#WorldKidLit Wednesday: A Winter’s Promise/ The Missing of Clairdelune

Set in a post-Rupture steampunk world, A Winter’s Promise and The Missing of Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos tell the story of Ophelia, a member of the Anima ark who can animate objects. Unassuming, clumsy, and shy, Ophelia has two major talents and life passions. First, she is a superb object “reader,” i.e., she can view … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: A Winter’s Promise/ The Missing of Clairdelune

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Brown

In Brown, a spare, quirky, satisfying book for middle grade readers, we meet Rusty, aka superhero Brown, at a rocky time in his life. His grandfather dies soon after his family moves to be nearby. A group of three bullies—including the minister’s son—destroy the fort that Rusty and his friend Jack have been building.  Rusty … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Brown

#WorldKidLitWednesday: The Sages of Chelm and the Moon

There was once a town filled with people so wise that a body of Jewish folklore developed around their wisdom. Except, of course, they weren’t wise at all. Indeed, they were absolutely, thigh-slappingly, heart-stoppingly foolish—which is where much of the fun lies in the Chelm stories.* In Shlomo Abas’s droll version of the traditional tale, … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: The Sages of Chelm and the Moon

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Maresi: Red Mantle

An epistolary novel. A beautiful story with a strong female protagonist. The stand-alone conclusion to a trilogy. Maresi: Red Mantle by Maria Turtschaninoff is all of these. It’s also the co-winner of the 2020 GLLI Translated YA Book Prize—and deservedly so, as it’s a fabulous read. Set in an agrarian, mostly pre-literate, fantasy world, Red … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Maresi: Red Mantle

#WorldKidLitWednesday: The Casket of Time

What if you could stop time? Would it work? Would it even be a good idea? That is the core dilemma in The Casket of Time, an intricately plotted, carefully wrought, and beautifully translated book for YA readers by Icelandic author, poet and former presidential candidate Andri Snær Magnason. Made up of two interwoven stories … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: The Casket of Time

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Bear and Fred: A World War II Story

“Many years ago,in a faraway land called Holland, in a city named Delft, I was Fred’s teddy bear. I never had a name. Fred never gave me one. I lived in his bedroom with other toys. I was a happy bear. Little Fred loved me more than any other toy. He took me everywhere he … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Bear and Fred: A World War II Story

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Do Fish Sleep?

Originally an award-winning play for children, Do Fish Sleep? is a heartbreakingly matter-of-fact look at death for middle grade readers from the perspective of Jette, a 10-year-old whose little brother, Emil, dies during the course of the book. Unsurprisingly, she and Emil are both puzzled about what happens to people after they die—animals, too. When … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Do Fish Sleep?

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Witch Hat Atelier, v. 1

What if the thing you most yearned to do was an innate ability? And you weren’t one of the lucky ones born with it? That’s the set up for Witch Hat Atelier, a wonderful YA coming-of-age manga series by Kamome Shirahama, translated by Stephen Kohler, the first volume of which just won an Eisner Award for the … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Witch Hat Atelier, v. 1

#WorldKidLitWednesday: The Wolf in Underpants

“High above the forest lives the wolf. An icy cry. Crazy eyes. We know to move our butts when the wolf comes down to eat.” What a start for a children’s book! And this one is excellent, a sly, societal commentary cleverly disguised as a book for children. In this hybrid picture book/graphic novel for … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: The Wolf in Underpants

What We’re Missing: Gems of World Kid Lit

During the past 6 months, I have edited a series of articles on “What We’re Missing:  Gems of World Kid Lit.”  Taking a page from the UK’s Times Literary Supplement, which styles itself as “the only major English-language publication to review books published in other languages,” I thought we could introduce the concept on this … Continue reading What We’re Missing: Gems of World Kid Lit