April 2008 Archives

Holly Thompson Interview in SWET

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swet.gifThe Society of Writers, Editors & Traslators (SWET) is a an organization based in Japan. In thier April 2008 newsletter, there is a lengthy interview of Holly Thompson, author of The Wakame Gatherers. She talks about the impetus for the story, the publishing process, and the themes of the book.

It's a thoughtful and in-depth discussion of these issues, but of course, I was just a little thrilled to see my own name mentioned:

Q. Was it difficult to pitch a book with wakame in the title? Did you have to coach anyone on the pronunciation?
A. Actually, publisher Renee Ting of Shen's Books was adamant about keeping wakame in the title. One of her goals is to bring other cultures to children in the United States, and this includes introducing new words. Different publishers have different approaches, but many picture books published in North America nowadays include non-English words in the text. The glossary in the back of The Wakame Gatherers has a pronunciation guide. Of course many people still mispronounce the word wakame, but it doesn't seem to be a marketing deterrent.
Read the entire interview here.

New Website in the Works

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I'm working, working, working behind the scenes on our new and improved website. Stay tuned.

Tigers, Frogs and Rice Cakes on Lookybook

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Tigers, Frogs, and Rice Cakes: A Book of Korean Proverbs selected by Daniel Holt, illustrated by Soma Han Stickler

I am holding in my hands an advanced copy of Grandfather's Story Cloth by Linda Gerdner and Sarah Langford and illustrated by Stuart Loughridge. Shen's newest book features text written in both English and Hmong. Though I had helped with the English, the Hmong language is a complete mystery to me. Since the translations are side by side, I enjoyed guessing which words meant what in Hmong. For example, "Yawg" means "Grandfather." "Niam" means "Mother." And "Chersheng" (the name of the little boy) means "Chersheng."

I've always been fascinated with languages, especially how different sounds are interpreted by the Romanized alphabet. I'm sure there are many sounds in the Hmong language that do not exist in English. What's interesting to me are the different combination of consonants. How does one pronounce "txhawj" (worry)? Or "nws" (he)?

Bearemy's Book Club Pick!

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Build-a-Bear Workshop has a website that includes all sorts of fun things for kids, and every month "Bearemy" the bear picks books on a theme for his book club. April features dogs and ecology, so Selvakumar Knew Better by Virginia Kroll and Xiaojun Li fit right in. You can see it and the book club here.





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Blog Contributors

Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen's Books. She is the author of The Prince's Diary and the blog, Renee's Book of the Day.

Emily Jiang is a writer of children's and YA literature. She also blogs at TLeaf Readings.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.

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