#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Meet Translator Nanette McGuinness

An opera singer, Nanette McGuinness translates graphic and conventional novels from French and Italian to English. Cool, huh?!

Getting to know a translator can be as fascinating as meeting the author or illustrator of a #worldkidlit title.

Though I live near Bangkok and Nanette lives in the San Francisco Bay area, we e-met through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), in which we are Translator members. It’s great to be co-contributors to #WorldKidLit Wednesday here at GLLI. We each plan to post a book review on a roughly monthly basis.

Meanwhile, here are two conversations to help you, too, e-meet Nanette:

Translating Children’s Books and Graphic Novels: Nanette McGuinness and Mercedes Guhl in Conversation in Source, a publication of the American Translators Association’s Literary Division (pp. 26-31)

Avery Udagawa interviews Nanette McGuinness at SCBWI: The Blog (shameless plug!)

Here are but three of Nanette’s most recent translations:

California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas and the Papas
By Pénélope Bagieu
Translated from the French by Nanette McGuinness
2017, First Second
ISBN: 9781626725461

Publisher’s description:

California Dreamin’ from Pénélope Bagieu depicts Mama Cass as you’ve never known her, in this poignant graphic novel about the remarkable vocalist who rocketed The Mamas & the Papas to stardom.

“[Bagieu’s] drawings are suffused with delight . . . Exuberance and sadness coexist in her drawing style, as they coexist in the character of Cass Elliot—whose every moment of joy and perseverance seem to overlay deep loneliness and vulnerability.” —The New York Times

“If a graphic novel can be thought of like a three-minute pop song, then French author Penelope Bagieu wisely holds a beautiful epiphany well past the two-minute mark. The timing is sublime.” —The Washington Post

Geronimo Stilton 19: Lost in Translation
Geronimo Stilton, Ryan Jampole (Ill.)
Translated from the Italian by Nanette Cooper-McGuinness
2017, Papercutz
ISBN: 9781629917580

Publisher’s description:

During Napoleon’s 1798 campaign in Egypt, Lieutenant Pierre-François Bouchard found the Rosetta Stone. But he doesn’t know that Pirate Cats have already replaced the original piece with their own version. Now it’s up to Geronimo and friends find the real Stone and give it back to history!

Born in New Mouse City, Mouse Island, GERONIMO STILTON is Rattus Emeritus of Mousomorphic Literature and of Neo-Ratonic Comparative Philosophy. He is the director of The Rodent’s Gazette, New Mouse City’s most widely read daily newspaper. Stilton was awarded the Ratitzer Prize for his scoops on The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid and The Search for Sunken Treasure.One of his bestsellers won the 2002 eBook Award for world’s best-selling electronic book. In 2006 he won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award and in 2008 he won the Cartoomics prize “Beyond Comics.” His works have been published all over the globe. In his spare time, Mr. Stilton collects antique cheese rinds.

Luisa: Then and Now
By Carole Maurel
Adapted by Mariko Tamaki
Translated from the French by Nanette McGuinness
2018, Humanoids
ISBN: 9781594656439

A Stonewall Honor Book

Publisher’s description:

At 32, Luisa encounters her 15-year-old self in this sensitive, bold story about self-acceptance and sexuality.

Single, and having left behind her dream to become a renowned photographer, she is struggling to find out who she is and what she wants. In order to help and guide her younger self, she must finally face herself and her past. When Luisa finds herself attracted to a female neighbor, things become even more complicated… Insightful and funny, this is a feel-good coming-of-age story.

“In Maurel’s sumptuously drawn time-travel fantasy, teenage Luisa is transported from the 1990s to the present to meet her 30-something self. Tamaki adapts the translated French with freshly worded dialogue in this elegant English-language edition. . . . In stand-out art, Maurel renders attractive characters with open, emotive faces and detailed Paris streets drenched in sunset-toned watercolors. There couldn’t be a lovelier setting for this winning story of romantic self-discovery.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Avery Fischer Udagawa’s translations from Japanese include “Swing” by Mogami Ippei in Kyoto Journal 82.

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