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November/December 2004

International Children's Literature

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Guest Editor Lawrence Venuti,

What do the Little Mermaid, Little Red Riding Hood, Babar, and Tintin have in common? As familiar to Americans as childhood itself, these characters all originally appeared in foreign languages, translated into English. Words Without Borders continues this noble tradition by publishing never-before-translated tales from seven different nations: "Marked by the Moon," an exquisite Persian Cinderella story; "The Angel's Feather," in which a lost angel heals an Italian family; "Please Leave a Message," an Israeli tale of a child's first phone messages; "It's a Chick Not a Dog," in which an Egyptian boy learns about friendship between humans and animals; "Viktoria Was Home All Alone," where a strong-willed Austrian girl tops Jack and the Beanstalk; a lovable Japanese monster story, "Granny Long Tongue"; and the experience of a French Canadian boy swept up in his mother's passion for commerce, "My Mother's Garage Sale." Have your child draw his or her own illustrations, and send a thank-you note to guest editor Larry Venuti for finding the stories and the translators who made it possible for us to read these stories in English.

Marked by the Moon: An Ancient Tale

Once upon a time, a long time ago-a very, very long time ago-in a corner of the world that was neither faraway nor near, there lived a girl whose name was Moon-Fairy. Moon-Fairy was

The Angel’s Feather

Once upon a time an angel lost a feather. It hardly ever happens, only once every two or three hundred years, but it does happen. The angel was flying over a solitary lake, through the

Please Leave a Message

Dina and Shlomo went out shopping. Their son, Dudi, stayed home. He didn't stay alone. Tally, his baby sister, stayed with him. His dog Rexie stayed with him too. Before Dudi's

It’s a Chick, Not a Dog

We live in the big house, all of us-men and women, boys and girls, and my mother and me. My mother captures all my attention. And she's ruled my heart too. I watch my mother no matter

Viktoria Was Home All Alone

Everybody was gone, and Viktoria was home all alone. "When everybody's gone, my house is a magic place." She went to her parents' bedroom and pulled back the bedspread. A big

Granny Long Tongue

This story is set in the time when monsters were still living up there in the mountains and down here in the forests. Granny Long Tongue and Red Ban the Ogre lived high up on Mt. Okuyama, at

My Mother’s Garage Sale

Every spring my mother decides to organize a garage sale. But every spring she wonders whether she should do it. "I really don't know if I should, Christophe. It's so much work."

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