Arriving Multilingually: Celebrating World Kid Lit Month, Part 2

In Part 1 of our celebration of World Kid Lit Month, we focused on the delights translators bring English readers by providing access to books written in many other languages. Here we turn to books published simultaneously into a multilingual world by publishers who straddle cultures and help readers find ways to cross language fences with access to the same story.

Cicada Books reaches from the United Kingdom to other countries and languages with richly illustrated offerings that introduce readers to new ways of seeing the world. Underground, by Uijung Kim who lives and makes art in the United States and comes originally from South Korea, is available in different editions to help homebodies around the globe to discover the subway systems of many cities. Kim’s informative and engaging collection of system maps, rolling stock, and station designs gives us exposure to design elements and signage that reflect the home countries of each rail system. Readers can learn how to make sense of these signs without knowing how the words actually might sound or specifically mean. Learn to apply your knowledge of public transit directions and advisories internationally!

Inhabit Media allows readers to discover their books in multiple languages: English, sometimes in French, and always in their own native Inuktitut. In keeping with the season, enjoy When Pumpkins Fly, by Margaret Lawrence who, along with Amanda Sandland, also provides illustrations of Halloween preparations we can “read” in any language. And if you’re looking for costume inspiration, join this story time podcast for pointers.

Encourage kids to start working on their own stories during World Kid Lit Month, too! Agnes & Aubrey designer Mary Richards has put together a trio of notebooks that can prompt recording of adventures outdoors, to museums, and on holidays away from home. While the weather is still fairly good, start with Take Me Outdoors. You can download activity pages on the site as well.

Child’s Play Books also has an October gift for multilingual readers. Carol Thompson’s board book series “Little Movers” arrives with English and Spanish texts on every page—and lots of babies and toddlers ready and willing to Climb!, Crawl!, Jump!, and Run!.

Barefoot Books’ brand new picture book A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India, written by Meera Siriram and illustrated by Mariona Cabassa, can be obtained in English and Spanish editions.  As School Library Journal notes in their starred review, this is an “excellent story for young readers to enhance their understanding of color and an aspect of traditional Indian culture.” You can tun in to hear Matthew Winner interview the author on The Children’s Book Podcast,

Recognize the name of Jon Klassen, the author, illustrator, and animator who has won both the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal?  Of course, you do! Did you know he is now publishing with Spanish publisher NubeOcho Books and that you can acquire both Yo Quiero Mi Sombrero and This Is Not My Hat in their editions? Hats off to that!


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