Where Are All The Foreign Illustrated Books for Children?

As of the posting date of this article, I believe I have only one book listed on Books for Children that is a translation from a book that was originally written and published in a non-English speaking country (that book is Emily’s Balloon from Japan).

Common sense tells me that there must be tons of great illustrated kids books all over the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. But my efforts to find more such titles in the United States (translated into English) have led me, for all intents and purposes, nowhere – ┬áthere appear to be very few such titles available.

On the other hand, I am aware of many English children’s books being available in local languages overseas.

I certainly don’t think the explanation is that English language authors (American, British, Australian, etc.) write better kids books (although it’s conceivable that they do write and publish more of them overall). Rather, I think the biggest explanation for the dearth of such books in the United States in particular is the inward-looking nature of American culture.

If there are great books for children around the world that are not available to English speaking kids, I think they should be, and so I have recently started exploring the possibility of getting involved with making more of them available. If that effort bears fruit, I will post another article here that no longer answers the question that is the title of this article with the reply “For the most part, they are not here”.