Another book that went on fils cadet‘s Christmas list was Clementine by Sebastian Loth (NorthSouth Books, 2011), which is one I’d failed to get hold of in the summer. Sadly, as often seems to be the way with NorthSouth Books, the translator is unnamed – the copyright information says “Translated by NordSüd Verlag. Edited by Susan Pearson”.
Fils cadet enjoyed it, and it’s beautifully illustrated and nice to read. There are some slightly odd bits of phrasing, which make me wonder again about the unnamed translator – or maybe this was a committee effort…?
Still, it’s a lovely story. Clementine, a snail whose shell glows in the evening light “as orange as the ripe fruit beneath her” on the branches of her favourite clementine tree, loves everything round. She longs to travel to the moon – “so big, so beautiful, so round” – so she and her friend Paul make plans. Although none of them work out, Clementine manages to travel far enough into space to see the Earth and make a great discovery:
This beautiful planet she lived on was ROUND – as the world carried her tenderly around… and around… and around.
So Clementine follows her dreams, but also learns to appreciate the place she started out. And there is a summary of her discoveries about the Earth at the end too.