Book distributor Turnaround is publishing 10 dual language board books based on David McKee’s Elmer the elephant character, under licence from Andersen Press.
The books, which are sold in the UK and Ireland and cost £5.99, are all printed in English and either Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Italian, Polish, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu or Vietnamese.
Turnaround said the range marks a “step forward in cross-cultural communications”.
“That immigrant communities can struggle with insularity is a phenomenon often remarked upon in the media,” it said. “Books which are accessible in children’s and parents native languages, yet which contain recognisable, popular British characters, go some way to addressing this. When children reach school age,being able to recognise and enjoy a joke about a character can be a great way of making a friend.”
Turnaround was licensed for the global dual-language rights for board books by Andersen Press, which publishes the original picture books.
The first book, Elmer, was published in 1989 and since then sales of books about the patchwork elephant have totalled 810,250 copies in the UK, according to Neilsen BookScan.
Last year Andersen Press launched an “Elmer’s Parade” campaign to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the brand, with a library competition and an exhibition of McKee’s artwork at the Illustration Cupboard in London.