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Best Translated Books for Kids

Marsh Award 2011 Winners for Children’s Books in Translation

When I ask if anyone has ever heard of the Marsh Awards, I want to say first that I have not heard of it so I looked it up:

The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation is a literary prize awarded in the United Kingdom since 1996 to the translator of an outstanding work of fiction for young readers translated into English.

The award is given every two years, and was administered by the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University, and in 2007 was sponsored by the Marsh Christian Trust and subsidised by the Arts Council of England. From 2008 the award has been administered by the English-Speaking Union. Wikipedia

Winner

Letters to Anyone and Everyone by Toon Tellegen translated from Dutch by Martin Cleaver, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg

Designed with notable attention to detail, this beautifully made chapter book showcases 23 little stories, loosely connected by the reappearance of characters such as the squirrel, the ant, the elephant, the snail, and the bear. First published in the Netherlands, where Tellegen is a well-known writer for children, these fanciful, open-ended tales create their own distinctive, childlike world. The opening story is made up of two letters, one in which the elephant proposes dancing with a snail on top of the snail’s house (acknowledging the possibility of falling through the roof) and the snail’s polite but firm reply, concluding, “unfortunately I don’t think it’s such a good idea just at the moment.” Washed with watercolors in delicate hues, Ahlberg’s precise, diminutive ink drawings look quite unstudied yet perfect in their scale and their innocent charm. This understated, lightly amusing book is a companion volume to the equally charming The Squirrel’s Birthday and Other Parties (2009). Preschool-Grade 3. –Carolyn Phelan from BookList

Runners Up

The Pasta Detectives by Andreas Steinhöfel translated from German by Chantal Wright

Translated from the German bestseller, this is a funny and original mystery starring two unlikely boy detectives. Rico is an unusual boy. Sometimes he’s laughed at because he mixes things up in his head and he doesn’t know his left from his right. But Rico is brilliant at noticing the little things that nobody else does. Like a piece of pasta lying on the pavement. Or the strange goings on of his neighbours in the apartment block where he lives. But it isn’t until his new friend, the gifted but anxious Oscar is kidnapped that Rico gets the chance to put all his special skills – and tenacity to the test. [I think this is a chapter book for ages 9-12 but I’m not positive]

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan translated from French by George Miller

Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160 and a good friend called Lucas who gets her through the school day. At home her father cries in secret in the bathroom and her mother hasn’t been out of the house properly for years. But Lou is about to change her life – and that of her parents – for good, all because of a school project she decides to do about the homeless. Through the project Lou meets No, a teenage girl living on the streets. As their friendship grows, Lou cannot bear that No is still on the streets when she goes back home – even if it is to a home that is saddened and desolate. So she asks her parents if No can come to live with them. To her astonishment, her parents – eventually – agree. No’s presence forces Lou and her parents to finally face the sadness that has enveloped them. But No has disruptive as well as positive effects. Can this shaky, newfound family continue to live together? A tense, brilliant novel tackling the true meanings of home and homelessness. [I think this is Young Adult but I’m not sure]

David’s Story by Stig Dalager translated from Danish by Frances Østerfelt & Cheryl Robson

The ninth volume in a new chapter book series of fast-paced, gritty WWII historical novels for teenagers. Based on diaries and memoirs of Holocaust survivors, this is a tale of survival in the Warsaw Ghetto. For ages twelve and over, with adult crossover potential. [Young Adult]

 

p.s. This sweet book by Marsh Winner Toon Tellegen was our 2nd grade book club book and is also a great book that I highly recommend. It has an old-fashioned animal story quality (like Little Bear) but it’s a not-to-hard Chapter Book with illustrations throughout. [Easy Chapter Book, ages 4-9]

The Squirrel’s Birthday and Other Parties by Toon Tellegen

This charming chapter book is as delicious as a piece of cake—which just happens to be Squirrel’s favorite food!
Young readers are invited to Squirrel’s birthday party—and into a magical world of the imagination. Brief, evocative, thought-provoking, and unlike anything else ever written, Toon Tellegen’s extraordinary tales are rich in unforgettable, even surrealistic images. A squirrel and an ant discover a mysterious feast with an invisible host in the depths of a forest. A whale and a seagull dance silently on a moon-drenched beach. A grasshopper pays a fortune for a speck of dust. Perfectly complemented by Jessica Ahlberg’s delicate illustrations, this collection is intelligent, moving, and funny.
To examine any book more closely in Amazon, please click on image of book.

 

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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