BookTrust has announced the Honour Titles for In Other Words, its first children’s books in translation project.
The quartet, revealed at a reception held at Bologna Children’s Book Fair yesterday, are: Sputterfly by Simon van der Geest, translated from Dutch by Laura Watkinson; A Good Day for Climbing a Tree by Jaco Jacobs, translated from Afrikaans by Kobus Geldenhuys; Elise and the Second-hand Dog by Bjarne Reuter, translated from Danish by Sian Mackie; and The Raven’s Children by Yulia Yakoleva, translated from Russian by Maria Kozlovskaya Wiltshire.
Funded by Arts Council England (ACE), the project is designed to showcase writing from outside the UK and to encourage publishers in the UK to acquire children’s books in translation. A marketing bursary of £1,500 is available from BookTrust for the UK lists that do so.
The titles were unveiled by UK children’s laureate Chris Riddell, Carnegie Medal-winning author Kevin Brooks, ACE relationship manager for literature Emma Langley and writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn.
Some 400 works of fiction for children aged six to 12 were submitted for consideration for the scheme, which shortlisted eight titles, all of which are available for English-language publication.
Jill Coleman, director of children’s books at BookTrust, said: “Four titles stood out from a very strong shortlist; individual voices with strong narratives and the power to entertain and enthral readers. Our brilliant translators have given us extracts of the highest quality, which help to demonstrate what commercial potential these stories have. We are delighted at the amount of interest that there has been, and we hope very much that the stories will soon be acquired and reach a wide audience.”