As part of my mini-series on Slovenian picture books, I invited Delaram Ghanimifard, co-founder and publisher of Tiny Owl Publishing, to tell us more about forthcoming picture book Felix After the Rain. Written and illustrated by Dunja Jogan, this title is currently being translated from the Slovenian by Olivia Hellewell.
What first attracted you to Felix After the Rain?
Felix After the Rain is a beautiful book. It also has a strong and beautiful message, but the first thing that drew my attention to this book were the visually appealing illustrations and colours. It told me a story before I read anything. When I read the text, I just fell in love with it.
Can you tell us about more about this picture book?
Felix is an unhappy boy, dragging a heavy suitcase with him everywhere. He doesn’t know what’s inside the suitcase, but he knows that when something sad happens the suitcase gets heavier. Then one day when his sadness is at its peak, a child opens the suitcase and all those feelings escape. Felix feels light and happy again. This is an important book for everyone. I think that adults will like it as much as children.
Olivia Hellewell is translating Felix After the Rain from Slovenian into English. What level of interaction is there between you during the translation process? And how important is this?
Olivia is a very professional translator. We trust her ability to bring this story to an English audience while staying true to the beauty of the Slovenian text. We treat the text as if it is coming from an English-speaking author and check with the author and original publisher to see if they are happy with the outcome.
Tiny Owl was awarded a PEN Translates Award to bring this book to an English-speaking audience. What difference do awards like this make?
This award is very important for us. It enabled us to work with Olivia Hellewell. And more importantly, it endorsed our decision to publish this book. We know that we are doing the right thing – and we are happy to be publicised by English PEN.
When and where will readers be able to buy this beautiful book?
Felix After the Rain comes out on 24 February 2020. As always it will be available for purchase in bookshops and online. We encourage our buyers to buy the book from their local bookshop, or if it’s not available there to order directly from our website.
What other picture books in translation does Tiny Owl have in the pipeline for 2020?
Felix After the Rain is our only translated title for 2020. We try to have at least one translation in our list every year.
Thank you for your time, Delaram. I am looking forward to seeing this beautiful picture book in translation next year.
In the meantime, watch this book trailer for a delightful sneak peek of Felix After the Rain.
Laura Taylor is the founder of world children’s literature blog Planet Picture Book. She is a small business copywriter, NAATI-certified translator of French into English and member of AUSIT. When she is not writing, she is reading and chasing after her two young children. She tweets regularly @plapibo and posts at www.planetpicturebook.com