Books in (Irish) Translation
Before I begin, I need to apologise. My Irish is appalling...no seriously...very poor indeed. That's why I am so grateful to Futa Fata for sending Irish language books to me for review that either are accompanied by English translations or (in the case of the above) are so familiar that they need no translation. (But thanks to my fluent grandchildren, I can check it out.) Translating books from one language to another is no easy task. Nothing translates literally and it takes a lot of care and attention to get the content and feel of the book just right. Fortunately, this particular publish is highly expert at doing so.But enough of this. Let's move on.
Yesterday marked the launch (at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in co. Armagh) of Anseo Atá Muid: Notai Faoi Chónaí Ar An Domhan by Oliver Jeffers. Also known as Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth; this is a stunning and moving picture book inspired by a new addition to the Jeffers family. With childlike wonder and insight, it welcomes us all to the planet, explains our physical place in this great, wide world (and beyond) and expresses the interconnection of all things. It gives the reader a view of the external and internal universes and expresses a feeling of care and concern for the environment. The illustrations are fresh, free and expressive, with completely amazing full-page spreads throughout. This book is a complete joy. Thought-provoking, poignant and thoroughly entertaining at the same time, I was extremely excited to see it published as gaeilge. What a beautiful way to explain where we fit in the grand scheme of things!
Anseo Atá Muid: Notai Faoi Chónaí Ar An Domhan author/illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Futa Fata (November 2018) ISBN: 9781910945391
But I can't stop there! There are a few more leabhar as gaeilge I want to share with you.
Out now....Mo Theachín Gan Chuma Gan Chaoi by Julia Donaldson; also known as A Squash and A Squeeze. This beloved picture book needs no introduction or explanation. The same familiar story; the same exceptional illustrations by Axel Scheffler and how completely wonderful it is to have it now available in the Irish language! Having books like this one in translation brings excitement, adds comfort and encourages use of the Irish language in the home and by the very young. It even promotes and encourages people like myself, who love nothing more than sharing a story with children, to work a bit harder on my language skills.
Last year (shame on me for not talking about this sooner!), I was given a copy of the extraordinary book, Lindbergh by Torben Kuhlmann, translated from German into Irish by Máire Zepf. Lindbergh is the tale of a mouse with a sense of curiosity. One day, on his way home, he notices that everything is just a bit too quiet. It seems all of the hundreds of busy mice in the city have vanished overnight. Weeks pass before Lindbergh discovers the reason; ghastly, brutal mousetraps! All of his friends who could have led the city; maybe gone to America? Lindbergh goes down to the harbour to join them, but passage on a ship is now too dangerous. He must find a way. Perhaps he should travel by air....
I loved this book! The story is dynamic and absorbing with fascinating detail. But the illustrations! Oh the illustrations! Detailed, inventive, exquistely executed; they set a true picture of time and place, of mood and atmosphere and of utter wonder. It is magnificent!
Lindbergh: Scéal Luchóige A d'Éitil author/illustrator: Torben Kuhlmann
Futa Fata (November 2017) ISBN: 9781910945261
And I can't end this post without mentioning a couple other fabulous picture books as gaielge:
Bí Ag Spraoi Liom! by Sadhbh Devlin & Tarsila Kruse is the heart-warming story of a little girl named Luna and her very busy Mum. All Luna wants is for Mum to play with her. But Mum has to finish her meeting first. It takes sooo long! Luna would also like to meet 'Little Mum', so she runs off to 'Long Ago'. When Mum finishes her meeting....where has Luna gone? A beautiful tale that encourages parents to remember what it's like to e a child and to make time for play....always!
Bí Ag Spraoi Liom! author: Sadhbh Devlin illustrator: Tarsila Kruse
Futa Fata (November 2017) ISBN:9781910945315
One of my absolute favourites is the brilliant Mise Agus An Dragún by Patrica Forde and Steve Simpson. Brave little Bear is determined to hunt a dragon. He has everything he needs; the knowledge, expertise, all the right tools....as long as there are no dark forests or smoke from the dragons' fire...and as long as its' not too scary. So off he goes on his quest, where he discovers how very brave he can be!
Mise Agus An Dragún
author: Patricia Forde illustrator: Steve Simpson
I'm going to leave you with these (for now.) There are many, many more fantastic books for children in the Irish language, both original (as they last two are) and in translation from other languages. And it's exciting to see more and more all the time with this kind of quality and representation.
A personal thank you to Futa Fata for supporting me in my quest to bring new, exciting and different books to you all out there in on the world wide web; and for bearing with my lack of the language. And thank you for delivering the beautiful new picture books in translation!
Perhaps many of you have little or no Irish? It's a beautiful and rich, expressive language that you should know more about. And picture books are a brilliant way to learn; especially books like these.