#WorldKidLitWednesday: Piglettes

“I don’t understand why you insist on calling yourselves the Three Little Piglettes,” Mum groans. “It’s a horrible name.” “We’ll make it beautiful, you’ll see. Or better, we’ll make it powerful.” After taking out the top three spots in the ‘Pig Pageant’, a school ugliness contest run on social media, three girls embark on an … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Piglettes

#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

To Be Translated Recommendation: “L’affaire Léon Sadorski” by Romain Slocombe (France)

Romain Slocombe is very at home in Occupied France. Often pictured in a Bogartian fedora, trademark scarf round his neck, he could well be slipping down Avenue Kléber, keeping a wary eye out for the German High Command at the Majestic Hotel, blackmarket supplies tucked discreetly into his overcoat. His knowledge of the period is … Continue reading To Be Translated Recommendation: “L’affaire Léon Sadorski” by Romain Slocombe (France)

Translated Crime Title Pick: IN THE SHADOW OF THE FIRE by Herve Le Corre (France)

WINNER OF THE FRENCH VOICES PRIZE The Paris Commune’s “bloody week” sees the climax of the savagery of the clashes between the Communards and the French Armed Forces loyal to Versailles. Amid the shrapnel and the chaos, while the entire west side of Paris is a field of ruins, a photographer fascinated by the suffering … Continue reading Translated Crime Title Pick: IN THE SHADOW OF THE FIRE by Herve Le Corre (France)

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

Beatrice Alemagna has written so many brilliant picture books! My personal favourites include The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty and A Lion in Paris, and this one: On a Magical Do-Nothing Day. The theme of technology vs. nature, in particular, really strikes a chord with me. The storyline is simple: It’s a rainy day and a young boy and his mother … Continue reading On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

The Lady and the Little Fox Fur by Violette Leduc

This is the first in the European section of the month of older women in fiction around the world. Recommended by Deborah Levy, introducing this English version, she characterises the novels of Violette Leduc as works of genius and also a bit peculiar. She claims that Leduc was ‘rearranging the social and sexual scaffolding of … Continue reading The Lady and the Little Fox Fur by Violette Leduc

#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 … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Meet Translator Nanette McGuinness

GLLI YA Prize Shortlist Excerpt: Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais

Chapter 1 Here we go: the Pig Pageant results have just come out on Facebook. I’m in third place: bronze medal. How perplexing. After winning gold for two years in a row, I thought I’d never lose the top spot. I was wrong. I check who’s won the grand title. She’s a new girl, in … Continue reading GLLI YA Prize Shortlist Excerpt: Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais

GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais (France)

A wickedly funny and life-affirming coming-of-age road trip story – winner of France’s biggest prize for teen and YA fiction Mireille, Astrid and Hakima have just been voted the three ugliest girls in school by their classmates on Facebook. But does that mean they’re going to sit around crying about it?… Well, maybe a little, … Continue reading GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais (France)

GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali (France)

Nazi Germany. 1936. In the Lebensborn program, carefully selected German women are recruited by the Nazis to give birth to new members of the Aryan race. Inside one of these women is Max, literally counting the minutes until he is born and he can fulfill his destiny as the perfect Aryan specimen. Max is taken … Continue reading GLLI Translated YA Book Prize Shortlist: Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali (France)