Planet Picture Book


The Library at El Escorial, near Madrid, Spain.

Posts have been a little sporadic on the blog lately. But school is well and truly back after the long Australian summer holiday and I’ve stocked up on some excellent titles to share with you. It’s time to get this adventure underway again!

In my mind, there was a healthy selection of contemporary Spanish picture books to choose from. The reality was very different: I was surprised by how few I found despite looking in all the usual places. I think I may have confused language and country of origin somewhere along the line. Not all picture books originally published in Spanish originate in Spain, after all.

I had earmarked one title early last year when I learnt that Australian publisher, Berbay Books, was releasing a picture book in translation: The Blue Bench by Albert Ascensio, adapted by Michael Sedunary. This title wasn’t originally written in Spanish but Catalan. It’s probably a controversial decision to include it in the Spanish section of my blog given Catalonia’s drive for independence.

I’ve pushed the boundaries with my second choice, too. It is an illustrated book of children’s poems by well-known Spanish poet, Karmelo C. Iribarren. Illustrated by UK-based Riya Chowdhury and translated by Lawrence Schimel, Poems the Wind Blew in was published by The Emma Press late last year. I am trying to include the occasional book of poetry in this picture book journey.* I don’t believe many of us naturally reach for verse when we fancy a read – and we’re missing out because of it.

My final choice is a picture book originally written in Spanish and published in Spain. In fact, it is the first in a series of four titles by Carles Porta, an award-winning illustrator, animator and graphic designer from Spain. The Artist: Tales from the Hidden Valley Book 1 was translated by Daniel Hahn and published by Flying Eye Books in the UK in 2018.

I’ve already reviewed two of the above books in blog posts for the #WorldKidLitWednesday column on the Global Literature in Libraries blog. I’ll be lightly editing my reviews before republishing them on Planet Picture Book. And you have a brand-new review of Carles Porta’s picture book to look forward to!

I hope you enjoy this selection.

*I reviewed another book of children’s poetry published by The Emma Press in my Latvian selection on the blog.

[Image: The Library at El Escorial by John Keogh, made available under a creative commons licence. Source:]

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