Children’s books from around the world

When I’m not writing children’s fiction I love reading it. So recently I’ve been looking for new and old children’s books from further afield. I did online research and I asked friends and family from around the world which books delighted them in childhood, or which books line their own children’s bookshelves now. In the process I discovered or rediscovered a variety of works.

The world is a rather big place, so I will only mention a handful of books in this post! But here are some that popped into my conversations this week…

My relatives in Spain enjoy the Manolito series by Elvira Lindo or the much-loved poetry of Gloria Fuertes. Meanwhile, across the Mediterranean in Italy, young children adore Nicoletta Costa’s Giulio Coniglio, known in English as Julian the Rabbit.

And in France, online language tutor Geraldine Lepere has created a helpful summary of famous children’s books in French. Her lovely summary is worth checking out. For readers who like wordplay, her list features the author Pef‘s book La Belle Lisse Poire du Prince de Motordu. (‘La Belle Lisse Poire’, as Lepere points out, means ‘the beautiful, smooth pear’, as opposed to the similar-sounding ‘La Belle Histoire,’ which means ‘the beautiful story’ – the humour begins in the title!)

And with word humour in mind, in India the nonsense verse of Bengali writer Sukumar Ray, father of film director Satyajit Ray, has delighted people for generations.

As for here in the UK, bookshelves far and wide still brim with Roald Dahl titles, alongside the works of famously treasured names like Judith Kerr and Raymond Briggs, to name a few. But, most of all, my son waits expectedly at the door for his Beano comic to arrive each week!

The world is full of so many amazing children’s books! I’ll stop here for now! But if you are looking for inspiration, there are reams of beautiful titles to discover from around the globe. Some are translated into English, while others might provide a good chance to start learning another language!

What are the favourite children’s reads in your household, or which books did you treasure when you were growing up?!


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