Books from Iceland, Spain, Italy, Finland and The Netherlands are in the running for this year’s In Other Words project, designed to help UK publishers acquire children’s books in translation, including an adventure escapade set in Finland and a laugh-out-loud story about dinosaurs in Iceland.
All of the shortlisted books have been partially translated for UK publishers to review and the English language rights are available to buy. BookTrust, which coordinates the project, is also offering UK publishers a marketing bursary of £1,500 to support publication of each book.
Three of the works will be crowned as “honour titles” at a reception at London Book Fair in April with children’s laureate Lauren Child and former children’s laureate Chris Riddell.
Extracts and synopses are available on the BookTrust website.
BookTrust launched the In Other Words project two years ago with Arts Council England to support publishers who want to translate children’s literature from other countries.
Last year four books were given the “honour” label and three of those were later published in the UK. A Good Day for Climbing Trees by Jaco Jacobs, originally published in Afrikaans, was acquired by OneWorld, and the Danish story Elise and the Second-Hand Dog by Bjarne Reuter was bought by Wacky Bee. Penguin Random House acquired Russian novel The Raven's Children by Yulia Yakovleva.
Nicolette Jones, chair of this year’s judges, said: “I continue to believe in the value of In Other Words as a way of opening minds and opportunities, and enriching UK publishing with global stories… It was clear from the submissions that there is a great deal of storytelling talent abroad that British children have been missing, and, after the very thoughtful deliberations by our expert panel, i’m sure there will be books on this year’s shortlist that UK publishers will be glad to publish.”
This year’s shortlist in full:
Dinosaurs In Reykjavik by Ævar Þór Benediktsson (translated by Meg Matich). Original Language: Icelandic – Publisher: Forlagid
The Film Of Our Life by Maite Carranza (translated by Laura McGloughlin). Original Language: Spanish (Catalan) – Publisher: Editorial Cruïlla
Wolf, Edda and the Stolen Relic by Kristín Ragna Gunnarsdóttir (translated by Larissa Kyzer). Original Language: Icelandic – Publisher: Bókabeitan ehf
The Robbersons by Siri Kolu (translated by Owen Witesman). Original Language: Finnish – Publisher: Otavan Kirjapaino Oy
Red Stars by Davide Morosinotto (translated by Denise Muir). Original Language: Italian – Publisher: Mondadori Libri
The All Mine Academy by Fabrizio Silei (translated by Denise Muir). Original Language: Italian – Publisher: Editrice Il Castoro
Alaska by Anna Woltz (translated by Laura Watkinson). Original Language: Dutch – Publisher: Em. Querido Kinderboeken Uitgeverij