#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Memo and the Unexpected Gift

A picture book for readers age 3-7, Memo and the Unexpected Gift is a sweet story with delightful, unexpected twists and gentle, wry humor.

The tale begins much like a regular picture book, and the reader quickly expects a traditional trajectory. Memo lives with his grandmother in a small-town cottage. She can’t see very well, but they play together and manage just fine–except at night time, when Memo gets a little lonely.

One night Memo hears a kitten in the garden. He adopts him, cleans him up, and gives him milk. Memo’s grandmother doesn’t notice anything because the new pet is so quiet.

But here is where the story gets considerably less traditional—and much more fun than the reader might have anticipated.

As the kitten grows, and grows, and grows, Memo realizes it’s not a kitten at all. It’s a lion! Since a cottage is no place for a lion, he has to send him home. The friends exchange a sad farewell before the lion heads home (wait until you see how!), leaving Memo even lonelier than he was before.

One day, a package arrives from the lion, who has successfully returned to his original home. There he has become the first animal optometrist!

And the gift? A pair of glasses for Memo’s grandmother.

You will have to wait to see the adorable, tongue-in-cheek illustrations and read this heartwarming book, as Memo and the Unexpected Gifts will not be released until September 2023. But it will be well worth the wait.

Memo and the Unexpected Gift
Written by  Funda Özlem Şeran and Ezgi Keleş
Illustrated by Ezgi Keleş
Translated from the Turkish by Amy Marie Spangler
ISBN: 978-1662512926
September 19, 2023, Amazon Crossing Kids

Award-winning opera singer Nanette McGuinness is the translator of roughly 100 books and graphic novels for children and adults from French, Italian, German and Spanish into English, includ.ing the well-known Geronimo Stilton Graphic NovelsHer translation of Alice on the Run: One Child’s Journey Through the Rwandan Civil Warhas been shortlsted for the 2023 GLLI YA Translated Book Prize and two of her translationsLuisa: Now and Then and California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas were chosen for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens. Luisa: Now and Then was also a 2019 Stonewall Honor Book and a GLLI YA Translated Book Honor Book; California Dreamin’ was a 2018 Harvey Awards Best European Book. Recent translations include Dagfrid: Viking GirlMagical History Tour: SamuraiMagical History Tour: Slaveryfantasy manga Bibi & Miyu #3, and LGBTQ manga Just Friends.

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