Steven Lenton proves that not all pink books are dumb and that not all fairy tales are the same. With Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights we discover that intelligence and grit are far better values than strength and brutality.
I had the privilege of interviewing Víctor Visa and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about children’s books and art.
Víctor is a Spanish illustrator who works in the bookstore Leo (in Valencia). He is also a children’s book author and he’s striving to get his first book published. Read on to learn more about his experience on illustration and children’s literature.
The project continues and this time I’m travelling – so to speak – to the beautiful Slovenia with the wonderful book Antonov Cirkus (roughly translated as “Anthony Circus”) by Peter Svetina, a story of creativity, imagination and friendship.
When I started the Project Translating the World I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. I had (have!) big plans, tons of ideas and topics and I knew all that would bring me lots of fun. Until now, I have managed to translate five lovely books and although there are still 190 to go I feel very optimistic about it because the beginnings are always harder and lately I am feeling like doing the project is getting smoother and easier, since I have more experience and therefore I know what I want and how I want to do it.
Have you noticed that there aren’t many podcasts or video channels focused on children’s literature? That’s what these three brilliant women thought. And they decided to do something about it. Katherine Woodfine, Melissa Cox and Louise Lamont have created a radio show that is the delight of any children’s literature enthusiast, it’s called: Down the Rabbit Hole.
Daniel Napp delights us with the funny story of Dr. Brumm, a very friendly bear who struggles with human technology. In Dr. Brumm versteht das nicht our main character tries to figure out why his TV stopped working in the middle of the match, and he won’t stop until he gets a clear answer.
One of the best experiences I get whilst doing the Translate the World Project is the little surprises that appear along the way. That’s the case of the Finnish book I am translating: the Polish version is a rhymed text but the original book wasn’t written in verse! Yet children’s books are rich in literary devices such as rhyme. The texts include songs, chants, alternations of prose and verse, popular sayings, etc. That is why the fact that the Polish translator decided to adapt the original book into a rhymed version is not so shocking. However, it is very interesting in terms of translation methods and techniques.
Yet another book added to my beautiful collection of books from every country in the world. The translation of this book has proved a challenging one – it’s written entirely in verse! The wonderful Réka Király delights us with this philosophical story that tries to answer one of the hardest questions of all: What does “tomorrow” mean? Pieni suuri tarina huomisesta is a poetical metaphor of time and conciousness.
Humour might be one of the most complicated – yet more fun to work with – challenges to deal with when translating a text. But what happens when we translate a joke from a different language into our language? Or even better, how can we translate the humour of another culture into our own culture? Those are no easy questions.
It seems obvious to say that children’s literature exists as a genre of its own, separated from general literature or literature for adults, and yet, there are ongoing debates about the existence of children’s literature. The debate is in fact centred on the definition of “children’s literature”.