As part of my MA Writing for Young People at Bath Spa, I chose to look at why we have comparatively few books in translation on our shelves and what they could add in broadening our reading horizons. So I’m always delighted to find a beautiful book in translation.
One House for All is a Latvian story adapted by Lawrence Schimel and translated by Sabine Ozola. Three very physically different friends are looking for a solution to staying close once they’re all grown-up. I can’t remember seeing a grouping of a raven, a crayfish and a horse before in a book but weirdly it works, helped along by the painterly illustrations. It’s a ‘quiet’, thoughtful book with lyrical language which was good to read aloud.
I like a book with layers, intended or not. So as for broadening horizons, should I read into it a gentle European life lesson about how we can all live together yet still separately…?
One House for All is a charming book that lingers in the memory.