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New Latvian Children's Books Published Abroad

2020, May 8

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Lately, ten more works of Latvian childrens’ literature have been published in eight different languages – Macedonian, Lithuanian, Chinese, Russian, German, Italian, Swedish and Finnish. Besides bestsellers like Anete Melece’s “Kiosk” and Zane Zusta’s “Ucipuci Is Looking for Home”, readers abroad can now enjoy Uldis Daugaviņš’s fairytale cookbook for children titled “The White Bear” and Juris Zvirgzdiņš’s “Rasa’s Summer”.

The bittersweet “Kiosk” written and illustrated by Anete Melece (published by “liels un mazs”, 2019) about the chubby shopkeeper Olga, so large that she is stuck in her kiosk daydreaming about travel, has now been published in four more languages. The book has been published by the Taiwanese “San Min Book” publishing house with a title “小報亭”, by the Swedish “Lilla Piratförlaget” as “Kiosken” (translated by Juris Kronbergs), by the Italian “Jaca Book” publishing house “Il Chiosco” (translated by A. Zara), and by the German “Atlantis Verlag” as “Der Kiosk, Orell Füssli Kinderbuch” (translated by Anete Melece). “Kiosk” was adapted for a book after Anete Melece’s 2013 animated short recognized by several international film festivals. This is the artist’s debut as a book author.

Zane Zusta’s book “Ucipuci is Looking for Home” (published by “Valters un Rapa”, 2015) is a story about a toy owl left unintentionally in an Italian guest house. In order to find her owner Krišs, the owl must go on a long and dangerous journey. The book is a little bit like a puppet theatre with changeable backgrounds and paper dolls of the characters. It is also full of great bits of advice on what to do when you’re lost. The book is illustrated by artist Evija Timma-Novika. The book has now been made available by “Antolog Books” in Macedonia as “Уципуци се загуби од дома” (translated by Irena Trajkova), published by Lithuanian “Debesų ganyklos” publishing house as “Ūkė Pūkė grįžta namo” (translated by Audrius Musteikis), as well as by the Chinese “Everafter Books” with a title “小貓頭鷹走失記” (translated by Yan Lu). The “Debesų ganyklos” has also published the sequel to the book translated by Audrius Musteikis and titled “Ūkė Pūkė randa išeitį” (“Ucipuci Thinks Outside the Box”, first published by “Ucipuci” publishing in 2017). In the second book, Ucipuci has happily returned home but, misfortunately, also fallen into a large cardboard box only to meet creatures she never knew lived in the house.

Uldis Daugaviņš’s collaboration with the renowned Latvian chef Mārtiņš Sirmais and illustrator Māra Viška has resulted in a book “The White Bear” (published by “liels un mazs”, 2017). It is a story of an unusual bear with six paws. His mother is Pancake Princess and his dad is Bear the Philosopher, but who is he himself? His extraordinary adventures inspire recipes that, upon his return to the Bear Village, he will use to become the White Bear Chef. Published by the “Текст” publishing house, the book is now available in Russian as “Кулинарные приключения Белого Мишки”, translated by Sergejs Timofejevs.

“Rasa’s Summer” by Juris Zvirgzdiņš is a sequel to “Lion’s Roar” in which a girl named Rasa, joined by mommy Laima, teddy bear Tobias and puppy Zorro, saved the zoo lion Leo from being “written off”. Rasa is now six years old, and all of their adventures continue! The book has been published by “Paperiporo” in Finland as “Rasan kesä” (translated by Mirja Hovila).

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