I am actively seeking a publisher for my English translations of two of Anna’s books: a picture book ‘An Old Lady Stepped Out Of Her Door’, and ‘I believe you … I don’t believe you’ – a stand-alone novel suitable for readers aged 7-11.
Click here to read my introduction to Anna, published on the blog Russian Kid Lit.
An Old Lady Stepped Out Of Her Door
This is a 783-word picture book which can be read to children from aged 3, and which children aged 6 to 9 can read for themselves. It is a comic poem in which an elderly lady leaves home to go shopping only to find a large puddle blocking her way. The puddle becomes a river on which the old lady decides to sail to the shop in her upturned umbrella. She is swept out onto the high seas from where, after a series of adventures, she returns to find herself a celebrity. Finally back home, she realises that she’s forgotten to buy sugar. And so she steps out of her door …
All the foreign rights to Anna’s work are held by Anna herself. The rights in the original artwork belong to the Russian publisher, Dom Meshcheryakova.
Reviews of the original, posted on the site labirint.ru by children and their parents and relatives:
‘An amazing book. I bought it on a recommendation and am very grateful for it—simply 10/10. My daughter read it excitedly, and then read it to me. The text is easy to read, and the illustrations amazing.’
‘Lovely! Lovely! The book made our family evening! Everyone was smiling, even my strict dad and serious cat. Thank you!’
‘A wonderful book! Pleasing rhymes and humour that children can understand. The children ask me to read it every evening. I’ve almost learned it by heart. We love it.’
‘A marvellous book—we all liked it, from the 4-year-old to me, a respectable adult … I read it to my sons, who are 4, 9 and 11, and they all laughed. The style is easy, there’s an abundance of illustrations, and it’s a story not devoid of seriousness. The only minus is that it’s quickly over. I’m going to look for more poems by this author.’
‘An absolutely wonderful book! I tend to be sceptical of new authors and I don’t like excessive modernity, but there are no such problems here. The kind of absurdity children love, charming, and a good sense of humour. We adults liked it too—we happily read it over and over. The lines are starting to stick—I think we’ll end up memorising the whole story.’ ‘A great book, wonderful verses, light and sparkling humour, comprehensible to both children and adults. I didn’t expect to like it this much—I was not familiar with the author. I need to read more of her.’
I believe you … I don’t believe you
What would happen if a young boy from our world found himself in a world in which no-one ever lied? Lost in the woods and popping up in a community he never knew existed, Lyosha gets the chance to find out. He shamelessly takes advantage of the truth-tellers, with consequences ranging from comic to calamitous. But the truth-tellers, in turn, begin to have a transformative effect on him. And when Lyosha brings Willow, his truth-telling girlfriend, back into our world, once again, the two worlds start seeping into each other. ‘I Believe You … I Don’t Believe You’ is funny, thoughtful, surprising, and tender.
Reviews of the original:
‘The truth is good, don’t fret. It’s just that not everyone wants to hear it, and not everyone needs it. And—I know it’s weird, but the truth can be worse than a lie. Honestly, it can. The storyline raises these questions without affectation, insistence on any ideology, or didacticism.’
(Evgenia Shaffert, (http://sibmama.ru)
‘At last, a story that tells us what a ‘saving lie’ is, and that fiction is the same kind of lie, and very important in our development. And that nothing is wholly black or wholly white.’
‘A book that doesn’t push morality or rigid attitudes.’
‘A vehicle for discussing the pros and cons of truth and lies, [and for showing that] your decisions are your responsibility.’
(Parents, quoted on the ReadRate website.)