I is for Isol…

… the author of It’s Useful to Have a Duck an unusual and charming accordion-style book that gives you two different viewpoints on the same situation. Originally published in Spanish as Tener un patito es útil, it was translated by Elisa Amado in 2009.

So, what’s it about then? Well, a boy finds a duck and uses him, among other things, as a hat, a rocking horse and to clean his ears, before abandoning him in the bath. Quite cute. And then you turn the book over and read the blue pages. Suddenly the book is called It’s Useful to Have a Boy. A duck finds a boy and uses him, among other things, as a vantage point on the world, to scratch his back and to polish his bill, before having a swim in the bath and settling down to sleep.

We picked up a second-hand copy recently and both boys took to it straight away. The board book format ought to suggest that it’s more suitable for fils cadet (aged 2), but it was fils aînée (aged 5) who was able to appreciate the twist on the blue pages – and highly amusing he found it, too. Definitely recommended, and not just for children!

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About forwardtranslations

I'm a freelance literary translator from German and French to English. The title of my blog comes from Mary Schmich's description of reading: it struck home with me, and seems especially apt for translated fiction. Here are some of my musings on what I'm reading, re-reading, reading to my children, and translating.
This entry was posted in A-Z of Children's Fiction in Translation, Books, Children's Books, Translation and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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