I am not sure how many people are aware of the number of fantastic international authors available in the children’s room. Many such authors are already popular, but the fact that the books were originally published in another language or overseas is simply not part of the cover art or publicity that the books receive.
For instance, Cornelia Funke, best known for her Inkheart series which is popular in book and movie format, is German. Although she lives in California now, the majority of her works were originally written in German and published in Germany well before being translated and published in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Some of the books in our collection that are translations might surprise you. Particularly some of the classic picture books. This is a small sampling of the picture books, children’s chapter books, and young adult books that have been translated from other languages. There are many more great ones, if I missed one of your favorites, please mention it in the comments for everyone to enjoy.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister; translated from German by J. Alison James. The most beautiful fish in the entire ocean discovers the real value of personal beauty and friendship.
Press Here and Mix it up! by Hervé Tullet; translated from French by Christopher Franceschelli. Instructs the reader on how to interact with the illustrations to create imaginative images.
My Heart is Laughing by Rose Lagercrantz; translated from Swedish by Julia Marshall. Dani’s been trying her best to stay happy ever since her best friend Ella moved away.
Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme; translated from French by Claudia Bedrick. Big Wolf has always lived alone, so when a little wolf suddenly arrives one day, he does not know what to think.
Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann; translated by Ralph Manheim. After hearing how her toy nutcracker got his ugly face, a little girl helps break the spell.
Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault; translated by Malcolm Arthur. A clever cat wins his master a fortune and the hand of a princess.
Children’s Chapter Books:
Ring of Fire by Pierdomenico Baccalario ; translated by Leah D. Janeczko. Four seemingly unrelated children discover they are destined to become involved in an ancient mystery.
Igraine the Brave, Dragon Rider, and many more by Cornelia Funke; translated from the German by Anthea Bell. The daughter of two magicians, twelve-year-old Igraine wants nothing more than to be a knight.
Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye and the original books from the Geronimo Stilton pseudonym were translated from Italian by Lidia Tramontozzi. Geronimo’s sister, Thea, discovers an old, mysterious map showing a secret treasure hidden on a faraway island.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren; translated from Swedish by Tiina NunnallyRing of Fire by Pierdomenico Baccalario ; translated by Leah D. JaneczkoRing of Fire by Pierdomenico Baccalario ; translated by Leah D. Janeczko. Escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey–but without any parents.
Princess Pistachio by Marie-Louise Gay; translated from French by Jacob Homel. Pistachio knew all along that she was a princess, but her ‘real’ parents, the king and queen of Papua, have sent her a message at last.
Ruby Red and more by Kerstin Gier; translated from the German by Anthea Bell. Sixteen-year-old Gwyneth discovers that she, rather than her well-prepared cousin, carries a time-travel gene.
The Dragons of Darkness and Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis; translated by Anthea Bell. Two boys from very different backgrounds are thrown together by magic, mayhem, as they battle deadly dragons.
Reckless by Cornelia Funke; translated by Oliver Latsch. Jacob and Will Reckless have looked out for each other ever since their father disappeared, but when Jacob discovers a magical mirror that transports him to a world populated by witches, giants, and ogres, he keeps it to himself.
Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf; translated by Tim Mohr. Mike Klingenberg is a troubled fourteen-year-old who thinks of himself as boring, until a Russian juvenile delinquent includes Mike in his criminal activities.
My Family for the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve; translated by Tammi Reichel. Ten-year-old Ziska Mangold is taken out of Nazi Germany on one of the Kindertransport trains, to live in London with a Jewish family.
The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón; translated by Lucia Graves. Thirteen-year-old Max Carver and sister, fifteen-year-old Alicia, with new friend Roland, face off against an evil magician who is striving to complete a bargain made before he died.
The Prophecy of the Stones by Flavia Bujor; translated by Linda Coverdale. Three girls, known as the Stones of Prophecy, are drawn to a land called Fairytale, where they and seek a magical creature who explains their role in a battle between Good and Evil.
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis; translated by Miriam Debbage. Seventeen-year-old Anna begins to fall in love with her classmate, Abel, a drug dealer from the wrong side of town, when she hears him tell a story to his six-year-old sister.