#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Just a Girl: A True Story of World War II

Last week the American Library Association (ALA) presented their annual Youth Media Awards, celebrating the best in literature for young people. Among major awards such as the Caldecott and the Newbery medals, there is also the Mildred L. Batchelder Award, given to an outstanding "children’s book originally published in a language other than English in … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Just a Girl: A True Story of World War II

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Box

“What was that box doing there in the middle of the forest? It was a mystery.” It’s not every day that a strange box, large enough for someone to hide in, arrives in the woods. And it has the local animals wondering from the moment they wake. They are full of questions, and then anticipation, … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Box

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: How Beautiful

The question of what is beautiful has preoccupied philosophers and poets alike. In How Beautiful, however, a caterpillar is the one pondering the subject. Yes, a caterpillar! In this elegant and whimsical picture book from Italy, a young caterpillar sets out to find exactly what beautiful means. As the book opens, the caterpillar lives "a … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: How Beautiful

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Caiman

What would you do if you found a baby caiman (a type of alligator)? Would you slip it into your shirt pocket? Unlikely as it seems, that’s what Faoro, a jeweler and watchmaker, did many years ago. The Caiman*, a picture book for ages 5-8, is his story—a real one. Faoro loved animals and let them wander … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Caiman

Speculative Fiction in Translation: BloodBusters

BloodBusters by Francesco Verso translated from the Italian by Sally McCorry Luna Press Publishing April 10, 2020 220 pages Winner of the 2015 Urania Award,* Francesco Verso’s BloodBusters is a heady mix of economic and political intrigue and fast-paced adventure, all circulating (pun intended!) around the unique premise that people pay their taxes in blood … Continue reading Speculative Fiction in Translation: BloodBusters

Speculative Fiction in Translation: Dissipatio H.G.

Dissipatio H.G. by Guido Morselli originally published in Italian in 1977 translated from the Italian by Frederika Randall NYRB Classics December 1, 2020 144 pages Dissipatio Humanis Generis: the disappearance of the human race. This is Guido Morselli’s theme, and it’s explored with all of the seriousness and depth one would expect from a writer … Continue reading Speculative Fiction in Translation: Dissipatio H.G.

Crime Fiction Excerpt: Black Souls by Gioacchino Criaco (Italy)

Three normal students. Or so we seemed.At school, as with everything in life, Luigi was a tagalong; I got by, sticking somewhere in the middle; and Luciano was the classic brainiac, with no topic he hadn’t explored or book he hadn’t read.Three good boys, and not because we pretended to be; we had always been … Continue reading Crime Fiction Excerpt: Black Souls by Gioacchino Criaco (Italy)


The killer was a young Calabrian male whose mother’s virtue had been slandered. He had been in town for only a few days and didn’t know that, in this part of Italy, slandering someone’s mother was almost as common as saying ‘Ciao’. A sad story of cultural misunderstanding.  These lines, from Marco Vichi’s Death in … Continue reading ITALIAN CRIME SERIES IN TRANSLATION

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop

Very few people have heard of Francesco Tirelli, one of the multitude of unsung heroes and heroines of World War II. Nor have they heard about how this Italian gelato aficionado emigrated to Hungary, opened a successful ice cream parlor in the middle of Budapest, and, years later, quietly saved many of his Jewish friends … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop

#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