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Book: structure / content / volume
Thread poster: Marion Schimmelpfennig

Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
Member (2003)
English to German
Dec 11, 2004

A lively discussion is already going on about the content and structure of the book as well as on its volume.

Balaban: I suppose the "process of gathering poems, stories and drawings" has to be flexible in order not to stifle creativity and different approaches but again, don't you think that this material will also have to adhere to some guidelines (such as dimensions (of drawings), length (of poems and stories), etc.

Sonya: How big do we want the book to be? Are we going to set a limit to the number of poems, stories, etc. we can put in the book from each country/charity? My immediate reaction to Balaban’s comment that we will have to pose some restrictions on the length of the poems, etc. was to disagree, however, if we don’t do this I assume we will have to allocate a certain number of pages to each country/charity and fill those pages with whatever works we receive and choose to publish, so it may be easier to restrict the length to say a page each so that more people can feature in the book. But what happens if we receive more poems than we can fit into each chapter or whatever, who will decide on what to and what not to include in the book? Perhaps it would be an idea to say that all those poems/stories that are not included in the book will, however, be published on our website.

Natalia: I think we need to have a good international representation of stories and artwork. However, to really inspire the reader, I believe a small written introduction to each child and their life situation (with/without a picture) is essential. The way I see it, the basis of this book is in communicating the universal child while discovering different economic/cultural/educational backgrounds around the world.


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:16
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
A few questions... Dec 11, 2004

I am not sure if these have already been discussed, but I have a few questions.

1 How are we going to find children's writing? We need to decide on that. I am sure that each one of us will be able to contribute a lot on this. For example, I used to be a school teacher in Albania, so I have lots of contacts with schools in Albania.

2 What about the age of the children who will contribute?

3 Then, how many poems, stories from each country will be allowed?

4 Next, what kind of topic/content will be allowed? We need to discuss about this as well.

5 Another important thing IMO is the due date. We have to set a (reasonable) due date, otherwise, we will never be able to accomplish anything.

Monika

[Edited at 2004-12-11 15:19]


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 13:16
English to German
+ ...
My thoughts Dec 12, 2004

Monika Coulson wrote:

I am not sure if these have already been discussed, but I have a few questions.

1 How are we going to find children's writing? We need to decide on that. I am sure that each one of us will be able to contribute a lot on this. For example, I used to be a school teacher in Albania, so I have lots of contacts with schools in Albania.

2 What about the age of the children who will contribute?

3 Then, how many poems, stories from each country will be allowed?

4 Next, what kind of topic/content will be allowed? We need to discuss about this as well.

5 Another important thing IMO is the due date. We have to set a (reasonable) due date, otherwise, we will never be able to accomplish anything.

Monika

[Edited at 2004-12-11 15:19]


Dear Monika,
thanks for posting your questions.
I just wrote down my thoughts on each question you had.

1 Maybe by writing a letter about our project. Contact local hospital, orphanages, welfare, charities. Ask if they could help us by collecting drawings,poems,just anything written from children who are in need I would think.

2 I agree this is a difficult decision. I mean the letter we would send out would state that this is a project for children who are in a needy position and this is it. Maybe we shouldn´t put a age limit.

3 I would just collect as many as possible in the given timeframe. Children who need help!! I guess in some country´s more than in others.

5 Maybe we should leave this up to the kids, I mean some children get violated see killings are very sick and it would be difficult to tell them that they could not express what they feel, plus it would make the book not real. I know we all would like to see flowers, smiley faces and so on but I think we should let them express there pain. But maybe this is not the intention of the book and needs to be discussed further.

5 Maybe if we go a little more ahead it will be easier to set a due date.

Kind regards,
Andrea


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N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:16
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Quality Presentation. Bigger not necessarily better. Dec 13, 2004

As I suggested in a different thread, the quality of this book will decide it's profit for the children.
We have to think about what would inspire any buyer, besides the good his/her money will do.

To this end, I suggest that we need a sizable (not huge) book with well chosen stories, poems and artwork from a variety of cultures, languages, and economic backgrounds.

It would be wonderful to have a well-taken picture of the child to accompany his/her work (I was never so inspired as when I see the National Geographic photos).
Along with a brief presentation of the child.
------------------
Example from a documentary I saw the other day:

Left Page- Photo of young girl doodling in what looks like white sand.
-Swaati lives in the south of India with her parents and two brothers. After the monsoon season every year, they all travel 300 km from their village to work together in the salt flats for three months. She just turned six and has been working for two years. "I like to draw designs in the salt, it's very white."
Right page- Full photo of child's designs in sand with title.
-------------------

I think it's good to show a positive view of these children despite their relative hardships. Speak about their situations objectively and then highlight their remarkable natures.

IDEA
As an extra possibility, these desciptions or an extra commentary can be written by the translator for each language
(even with a small thumbnail picture).
This would emphasize our often overlooked profession with relation to our positions as almost ambassadors to other cultures. A bridge, if you will, to creating a more comprehensible world where communication among cultures becomes more than possible.

Emphasizing our participation in the creation of this book, would give us the 'marketing hook' needed in interesting a buyer. But not only that, it would give us a moment to become more than invisible translators/interpreters. We all know that to be good in our profession is to be unnoticable in the communication process. With this book, we would be opening a door into the international world of translators and the plethora of knowledge we've accumulated, while pointing our attention to our countries' children.

Natalia Eklund


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seaMount
Local time: 19:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
Some other ideas - calendar; agenda, other kinds of input Jan 8, 2005

1. Other products
To be short: what about a yearly calender and agenda as (by)product?

2. A flow of compassion and encouragement
The Asian tsoenami ....
In many schools in our 'overflow' part of the world (at least in water-battered Netherlands) will undoubtedly a) pay attention to this disaster through special projects or such b) wanting to do something in terms of aid.
Just an idea .... asking schools (organisations) to let the kids come up with drawings and words of compassion and encouragement. I realize it involves 'only' a limited group of target languages, but maybe there are more people interested (> major world languages) and willing to buy (and build funds) and thereby support for instance all the long term work in orphanages .... Recovery will take endurance, will take ongoing support ... will take ...


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seaMount
Local time: 19:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
Great Ideas! Jan 24, 2005

N.M. Eklund wrote:
quality .... a sizable (not huge) book with well chosen stories, poems and artwork from a variety of cultures, languages, and economic backgrounds ... picture of the child ... extra possibility ....


I like these ideas. I support them!


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Published books written by children: possible sources of inspiration Jan 27, 2005

Hi Marion and all,

It's great to see the management committee for the translators4kids foundation starting to take shape.

In the meantime, in this thread about our book, I thought it would be a good idea for all of us to take a look at the titles and summaries (when available) of books already written by children. If anyone knows of writings by children, please post them here (unless Marion prefers that we move this topic some place else)

Below I'll list the titles I've found. For some of these books I'm adding a reader review and a link to a seller or Publisher (with whom I have no contractual relationship), which is the source where I found that particular title & review. Some books are no longer in print, but their titles and summaries/reviews can be inspiring.

Cheers,

Elena


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Published books written by children: Literature Jan 27, 2005

This is the only bilingual book I've found so far:

How the Sun Was Born / Cómo el sol nació (Kids Are Authors Picture Book Series). Text in English and Spanish

by Third grade art students at Drexel Elementary School in Tucson Arizona

Winner of “The Kids Are Authors” competition. The “Kids Are Authors” competition was established in 1986 to encourage children to read and to become involved in the creative process of writing and illustrating. The winning books in the annual competition are published by PAGES Publishing Group under its Willowisp Press imprint.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0874066492/qid=1106795866/sr=11-1/ref=sr_11_1/104-8115014-7755165



Miracles: Poems by Children of the English- Speaking World
by Richard Lewis

A collection of poems written by children in eighteen countries where English is the native tongue or an important second language.

(Unfortunately, this book seems to be out of print).

Comment by child reader: I was given this book in 1968 and it remains one of my favorites. Why? Because until very recently it was the only book of poetry written by children that I could find. As a child I loved reading poems written by other children. The language and metaphors sounded real to me, as in "I hear the drummers strike the sky" to describe "Thunder". I continue to be touched.... more on: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0671475401/qid=1106794067/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-8115014-7755165?v=glance&s=books


Journeys: Prose by Children of the English-Speaking World by Richard Lewis
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0671650882/qid=1106796375/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-8115014-7755165?v=glance&s=books


Have You Seen a Comet? Children's Art and Writing from Around the World
by Anne, Comp. Pellowski

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0381997391/qid=1106796325/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-8115014-7755165?v=glance&s=books.


[Edited at 2005-01-27 03:54]


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Published books written by children: Illnesses Jan 27, 2005

Discovery Book: A Helpful Guide for the World Written by Children With Disabilities
by Chaney & Fisher

Publisher: United Cerebral Palsy.


I Will Sing Life: Voices from the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
by Larry Berger; Dahlia Lithwick; Robert Benson (photos); Paul Newman (introduction)

Publisher: Little Brown & Company, New York, NY.

Seven children with life-threatening illnesses share their perspectives on life.


Chemo Girl: Saving the World One Treatment at a Time.
by Christina Richmond

A girl named Christina was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of muscle cancer when she was 12 years old. During her many hospitalizations, Christina created the superhero Chemo Girl to help her cope with the chemotherapy treatments. She wrote Chemo Girl not only to help herself, but to help other children in similar situations. She saw Chemo Girl as an educational tool for children and adults, both healthy and ill. The idea was to teach a positive, non-threatening side of chemotherapy and to realize there's always hope.


All About Asthma

The author says:
“Asthma is not in your head. It is not catching. It is not to be ignored. It is not to be ashamed of. It is not doing any permanent damage.” Throughout there is an emphasis on how, like William, young asthma sufferers can gain control of their disorders and lead normal lives.

[Edited at 2005-02-03 20:08]


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Published books written by children: Poverty Jan 27, 2005

City of One: Young Writers Speak to the World.
by Colette De Donato, WritersCorps

Poems written by inner-city children and young people who live in very difficult conditions. They write about their lives and the state of the world. There are angry poems. There are desperate poems. There are reflective poems, as "Deep Inside": "The best place I ever was is in my mind/…It's a place of peace and tranquility/where I take time to grow." Poems about family, freedom, inner peace, self-identity, and the writing process round out this remarkable anthology.

Out of the Dump: Writings and Photographs by Children from Guatemala.
Kristine L. Franklin (Editor), Nancy McGirr (Editor)

A compilation of poems with photographs by children who live in the municipal dump in Guatemala City.

In Guatemala City, thousands of children live, eat and work in the smoldering garbage dump in the center of the city, collecting materials for recycling and scavenging for items to resell. In 1991, photographer Nancy McGirr decided to start a project in which the youngsters would photograph their own world with the profits used to allow the children to attend school. For these children, photography has become a door to the future.

Publisher's Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Photographer McGirr's introductory note presents a sobering account of the plight of the hundreds of poor children in Guatemala City who spend days scavenging through the city's central garbage dump, searching for items to recycle or resell. In 1991, as she was photographing such children, she noticed that they were fascinated with her camera. With Konica Japan as corporate sponsor, McGirr launched the Out of the Dump project, which provides children with cameras, film, notebooks and shoes, encourages them to photograph their world and mandates that they attend school. Under Franklin's direction, the participants also began describing their lives in prose and poetry. While the quality of the writings reproduced here varies, the children's often impressively composed black-and-white photos convey uncanny insight. The hard-hitting pictures pay resonant tribute to the clearly worthwhile efforts of McGirr and Franklin. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Out of the Dump photography project.


The me nobody knows; children's voices from the ghetto.
by Joseph, Stephen M Publisher: Discus Books, New York

The ghetto child speaks, and the world emerges as he sees it and as he wishes it to be. This remarkable collection reveals the expanding awareness of nearly two hundred primary and secondary school children as they think about themselves, their painfully limiting surroundings, and the broader world which they often know of only by hearsay.

A reader says, "I read this book when I was in third grade, which was almost 26 years ago. I will never forget how powerful the message in this book was, and how it taught me at a very young age to be extremely thankfukl for the many gifts that have been bestowed upon me. It also makes people realize that talent and the expression of such talent is not reserved to just the affluent, but that messages of youth are pretty consistent across social classes...."


Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories.

Nine Mexican/Spanish children tell each a different story about their life. All these children work in the fields or they have a close relative that works in a field. Their stories range from being involved with gangs to the difficulty of moving up in society. As different as these nine children may be, they all care very much for their families and believe nothing is more important.

[Edited at 2005-02-03 23:06]


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Published books written by children: War Jan 27, 2005

There are also books that compile writings by children growing up in war areas. They are heart-wrenching.

The writings' titles / summaries may be viewed as political and as per the site's rules are best left out of this Forum, but we could keep in mind that armed conflict is another arena in which children learn to express their feelings and views -which may also need unbiased translation from our volunteer group.


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Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
Member (2003)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Elena: excellent! Jan 27, 2005

Thank you for doing this excellent research, Elena! (What about taking part in the call for founding our own charity?) I think your postings are in the right thread as they will enable us to determine us what's on the market and what's not and thus help us to create the structure of the book.

Although there seem to be several similar books as the one we are trying to put together, I haven't detected one that's the same (apart from City of Young which concentrates on Peace), and some of them are out of print. A positive situation for us when talking to publishers.


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