the street, not anywhere …


The young boy in this story is a master in the art of being invisible, and the reader is invited to join him as he indulges in this very 'special' talent. There are all sorts of things you can do when you are invisible such as listening to other people’s conversations, letting a plate drop or blowing in a cat’s face. It also might be fun to erase the chalk as the teacher writes a lesson on the board, snatch the sausage from the bun that someone else is just about to eat or even kiss a girl on the cheek you are rather keen on!  But the protagonist also wonders if the magic will one day go away and whether he might become bored and tired of not being seen. Perhaps it might turn out not to be that much fun after all.


Brazilian poet Alcides Villaça wrote this amusing poem, translated from the Portuguese by Flávia Rocha, in collaboration with Endi Bogue Hartigan,as an ode to his favourite childhood superpower, invisibility. It draws on the imagination of a child and explores what it would be like to be completely invisible.


The playful text is amazingly brought to life by Chilean illustrator and graphic artist Andrés Sandoval, who lives in São Paulo, Brazil. Sandovalworks with a pallet of predominantly two main colours – pink and green which provide varying shades throughout the artwork. The design cleverly uses red acetate between each page to create the ‘invisible’ effects which add another layer to the poem encouraging the reader to find the many hidden meanings within.


The Invisible is a stylish and sophisticated multi-layered picture book that can be looked at again and again.




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