United Kingdom – ONE, a new imprint of Pushkin Press publishing house in London, will be launched this year to provide English children access to literature from all over the world. Children in the United Kingdom are missing out on foreign books which do not get translated into English. British tradition of Anglo-American children’s literature is embraced by the community as a whole, but this should not be to the detriment of a more extensive access to books from other parts of the world, argued by those in charge of ONE, which will feature one title per season.
Independent publishing house Pushkin Press is committed to bringing high-quality books for children, which will be selected by Elena Lappin, a literary scout and book editor. The choices can vary from fiction to non-fiction, from new or established authors who are thought to deserve the United Kingdom’s attention. The first title that will be published is “Three Graves Full” by Jamie Mason
Britain and Foreign Children’s Literature
Of the total number of books sold in the United Kingdom, less that 3% are translated fiction. The lack of translations means a restricted access to literature from various parts of the world. Other countries, such as Spain and France, translate a much higher percentage of books, but it seems that British literary tradition generates a tendency to stick to authors such as Lewis Carroll, J. K. Rowling and J. M. Barrie themselves, instead of incorporating new classics to replace the Asterix, Tintin, and Pippi Longstocking of their time.
The Importance of Closing the Gap
The literature gap is especially salient in the market aiming at children from age five to ten, given that there is extensive literature for those younger than five years old. Although there is a general belief that children might not be able to understand texts or stories brought from entirely different cultures, past examples such as Emil and the Detectives and Mrs Pepperpot prove otherwise. The translation of books from all over the world and children’s access to them creates a bond between children from different ethnicities and backgrounds, who grew up listening to the same stories.