Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Tag: Children’s book translations

The Wild Book by Juan Villaro

Beautiful illustrations and thoughtful content…

In search of a Wild Book, thirteen year old Juan has to stay with his eccentric Uncle Tito, who has a library like no other. The books move at will and Juan discovers that he has a connection with the books that means they choose him.

A beautiful adventure story about a young teenage boy, whose life is falling apart but can find himself in this strange and magical library, where he is supreme. A story that could probably turn its own pages, it is very persuasive in reading to find out more, a great mix of adventure, magic, reading and story, what more could you want?

I must tell you that it is very rare for the books to move in synchrony and even rarer for them to form steps. That means that they place themselves at your feet and are ready to take you wherever you need to go. You’ll always find a book that helps you. Books are loyal.” says Uncle Tito.

Juan Villoro is one of Mexico’s best loved authors and The Wild Book has sold over 1 million copies in Spanish.

Hope Road Publishing has a great portfolio of books and specialises in excellent writing from all over the world with a window on countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

Thoroughly recommend The Wild Book for ages from 9-13 years, definitely a book for any library, so long as you are not afraid that this book will mean that all the books in the library start moving around to find their readers and causing chaos!

Published on 19th September 2019, this is a great book. I think I might just read  it all over again!

Sue Martin


Ehsan Abdollahi at The House of Illustration


Ehsan AbollahiEhsan is an award-winning illustrator of children’s books, his work is published through Tiny Owl Publishers.

He teaches at Tehran’s top Honar (Art) University and he is currently in the UK to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival and other engagements.

On Thursday 10th August he joined a discussion panel at The House of Illustration  in conjunction with Tiny Owl Publishers.

The panel was made up of James Mayhew, Erica Jarnes, Beverley Naidoo, Azita Rassi and Delaram Ghanimifard.

Discussion was fascinating and there was a strong focus on the initial refusal to entry and visa for Ehsan, a ban! After considerable pressure and public energy from many people, including The Bookseller and The Guardian, this was overturned and Ehsan was allowed entry into the UK.

But what does it mean to be ‘banned’? And who is affected by the ban? The panel felt that a ban meant that not only the person was banned from the country but also the children and recipients of the books were also banned from listening to Ehsan and his work, creating an apartheid situation.

Banning affects us all as we are not allowed to hear or take part. In effect it stops dialogue.  A dialogue, in this case where children can share an understanding of cultural differences, through books.  Where they experience a greater  understanding of a global world, sharing lives and concerns, knowing similarities and differences and valuing both.Ehsans colouring materials

Ehsan had also run some workshops for children, creating passports of peace and hope and, ‘using a poem as a springboard to explore how you might change the world and what colours you would use.’ Tiny Owl.

His books are amazing, the illustrations depict life in colour and style, they have a beautiful expressive feel about the images and tell the stories, often with no need for words.

When I Coloured the World‘ and ‘A Bottle of Happiness‘ are both wonderful books to have and to share. They tell more than the story written in the words, they are moral stories and full of meaning.A Bottle of Happiness

As picture books they have a place in libraries for children of all ages and adults too. By sharing the books with parents and teachers, there is much to discover in words, pictures and meaning.



At Books Go Walkabout, we are keen explorers of books in different places, reaching out across the world, using books and stories in a global dimension.

We are delighted to share Ehsan’s work and that of Tiny Owl Publishers with the world. We do this directly when travelling to the other side of the globe and through our blog which is read across Australia, South East Asia and in Europe.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout




New titles for October
Frances Lincoln

Four great new titles from the publisher Frances Lincoln this month.Image 5

Beautifully created with thought and care, they all make splendid additions to your bookshelf at home or to the library.

Image 2The Magic Bojabi Tree by Dianne Hofmeyer and Piet Grobler.

Folktales from Africa.

‘Python has wrapped himself around the melon/mango/pomegranate tree with its delicious fruit, and he won’t share the fruit unless the animals can tell him the correct name of the tree. Elephant, Monkey and Zebra each in turn visit Lion, who alone knows the name of the tree…’

My Life as a Goldfish and other poems
by Rachel Rooney.

Image 1

I just love the title and it is excellent for jokes, rhymes and surprises.

‘A monster’s lunch, a wolf boy, Monday mornings, monkeys, headlice, Christmas, making friends, goldfish – and lots more. Full of jokes, surprises and puzzles, but also sensitive and thought-provoking, this is a spellbinding new collection from the winner of the CLPE Poetry Award…’


Image 4How the Library Saved Rapunzel by Wendy Meddour (and illustrated by Rebecca Ashdown)

Living on the 16th floor, the only thing that saves Rapunzel is the work in the library.

‘Rapunzel sits on the sixteenth floor of an inner city block, bored, dreaming and looking out at the rain.  No one can rouse her from her apathy, not the milkman or the postman or the baker or her aunt – or even the prince. But when at last a letter is delivered, it contains news that has Rapunzel on her feet again. She has a new job at the library! And suddenly her life is busy, sparkling, exciting and stimulating…’


Unos, Dos, Tres, by Yanitzia Canetti and illustrated by Patrice AggsImage 3

This is a beautiful collection of Spanish words and phrases.

Simple songs and rhymes are an excellent way to familiarise young children with another language. Uno Dos Tres a collection of 25 traditional nursery rhymes, is a delightful way to introduce Spanish. An illustrated vocabulary features simple words and phrases that are easy to learn and that can be used in games or everyday life. Children are encouraged to repeat the phrases and sing along with the rhymes, and the included CD lets them know how both should sound…”


Federation of Children’s Book Groups Conference

Bradfield College

A whole weekend of children’s books at Bradfield College, Berkshire – a splendid setting and the warmest days so far.

A great success for the FCBG Annual Conference 2010 .

Cake at Conference

We were there for the Saturday speakers.

Hadn’t realised that there would be so much cake.

Definitely a bonus!

A Gothic Imagination started the day with Sarah Singleton, author of The Poison Garden and Century . She carried us through the attics of neurosis and cellars of repression, describing gothic style as somewhat claustrophobic, with decay and a feeling of being trapped in the past.

John Burningham(author of Mr Gumpy and many many more books), gave some amazing reflections on his work and career as an illustrator and author, somehow even finding a flair for trains in Japan.

Truth Lies and Violence was a lively seminar with Graham Marks (I Spy – The Constantinople Caper) and Marcus Sedgwick (Revolver). They even managed to travel to get the real feel of the settings for their books and in Marcus’ case tried out a gun to see what it would feel like.

Books at Bedtime, in the middle of the afternoon, wasn’t at all soporific! Wendy CoolingDavid Melling and Clara Vulliamy were inspirational in their illustrations and composition of picture books. Hugless Douglas and The Bear with Sticky Paws are two of their titles.

And even time to relax too!


Time to look at new books coming on the scene, chance to meet up with friends.

We enjoyed the opportunity to sit back and listen to the creativity of writing and illustrating.

Just wait until the children start getting stuck into those books.

Dolphin Booksellers for books and information on-line.

Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation

tobyaloneCoverAnnouncement of the 2009 winner

At a ceremony at the English speaking Union on 20 January Sarah Ardizzone won the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in translation 2009, for Toby Alone by Daniel Pennac.

There was great competition from some exceptionally talented authors and translators, including Henning Mankell’s book When the Snow Fell and Francesco D’Adamo’s book My brother Johnny.

The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation has been running since 1996, and is given biennially.

It was designed to spotlight the diversity of translated fiction for young readers and to bring a richness to children’s books into the English language from places way beyond our own lives and in cultures and countries we may never have the chance to visit.

Our feelings at Dolphin are that is just great to value books and cultures in countries that we have little experience of. Stories still give everyone a chance to experience something else, to be with that character in the story, feel what its like and learn that you’re not alone.

Congratulations to Sarah and to the other short listed translators.

This is the shortlist, hope you get to read at least one, I’m going to start with When the Snow Fell.

My Brother Johnny by Francesco D’Adamo translated from Italian by Sian Williams (Aurora Metro Press, 2007) Amazon link

When the Snow Fell by Henning Mankell translated from Swedish by Laurie Thompson (Andersen Press, 2007) Amazon link

Letters from Alain by Enrique Perez Diaz translated from Spanish by Simon Breden (Aurora Metro Press, 2008) Amazon link

Tina’s Web by Alki Zei translated from Greek by John Thornley (Aurora Metro Press, 2007) Amazon link

Toby Alone by Timothée de Fombelle translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone illustrated by François Place (Walker Books, 2008) Amazon link

Message in a Bottle by Valérie Zenatti translated from French by Adriana Hunter (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008) Amazon link

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