Tag Archives: translation

The Fox Wish












The Fox Wish
by Kimiko Aman, illustrated by Komako Sakai
Chronicle Books, 2017
Originally published in Japan

This favorite story originally published in Japan, delights the imagination and tickles the heart. A ‘what if’ story in a world where children and animals understand each other.

A young girl and her toddler brother forget their jump rope at the park. When they return to find it, their jump rope isn’t where they left it.  When they hear laughter, they follow it and come upon a pack of young foxes jumping with their rope.  The foxes jumped well, but their tails got in their way and they kept falling.  While the young girl knew it was not polite to laugh, the toddler giggled.  The foxes heard them and the two came out of hiding. Soon they were all jumping.  But who would take the jump rope home?  Roxie, who left it at the park, or Roxy who found it?  Enjoy the emotions shared in this imaginary encounter with a pack of playful foxes.  The soothing and almost whimsical illustrations rendered in acrylic gouache, oil pencil and ballpoint pen capture the foxes’ personified emotions.  A story and art for the heart.

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Chameleon Sees Colors













Chameleon Sees Colors

by Anita Bijsterbosch
Clavis Publishing Inc, 2015
Originally published in Belgium and Holland

This interactive book features cut outs to see part of the next page that includes a clue of what’s to come.  Chameleon starts out black and each page turn he sees a new animal of a new color and he begins to take on the new colors.  He goes through the primary and secondary colors until he reaches a purple girl chameleon!  Chameleon “thinks purple is the prettiest color he has ever seen!”  A simple story that introduces chameleons and colors.

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Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear












Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear

By Kazue Takahashi
Museyon, 2015
Translated from Japan

This quiet story of a quiet bear is done in quiet colors in a small format for tiny readers.  The perfect quiet story for preschoolers.

After introducing readers to Kum-Kum Chan, the narrator wonders what the little bear does during his day, so we follow the bear.  From waking up, to eating a breakfast of tomatoes and lettuce from his garden, to tidying up the house.  We follow Kum-Kum Chan as he contemplates clouds passing by, as he dances to raindrops, and as he rolls across the room to stay in the sunlight.  He does many things a preschooler may do to enjoy his surroundings.   Its simplicity and charm pull in the reader.  Completing Kum-Kum Chan’s day in bed, it makes a quiet bedtime story.

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When I am Happiest

happiestWhen I am Happiest
by Rose Lagercrantz, illustrated by Eva Ericksson
Gecko Press, 2015
Originally published in Sweden

The third in an early-chapter book series about third-grader Dani.  It’s the second-to-last day of school when Dani is pulled from the classroom and finds out her dad is in the hospital!  She, of course, wants to be with him, but isn’t allowed for he is in a coma.  She keeps insisting and is finally allowed.  She calls out to him and he awakens for a brief moment.  Dani is happy.  The doctors say the activity is a good sign.  Dani’s grandma cares for her and her many friends support her.  Dani moves through the many emotions of happiness, sorrow, and joy.  Like the others in this series, When I am Happiest is a rich, engaging story.

Others in series:  My Heart is Laughing and My Happy Life.

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I Will Fight Monsters for You

fight monsters












I Will Fight Monsters for You
by Santi Balmes, illustrated by Lyona
Albert Whitman and Company, 2015
Originally published in Barcelona, Spain

A fresh view of dealing with night time monsters, this reassuring story empowers scared toddlers.  Weaving humor, readers will find that Martina is as scared of monsters as monster Anitram, who lives below her, is as scared of humans!

Martina is sure there are monsters who live under her room.  She imagines they will jump up and down at the same time and cave in the floor.  She can’t sleep.  She’s afraid the monster will grab her and teach her how to scare people.  Her daddy reassures her, “I will fight MONSTERS for you,” and explains how she can be brave and help.  The size of the monster depends on how scared you are, he says.  If you feel very brave, the monster will shrink and run away. Martina begins to feel a bit better and falls asleep.

At that very moment, a pink monster named Anitram is convinced that on the other side of her floor is a human city!  She has heard a girl human jumping on her bed before and worried that if all the humans started jumping at the same time, the floor would cave it!

Like Martina, Antirum’s father reassures his daughter.  Find out how Martina and Antrium meet and are no longer afraid.

The simple, friendly  drawings done in pink and blue-green are reassuring to toddlers.

Originally published in 2011 in Barcelona, Spain, this comforting book is an international bestseller.

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Tags: night, monsters, Santi Balmes, Lyona, facing the unknown
Cate:  0-3

Gon, The Little Fox

Gon Fox












Gon, The Little Fox
by Nankichi Niimi, illustrated by Genjirou Mita
Museyon, Inc., 2015
Originally published in Japan, 1969

A beloved story of Japan, Gon, The Little Fox, is a beautifully illustrated book with a definite Japanese touch.

One day the mischief-loving Gon steals a fish basket from Hyoju, a fisherman, and throws the fish back into the stream.  He is spotted by Hyoju as he holds the squirming eel.  Later Gon learns the eel was meant for Hyoju’s dying mother.  Out of character, Gon feels remorse for his actions and thinks, “Now, Hyoju is all alone just like me.”  To befriend the villager, he steals sardines from another and secretly leaves them for Hyoju.  This leads to more trouble for Hyoju.  Hyoju learns too late that it was Gon’s awkward attempt at friendship.

Unlike traditional American stories written with happy endings, this endearing tale is written with a bittersweet one.  The tale provides parents an opportunity to discuss with their child issues of sadness and loss, among others.  Likely better for the 6-8 year old reader.

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Tiptoe Tapirs (A “quiet” hero.)











Tiptoe Tapirs
by Hanmin Kim
Holiday House, 2015
Originally published in Korea

Written in a folk tale voice, readers discover a new hero, the quiet Tapir.

A long time ago jungle animals loved to be the loudest.  The elephant, with his Boom-Boom!, competed with the rhinoceros’ Bam-Bam!, and the ape’s Hoo-Haa-Hoo-Haa!  One animal never tried to complete, the quiet Tapir.  The tapir “tiptoed about the jungle ever so softly.”  She avoided stepping on flowers, ants and was careful not to disturb the resting crocodiles.  One day a leopard attacked the tapir—but because the leopard was so loud, hunters shot their guns at him.  Terrified and paralyzed with fear, the leopard couldn’t move.  Tapir said she could help and showed him how to tiptoe softly, hush, hush.  They escaped!  Soon the other animals learned of being quiet and each tried to be the quietest of all.  Thinking the animals gone, the hunters left.

Originally published in Korea, the pen and ink drawings with splashes of color have the appearance of Korean landscapes. Both words and illustrations are sparse, gentle and a delight to read.

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Prickly Jenny

Prickly Jenny
by Sibylle Delacroix
Owlkids Books, 2015
Originally published in France.

Jenny is having a ‘prickly’ day where nothing is going right. She’s grumpy at breakfast and “doesn’t say good morning because, really, what’s so good about it?”  On a day trip to the fair with her dad, she grumbles and drags her feet.  And naptime is for babies!  She says, “Leave me alone!”, but cries when her mom goes away.  She just doesn’t know what she wants.  She is all out of sorts.  The truth is, she just wants to be loved.  Prickly Jenny will remind youngsters, that “tomorrow, when she’s bigger, it will get better.”

If you have a Prickly Jenny or Jack, they may relate to having a prickly day and identify with the story.  But watch out, your child may bring this book to you when you’re feeling prickly!

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Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust

Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust
by Loic Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano & Greg Salsedo
First Second, 2012
originally published in France
2015 Mildred L. Batcheleder Award, Honor Book
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014
2015 Sydney Taylor Award Winner

A sensitive graphic book for the youngest readers depicting one French, Jewish family’s experience during World War II.  Young Elsa asks her grandmother why she was so sad, and her grandmother shares her story.  She tells of her becoming a ‘family of sheriffs’, which immediately made her an outcast.  One night her family is taken away, but she was left behind in a box.  A neighbor comes and cares for her, until it is too dangerous and she must leave.  A moving story told from the innocent—but learning—perspective of a young girl.

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Mikis and the Donkey

Mikis and the Donkey 
by Bibi Dumon Tak
Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2015
Mildred L. Batchelder Award

I could not put this book down, even when I should have been working!

Mikis’ grandfather buys a donkey to help carry wood down from the mountain for the winter.  Little Mikis soon befriends the donkey.  When grandfather ‘overworks’ and injures the donkey, Mikis goes directly to the doctor for help—on a Sunday!  By Monday everyone on the tiny Greek island knows about Mikis’ ‘unheard of’ actions.  He informs his grandfather that the doctor orders no work for the donkey for one week.  He is soon called the Donkey boy, because he loves the donkey.  Other subplots blended into the story results in an endearing book.

It recently won the American Library Association’s 2015 Mildred L. Batchelder Award.  The reason I read it, however, was I heard it was selling much faster than they expected and they were about to make a second printing.  As I suspected, fast-selling books are often the best, and this one is that. A perfect gift book, a perfect read.

The book is translated from the Netherlands.

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