Congratulations to Sylvia Vardell on her new book, THE POETRY TEACHER’S BOOK OF LISTS. I am ordering my copy at once. It sounds like just the thing for anyone with an interest in children’s poetry. Way to go, Sylvia!
My new pleasure is a translation of my book, THE BOOK OF GIANTS, into German. The original book came out in 1972 and was published in the United States by American Heritage Press, in the U.K. by Jonathan Cape, in Canada by McGraw-Hill, and in Italy by Mondadori. When the book won the Christopher Medal, additional translations began to arrive in my mailbox. I tried to keep one of each but I’m not sure I have them all. I see Chinese, Japanese, French, and German on my bookshelf. From here I count fifteen different editions and translations. Trade and book club sales worldwide exceeded 750,000.
McGraw-Hill acquired American Heritage Press in the 70s and there came a time when GIANTS no longer fit into the company’s thrust. I retrieved my rights to the book. After letting it rest for a time I approached Kent Brown at Boyds Mills Press and and he brought back THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES. It’s now available in paperback. I’m delighted to see international interest in the book continue and this new German translation makes me hope that other countries will rediscover it. Recent queries have come from the Philippenes, Ireland, Iran, and India. Storytellers in Canada, the U.K., and Australia have told stories from the book and at least one of the three stories has been read on the BBC. GIANTS has been featured on educational TV and released many years ago on CD-ROM. I’ve seen it described as classic folklore tales, which makes me smile. After all, I may be classic but I’m not that old!