We’re thrilled to be publishing the forgotten (at least, to the English speaking world) Brazilian children’s classic, My Sweet Orange Tree by José Mauro de Vasconcelos. The book follows the adventures of Zezé (Brazil’s naughtiest and most loveable boy) as he entertains himself playing pranks on the residents of his family’s Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood and invents friends to play with. That is, until he meets a real friend, and his life begins to change…
To celebrate Alison Entrekin’s exceptional new translation of this moving and life-affirming story, we thought we’d gather together a list of five other beloved international children’s classics.
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (Danish)
It’s hard to pick just one fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen’s extensive catalogue, but The Little Mermaid takes some beating. Rather darker than the Disney adaptation would have you believe, it’s the classic story of a mermaid desperate to gain a human soul, no matter the cost.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (French)
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s most famous work, this beautiful, illustrated novella has become one of the best-selling books of all time and the most translated book from the French language. It tells the story of a little boy who travels the universe on his own little odyssey after leaving the safety of his planet.
Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner (German)
First published in 1929, Emil and the Detectives is one of the first child detective books, paving the way for the likes of Enid Blyton. It was an instant bestseller in Germany and has now been translated and adapted countless times.
If you loved Emil and the Detectives and are interested in more work of Erich Kästner’s work, Pushkin Children’s Books publish The Parent Trap, Dot & Anton and The Flying Classroom, all by the same author.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (Swedish)
Originating as a bedtime story when Astrid Lindgren’s daughter Karin was off school sick as a child, the funny, kind and unpredictable Pippi Longstocking has become a publishing phenomenon and is beloved by children around the world. There’s even a theme park in Vimmerby, Lindgren’s hometown!
The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt (Dutch)
Well, we couldn’t not throw in one of our own now, could we? The glorious The Letter for the King (and it’s sequel, The Secrets of the Wild Wood) follows knight-in-training Tiuri, who embarks on a perilous mission to deliver a secret letter to the King, which could cost him his life. The books feature beautiful illustrations by Tonke Dragt herself and are loved by everyone who encounters them.
My Sweet Orange Tree is published on January 4th. Buy your copy here!