5 Translated Picture Books: Stunning Stories From Around the World
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The Children’s Book Review | October 3, 2019
One of the best parts about reading is the free travel it affords to far off lands around the world, as well as the enriching opportunity to meet the people that come from so many varied and fascinating backgrounds. By reading stories from around the world written by people from around the world, kids get the opportunity to immerse themselves in an entirely different time and place. In Along the Tapajós, readers visit gorgeous lush areas rich in fauna and flora, where trees grow up to 130 feet tall in the Amazon rainforest. Encounters take place with animals one might have only seen in a zoo, like a giant anaconda. In many foreign tales, different food and fascinating vocabulary are often introduced for the first time, too. All of this nourishment for young souls can be found simply in a book.
The following worldly tales have been written by foreign authors and translated into English. Each of the books offers authentic and unique storytelling that will surely cultivate global thinking in your young readers.
Written by Fernando Vilela
Translated by Daniel Hahn
Fernando Vilela is an award-winning author-illustrator from Brazil and a lover of the Amazon rainforest. Inspired by time spent in a little fishing town on the bank of the Tapajós River during flooding season, this story (translated into English by Daniel Hahn) provides an eye-opening and visually compelling glimpse of what it looks like to live along the banks of one of the biggest rivers in the Amazon rainforest. Through the eyes of a brother and sister duo, Cauã and Inaê, readers discover a unique setting in which everyone travels by boat—including to school—and houses are on stilts to keep them above flooding water. When winter arrives, so does the rain, and the riverside populations must relocate until the water dissipates. After much travel to higher grounds, Cauã and Inaê realize that they have left their beloved turtle Titi behind. They are determined to return to their flooded home to rescue their pet, no matter how treacherous an adventure awaits. Vilela’s illustrations, rendered using woodcut techniques with drawing and collage (as well as some digital resources), bring a truly authentic feeling to this captivating cultural experience.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids | October 1, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1542008686
Written by Roxane Marie Galliez
Illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh
So relatable but with an international vibe, Time for Bed, Miyuki is the story of a girl whose imagination and list of things to do spikes at bedtime. She needs to water the vegetables, gather snails, and prepare for the arrival of the Dragonfly Queen (of course!). Her patient grandfather nurtures her imagination while he encourages her to go to sleep. The striking artwork brings Miyuki’s imagination to life with wondrous, bright colors that curiously set a dreamy stage for this gorgeous bedtime story that also highlights intergenerational family bonds. Time for Bed, Miyuki has been translated from French.
Ages 4-6 | Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press | September 18, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1616897055
A long war has come to an end and Ayobami, an African girl, dreams of going to school. The schoolhouse has finally reopened, but she must take a dangerous path through the jungle if her dream of learning to read, write, and learn is to come true. With only a piece of paper and a worn-out pencil in her possession, she pushes on with courage and determination promising the dangerous jungle animals that she meets that she will return from school with their names written on paper. Translated to English from Spanish, the message on the importance of education is both impactful and joyous—and a reminder that education is not yet a given for all children. The sweet illustrations are bright and uplifting.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Cuento de Luz | April 1, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-8416733422
Translated from Italian to English, The Forest is a magnificently illustrated and expressive book about the adventure of life that takes on new meaning with each read. With embossing, cutouts, two gatefolds, and creatures peeking out through die-cuts, the pages are playfully textured and filled with charm. This is a book for all of the curious kids that love to explore and anyone with a pundit for art.
Ages 4+ | Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books | June 5, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1592702183
Written by Fran Nuño
Illustrated by Zuzanna Celej
Translated by Jon Brokenbrow
Fran Nuño—a writer, cultural enabler, book-editor, and literacy advocate—was born in Bilbao in 1973 but lives in Seville, Spain. He is the author of more than thirty published books. In The Map of Good Memories, Zoe, a young girl, is being forced by war to take refuge in another country. The night before she leaves, Zoe is determined to make a map of her good memories so that she can carry them with her forever. With each memory, readers are immediately drawn into her visions of happiness. Offering both historical and current relevance, this is a poignant introduction into the impacts of war, allowing readers to make a gentle connection to the hardships that refugees must endure. Award-winning Polish illustrator Zuzanna Celej’s artwork is beautifully moving and a wonderful compliment to the words.
Ages 7+ | Publisher: Cuento de Luz | March 14, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-8416147823
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Fernando Vilela’s Along the Tapajós!
Three (3) winners receive:
- A copy of Along the Tapajós!
Giveaway begins October 3, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends November 3, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. MT.
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This book list of 5 Translated Picture Books: Stunning Stories From Around the World was curated by Bianca Schulze and sponsored by Amazon Publishing. Discover more books like the titles listed here by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Global Themed Books, Picture Books, and Translated Books.